The well trodden path.
Whether attempting to increase market share, improve profitability or raise money, you are ‘always on’ trying to grow your business. There are opportunities and challenges at every step, not least finding the time to work on the business and plan its growth.
1. Start up stage
Characterised by long hours, modest salaries, constant fire fighting and limited financial resources. Key decisions are highly sensitive to market feedback and in many cases are reactive. However, ingenuity substitutes for resources. Flexibility with a can do attitude generates creativity.
- Spec a product/build an MVP/prototype
- Prepare a business plan
- Access peer advice and insights
- Access specialist advice
- Get market feedback
- Access appropriate funding
2. Emerging Stage
Characterised by a handful of customers and some consistent revenues – but not enough, product development that’s struggling to keep up, ‘a’ route to market probably based on strong personal relationships.
- Funding – from revenues, grants, loans or investment
- Management – where to get help to grow the business and put organizational structures in place
- Marketing – Creating scalable product and scalable routes to market
- Motivation – Finding time to work on the business not submerged in it
3. Rapid Growth Stage
Characterized by a new season of growth and increasing distribution channels, businesses in the rapid growth stage are faced with the need to gain a bigger market share as well as looking for ways to stream in new revenues and profit. This stage calls for a streamlined plan and research before moving into new markets.
4. Next Level Stage
Having navigated the rapid growth stage of the business lifecycle successfully, you are now faced with critical choices: push for further expansion, or find an exit the business, either public or private.