In the last issue of this newsletter, we discussed the three key roles that need to be filled to create a successful business. They are the Technician, the Manager, and the Entrepreneur. The business owner may have to fill all three roles during the early stages of a company.
Today let’s talk about the life cycle of a business and how you can get the most out of each stage of the cycle of your business.
Just like a person, every business goes through the same four basic life stages:
· Growing Pains
We’ll talk a little about what each of these cycles means and how they can each help expand your business’ lifespan.
This is generally considered the technician’s phase. At this point, the relationship between the business and the owner is like the relationship between a parent and a new baby. There is an impenetrable bond that is necessary to lay the path your business will follow.
As the technician/owner/parent, you know that your business must grow so that it can flourish. But you cannot stay in this stage forever.
In the adolescent stage, you need to start bringing your support staff together, and start delegating the work to allow growth to happen. The first line of defense is often a technical person who brings the much-needed technical experience. That frees up time for the owner/manager to work ON the business (rather than IN the business). The manager focuses on building and refining the plan.
There’s a point in every new company when business explodes and becomes chaotic. This is called growing pains. It’s a good problem to have, but a problem, nonetheless. As the owner, you are often faced with some serious choices. You can:
· avoid growth and stay small
· go broke
· push forward into the next cycle
The last cycle is maturity. (Hint – This doesn’t mean the end of your business.)
Your passion for growth must continue so that your business can succeed. You need to keep an entrepreneurial perspective and push your business forward.
Now you can see how these four stages are connected. Each stage depends on a strong foundation to build upon and continue to be successful. All three of your key roles must also work together to work through these cycles.
If you’re having trouble putting together your business life cycles and figuring out which of the key roles you fit into, you might want to seek out a mentor or business coach to help guide you through these natural, and somewhat predicable, phases in the life of a business.