Want to Grow Your Business? Do Things Differently.

Grow Your Business in 4 Stages

As a growing business, it’s normal to feel stuck sometimes. When you’ve hit a plateau or when the things that have been working aren’t getting the same results, it’s time to make some changes. 

As your business grows, it will progress through these classic growth stages:

Stage 1 – Achieving Viability (Entrepreneurial)

Stage 2 – Accelerating Growth (Emerging Growth)

Stage 3 – Scaling (Sustainable Growth)

Stage 4 – Maturity

So how do you grow your business and take it to the next level? By doing things differently. It’s important to understand what you need to do differently at each stage to keep that momentum going – and make the changes that propel you into the next stage.

Four Stages of Business Growth

Many businesses “experience common problems arising at similar stages in their development.” Understanding the stages of business growth and common roadblocks can help you assess your current challenges and make a thoughtful plan to move forward.
Stage 1 – Achieving Viability 
You have an idea or you’ve found an unmet need in a specific market and you’ve decided to start a business. The first thing you’ll need is a viable business plan. That’s what this entrepreneurial stage is all about.
  • What need does your product/service fill?
  • How will you fund your business? 
  • What is your customer profile? Where is your customer base?
  • What are your company’s goals?
Once you have a plan, set it in motion. Make changes and pivot as necessary to achieve viability. 
The most common problem in this stage is not creating a thorough business plan. Business with a complete plan are twice as likely to grow successfully compared to business without a plan.
Stage 2 – Accelerating Growth
Your business is seeing profits! This stage is all about building your team and generating more sales. Maybe your started your business as a solopreneur or with a partner. Eventually, you’ll need to hire additional employees for support and to drive sales. Build a sales team that can help you achieve your business goals. 
A common problem in this stage is generating enough sales. You need to sell more to cover the costs of your growing business and secure your place in the market. 
Stage 3 – Scaling
Sales continue to increase, but maybe they’ve slowed down. The third stage is focused on scaling and expanding your business to achieve sustainable growth. Maybe you want to increase your market share or find new revenue streams. 
Identify what your business is doing well- what are your strengths? Revisit your goals. What is keeping you from achieving your business’s maximum potential? The key to this stage is making sure you have the right employees and the right procedures in place. 
Stage 4 – Maturity 
When your business has reached maturity, it should be relatively stable. You have adequate staff and financial resources. The focus of your business is now on retention and long-term success. 
The common challenge in this stage is staving off stagnation and complacency which could lead to a decline.

What to do Differently

If you feel like your business is “stuck” in one of the four stages or you are struggling to overcome a challenge that is keeping you from growing, it’s time to do things differently. Here are some solutions – changes to make and things to do differently – to help your business progress and move onto the next stage of growth. 

Moving from stage 1 to 2

  • Refine your offering and business model. 
  • Understand your competition and know how to differentiate 
  • Get organized (implement systems in key functional areas).

Moving from stage 2 to 3: 

  • Build and document scalable processes. 
  • Build a deeper bench of specialized talent. 
  • Delegate management and create accountability. 
  • Take a proactive approach to generating revenues.

Moving from stage 3 to 4

  • Prioritize talent management. 
  • Develop long term strategy. 
  • Focus on company culture. 
  • Give back to the community. 
  • Reduce risks. 
  • Encourage innovation. 

Even after you’ve reached maturity, that doesn’t mean you’re done. The process doesn’t end here. It will remain crucial to make sure you have effective management in place and that your sales team and the rest of the business is performing at it’s highest potential. If your business stagnates or begins to decline, identify the problem, determine what needs to be done differently, and create innovative solutions.

How to Set the Stage

So how do you do things differently? You, as the business leader, set the stage. You create a growth culture, share your plan with your team, include your team in the plan’s execution, and invest in resources to help you get to the next stage.

As Fractional VPs of Sales, we help all of our clients grow – and we’d love to help you. Contact us today.