The initial few years of a newly launched business are considered crucial; once your organization survived the beginning years, the venture’s objective shifted to long-term growth. However, to ensure a thriving business, you should focus on business growth from the beginning, and it should adhere throughout your business lifecycle.
Small business owners undertake and implement growth strategies throughout the stage; however, you should consider that establishing a successful business is a pipe dream. Business often generates from an idea and gradually turns into action, and from there, the implementation of strategies to boost business growth comes into play.
However, there are many different stages of small business success. Classifying the business growth into the following steps can help you assess each growth stage’s challenges and opportunities. Let’s roll through the seven stages of small business growth:
Solopreneur: The One-Man-Business
This stage of evolution is the early stage of a newly formed business; at this stage, many entrepreneurs try to do all the activities and actions by themselves, so they are termed, solopreneurs. The entrepreneur takes sales, marketing, accounting, social media, and many associated activities to propel business growth. In determining the success of a solopreneur, time plays a crucial role. Based on your time management skills, it can be your greatest asset or your drawback; this stage is about time management and productivity. Usually, work stress is high here, and it is an important stage of business growth. Ensure to focus on effective time management and adopt time management strategies to attain success to enrich your business to the next level beyond this point.
Partnership: The Associate
When you need more hands as your business grows, and if you are looking forward to expanding your services, you bring a team player to the scenes. Choose a partner that can complement the service you’re already offering, whose strengths, weaknesses align with yours. Furthermore, a solopreneur can grow into a partnership if another individual shares the same passion and has complementary skills. The partners usually have a fair share of the business owner or agree upon a split. The primary factor that ensures growth here is how your work aligns and how well you are selling your product; you have to share and stand upon the responsibilities and focus on sales to drive revenue. Without a sales-driven effort to establish a successful partnership, business is challenging.
Stable Business Operation
At this stage, your business eventually grows, and you are leveraging a steady yearly revenue. With your business ultimately, your number of employees increases 4 to 10, your annual sales in this stage are between $300,000 to $1 million. Focus on highly targeted impactful marketing; in that stage, you can’t afford to invest revenue on marketing that does not bring any additional business. Besides concentrating on marketing for revenue growth, you also have to care for your existing customer base. Ensure ramping up your customer service, and value your current customer base. It encourages customer loyalty resulting in retaining new clients. Also, try to create your brand awareness in this stage. Reaching a broader target market helps you engage with more people and the probability of transforming them into qualified leads increases.
Business Success Story
In this stage of business, you already are a known business locally, and the revenue you make is around $1 million to $5 million annually. Your employee grows to 11 to 25 employees. The targeted marketing efforts you have focused on during the steady operation stage propelled your overall growth. The most crucial step here is to set your vision and goals, ensuring a better future for your company. The most important fact here is that setting goals are essential as you already let others manage different aspects of the business. Business vision streamlines your workflow and sets a direction for your workforce. Locally people are already aware of your business, and now your challenge is to be a top performer in your industry.
The business has grown to a level where your organization has 26-100 employees; the company will bring you $5 million to $20 million yearly revenue. You should ensure at this stage that your organization’s vision is maintained, even if there are growing complexities. You can achieve that vital parameter by instilling a solid company culture and setting core values for your workforce. There should be a work environment of mutual respect among your employees irrespective of their position where company vision is maintained and grows. Furthermore, it would help if you also focused on hiring key performers and putting them in ranks to help attain your vision. Your workforce team should include a dedicated sales team, marketing team, IT team, accounting team, and any other crucial team for your business.
Major Industry Player
In the company’s mature stage, you now have more than 100 employees, and your venture is accumulating around $20 million to $40 million. This stage of business growth concentrates on strategic planning and tracking the effectiveness of those strategies. If you are not receiving the desired outcome, re-assess the efforts and move forward, ensuring that your growth is not stagnant. An amalgamation of a focused strategy with your solid company culture boosts you to the next level of your business game as a significant player. At this stage, tweak your design repeatedly to shape them around your vision.
One of the most challenging stages of small business success is the corporation. Your vision reached the highest level; you now are an industry standard. With 201 to 500 employees, you earn $40 million to $100 million. Note that at this point, the corporation may or may not be under your sole authority and control. High-level leadership is required at this stage and choosing the right leader ensures that your business vision is maintained. The leadership team directly reports to you.
Success has a diverse definition. However, you need to acquire an organized workflow at each stage of business growth, and time management plays an essential role here. Opt for strategic market plans to boost your business and ensure a business plan, company objectives, business planning initiatives at the growth stages. Always focus on long-term goals and customer retention to achieve your business vision.