Stages of business growth
You’ve done your research, identified your goals, and decided you’re ready to grow your business. Now it’s time to plot your growth strategy. This chapter outlines the stages of business growth, as well as the challenges at each stage and tips on how to overcome them.
Launch and learn: the startup stage
This is the stage you came from – the stage you survived. It was risky and difficult, but your efforts paid off.
At the startup stage, you most likely experienced challenges such as:
exceeding your initial budget
establishing your presence in the right market
following through with your business plan
Despite the many issues you would have faced, you pushed through, probably by:
keeping a close eye on your cash flow
focusing on your immediate goals
adapting to feedback from your customers
Check out our guide on how to start a business to learn more about the startup stage.
Sure and steady: the growth stage
You’ve launched your business. Now you’re seeing consistent revenue and an ongoing stream of customers. Be prepared for sure and steady growth.
You’ll be facing these challenges in the growth stage:
meeting the demands of increasing sales and rising customer numbers
dividing your time as a business owner between various opportunities and issues
successfully continuing to grow
To overcome these growth challenges, you’ll need to:
formulate a business growth plan and build a growth strategy
fine-tune your methods and make your processes more efficient
hire people who are passionate about your business so you can delegate and move into more of a leadership role
Bigger and better: the expansion stage
Your business has firmly established its market presence. Things are running routinely and smoothly, but more growth is possible. It’s time to go bigger and better.
You’ll encounter these obstacles in the expansion stage:
gaining a larger market share
moving into new markets
finding other profit channels or avenues of revenue
To get through these obstacles, you’ll need to:
plan carefully and do a ton of research
be realistic with the resources you have compared to the cost and the return on your investment
focus on markets and avenues that complement your strengths and current business activities, as opposed to unrelated areas with increased risk and a greater potential to go wrong
Navigating the stages of business growth
Every business is different. You may be content with the stability of steady growth and choose not to expand in a big way, or you may skip the gradual growth stage altogether and go straight to more rapid expansion. Whatever stage your business is currently in or whichever you choose next, understanding each stage can help you anticipate the challenges and increase your chances of success.
Chapter 4: Write a business development plan
Set your growth in motion with a business development plan. We’ll show you how to get started, what to include, and how to write a functional plan.Read chapter 4