Expand the Life of Your Business

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Today I’m going to talk about the life cycle of a business and how to get the most out of each cycle while also extended the lifespan of your business.

The four different stages of a business lifecycle are:

  • Infancy
  • Adolescence
  • Growing Pains
  • Maturity

We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycle’s means and how they can each help expand your business’ lifespan.

Infancy

This is generally considered the technician’s phase, which is the owner and sometimes the owner’s team too. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is that of a parent and new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to determine the path your business will follow and for you to be willing to put in the dedication and commitment your child needs to help it learn to stand on its own.

The key is to know your business must grow in order to flourish. You cannot stay in this stage forever. You must also be growing so that as the child matures so does your ability to support it. How you do that must change.

Adolescence

In this stage you need to start bringing your support staff together (hopefully, in their diversity) to delegate to and allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is your technical person, as they need to bring a certain level of technical experience. Yet, this cycle really belongs to the manager. It’s about systems and repetition and structure. Think franchise modeling. A strong manager can sort this out.

The planning stage needs to begin now and a relationship needs to be built with the entrepreneur to plan for the future. Hopefully, you’ve been building your tool belt and are ready for this position and putting yourself back in the driver’s seat.

NOTE: I have worked with owners who, through our work together, have chosen to become the C of their strength (in this case it was Sales) with controlling financial shares but not controlling the company vision, not having CEO status, as they were not the best person for the job.

Growing Pains

There’s a point in every business when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is referred to as growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem nonetheless. You are often faced with a number of choices:

  • Avoid growth and stay small
  • Go broke
  • Push forward into the next cycle

This is when you want all hands on deck; the entrepreneur for what and why the technician for how and the manager for the how to and who. If you don’t have them all your so-called “choices” above are rather limited.

Maturity

The last cycle is maturity, though this doesn’t mean the end of your business. In order to remain relevant, you will want loop through these cycles over and over again. Fresh idea/widget/add-on/baby, new adolescent concerns, review and modifications when necessary (including you, education & training,) fresh growing pains followed by a new graceful aging period.

Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective in order to push your business forward.

Do you see how all three of these cycles are connected and depend on a strong foundation for each one of them in order for your business to be and continue to be successful? All three of your key roles must also work together to work through these cycles. Consider where your company currently fits in this model. At what stage is your company? Is it prepared? Does it have the team it needs?

If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into reach out to us. We’re happy to give you 30 minutes and our opinion free of charge. Remember, our TEAMS program (unveiling soon) can help you through this entire process and so much more.


Also published on Medium.

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