Life is hectic, especially when you run or manage a small business. Business growth is challenging. Of course, profitable, sustainable growth is your goal, but how do you get there with all the distractions thrown at you every day? You’re speeding down the highway at 90 miles per hour, windows down, music blasting, kids screaming. Sounds fun, right? Hardly!
But what about all that scenery you took the trip to see? It’s gone in a flash, just a blur in your rearview mirror. Likewise, running a business can sometimes feel hazy and vague without the proper strategic intention.
So how do you take the time to stop and smell the symbolic roses, all while continuing your day-to-day tasks? How about having time to do what you know you should do to grow and maintain your business? Simple!
Determine which of these four stages of business growth your company currently resides, then focus your efforts on the suitable business development activity.
- Core Business Development
- Professionally Managed Enterprise
- Organizational Maturity.
Common characteristics, growing pains, and a primary focus define each stage of developing your enterprise. To know your specific goals, you first need to know and understand your business’s growth and development stage. Awareness of each step’s obstacles allows you to prepare better to overcome them – with the least amount of stress possible.
One of the most important things to remember about growing your small business is that your growth and development stage is not defined by how long you have been in business. Instead, revenue is a better definition of your developmental stage. Not accurately identifying your growth stage is one of the biggest mistakes when strategizing and planning for growth.
You risk focusing on the wrong activities by misdefining your business’s growth and development stage. As a result, you go around in circles rather than streamlining your activities to overcome the obstacles and leverage the opportunities you’re facing in your current stage.
The first two growth stages are when most business owners feel the highest amount of pressure and discouragement. They involve finding your niche, developing your products or services, getting your business up and running, learning to manage your resources, and creating functional operational systems. These steps set the tone for the rest of your business’s lifespan.