Sometimes it is helpful to hear that we are not alone and what we are experiencing in our business is actually the ‘norm’. It is also helpful to benchmark where we are at and what we need to do to go to the next stage.
Here are the common four stages of business…which one do you relate to? As a mentor and coach my role is to help you efficiently move from one stage to the next with minimal fuss and pain. Contact me to discuss how this can happen – it’s usually a lot easier than you think!
- Start Up
□ It’s all about survival – doing whatever it takes to make it
□ You’re in “do it yourself” and “it’s all up to me” mode
□ You enjoy the freedom this gives you
□ You get to make decisions on the go and change your mind at a drop of a hat, and it’s okay to do this, it’s all down to you anyway
□ You put out bushfires all day
□ You can cope though, because it’s mainly just you and you know what needs to be done
□ You know everything that’s going on, and you’re the go-to person for whatever is needed
- Start Up to Initial Growth
Keep in mind, most businesses don’t ever get out of start-up phase, because the business owner never adapts their style of doing things to allow the business to move forward.
□ Seat-of-the-pants leadership and decision making isn’t going to cut it anymore. (I should know.)
□ You need to become more strategic, and you need to start thinking ahead and planning how it’s all going to happen. People can’t sit around waiting to see which way you want them to jump today.
□ Change your role from doing to decision maker and delegate effectively
□ Learn the difference between delegation and abdication – you don’t give it to someone in the hope they’ll sort it out for you
□ You need to decide which way the business is heading, delegate what needs to get done that isn’t core to your business (sales and marketing) and monitor the progress made on the projects with key performance indicators and regular feedback and reviews so everyone knows where they stand and how they’re progressing
□ You will be the bottleneck if you keep making all the decisions yourself
□ You need to shift from bush fire management to anticipation, planning, design of systems and procedures
Initial growth is often difficult to manage because every step means growing pains and systemising and doing things so that others can as well.
It’s a time in the business where everything is more complex, and you have to rely on others to get things done and to make decisions. Unless you’re across everything in detail all the time, you would only get in the way.
It will actually become physically impossible to do everything you need to do. You will find people will want your time but you don’t have time for them. Bushfires seems to be lighting up everywhere – you put one out and five more appear.
- Initial Growth to Rapid Growth
You need to become more of a team builder and planner. Your focus is on getting a management team in place and building a steady and strong infrastructure.
You’re going to become even more proactive in recognising what your business needs and do so before you get to crisis stage.
You need to be thinking in one year horizons and acting in 90 day cycles with weekly and daily focus. You want to hire people who are better at their roles than you could ever be. They are specialists who focus solely on that function or area.
You’re now moving more towards having to make sure your team come together and that there is team cohesiveness.
- Rapid growth
Your product, service or program is ready, proven and sells. The market is growing and your sales are going up.
Survival is not on your mind – you’re trying to ride the wave, make the most of what’s going on and keep the momentum going.
This is what’s interesting – infrastructure at this stage will be lower than the next stage – maturity. Make the most of this phase, save as much money as you can, maximise profits and pay off your house or any other big bills. When you get to maturity infrastructure will have caught up with turnover and it won’t be as much fun in terms of cashflow!
(c) The Coaching Institute 2016