I presented all new material at Take Action Get Profits this year. The participants found it very helpful so I wanted to share some of it with you in series of blog posts. This first post takes a look at the 5 stages of business. Where is your business?
The very first thing I do when I start working with a private client is to assess where they are in their business.
Understanding where you are today is an integral piece of moving your business forward. Not knowing what phase your business is in, or even worse believing your business is further along than it is, is one of the reasons business development seems so hard. Business stages work a lot like math class did in school. Even though the work seems easy at a certain level, you don't want to skip ahead to the next level because you miss out on important foundational bits of information. I had a friend in school or always got terrible grades in math in high school because she missed factions somehow. It's hard to go back and pick up information that you've missed.
I'm going to go more depth with the different degrees of business growth (and how to know if you've moved to the next degree) in future blog posts.
For right now, I'll give you the 5 stages, so you can start thinking about where your business might fit.
A Start-Up business is a fledgling business that is still trying to figure out the answers to basic questions. This business is unknown in the industry and does not have basic plans and and systems in place.
An Implementation business is a business that has developed a solid business model and marketing plan and is now working to make those a reality. The implementation business does not have a team and is just starting to make money (albeit inconsistently).
A Sustainable business is a business that is starting to look like a real business with clients and money flowing but also the team is growing and the vision for the business is getting bigger.
A Scaleable business is a business that has a proven system that is working and is generating the cash to support the business and pay the principles. It is now ready to be duplicated.
A Sellable business is as good as it gets. The business is leveraged and the principles are making money without the overworked and overwhelmed feelings.
Keep in mind, this isn't about how LONG you've had your business. I've seen some of my coaching clients rocket their way to stage 3 – Sustainable in a year. Others have had a business for 5 years, and are still very much in the start up phase. Coaching seems to be the key to “microwaving” or speeding up the process.
What phase is your business in? Where do you want it to go this year?