After reading about the five stages of small business growth below, ask yourself where your organization is today and where you would like to be tomorrow. The answer should prove helpful in determining next steps specific to your needs. For example, if you're in the existence stage, you may need to focus on marketing and sales to generate more revenue. If you're in the survival stage, you may need to focus on cutting costs and improving efficiency. And if you're in the success stage, you may need to focus on expanding your business and growing your market share.
It's worth noting that these stages are not always linear. A business typically moves back and forth between stages, depending on the challenges it faces and the opportunities it pursues. However, understanding the five stages of growth can help you make better decisions about your business's future.
Obtain customers & meet obligations.
Client demands are met, but marketing planning is typically just cash forecasting to accommodate potential setbacks and concern if the business has the capacity to scale to meet the demands of additional clients.
Success & Status Quo.
The primary decisions facing a business at this stage is whether to leverage the company’s accomplishments and expand or keep the company stable and profitable. As the old saying goes, "when you stop growing you start dying." The key risk at this phase is characterized by a lack of innovative decision making and the avoidance of risks. It seems most common that companies who have reached this level decide to rest on their laurels thereby allowing competitors in the growth phase to move in on market opportunities or your existing clients.
In this stage of business, assuming key stakeholders in the business are committed, is to address the how to scale the business and retain the same levels of service that contributed to that growth.
You made it, sort of. At this phase, key stakeholders must learn to delegate their responsibilities by standardizing processes so that they can focus on maintaining the integrity of the business that brought them to present day. Retaining the high level of service and flexibility to respond to clients quickly will make up their day to day operations. Prioritizing time for strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting is critical.
Web Relevant Q&A
We thought it would be helpful to share information on topics relevant to our industry & also post answers to recurring questions we have received over the years.