Growth is a part of business. If your business is not growing, chances are it is declining.
There are four stages of business growth. Survival, Stationary, Scaleable, and Saleable.
Survival Stage – Planting the seed and setting roots
When you’re in Survival, you are scrambling. Scrambling to obtain clients and deliver goods/services. Chances are you’re in firefighter mode and feel like you have way too many balls in the air.
This beginning stage is where you’re figuring things out and the further you get in this stage, the more you (the business owner) start to become the bottleneck in your business.
You’re too busy taking care of everything that you have no time to envision anything bigger. You want to have a team, but training them just takes away from getting the job done…it’s a Catch 22. Nothing will change until you’re willing to sacrifice something today (time/money) in order to gain the freedom of tomorrow.
Stationary Stage – Growing with the flow
When you’re Stationary, things are going along as expected. You have a team that is doing their job, but nothing extraordinary is happening. Life and business are in a rut…it’s not a bad rut, but it is a rut nonetheless.
This may be an acceptable place to be, but chances are you may be getting bored with what you’re doing and there is no real creativity in your business anymore. It’s all just flowing and there’s no real excitement, no projects that wake you up at 4 am because you’re so excited to get started on them.
This is a deceptive stage because, even though you feel like things are going well, the truth is your business is stagnating. And stagnation leads to falling behind and becoming out of touch with your customer base. It’s a slow, comfortable road to the death of your business.
Scaleable Stage – Active Growth and Innovation
At this stage, things are happening! The team is jiving, new products are being created, customers are flocking to you, and the creative entrepreneur juices are flowing!
This is an exciting time for a business. You, as the business owner, are starting to see your baby take off and become its own entity.
There may be some tough times, but your team is cohesive and they pull together to make stuff happen for the best.
You are able to create a bigger vision for the business because you have the time and space to dream. You even have the freedom to walk away for a week or two (maybe even a month) because you are no longer involved in the day-to-day running of your business. You have become the captain of the ship and you have a seasoned crew ensuring you get to your destination.
Saleable Stage -The possibility of new adventures
When your business is running automagically and your team is a well-oiled machine, you have reached this stage. The stage where you can fully walk away for months at a time if you wish, where when you show up to work, it becomes a distraction to the team. You’re still the captain, but your crew is SO competent and your systems are on point that you could step back, let it go, and start thinking of new, exciting adventures for yourself. Like maybe a NEW business, taking an art sabbatical, or retiring.
Being in the Saleable stage doesn’t mean that you will sell your business…just that you COULD sell it if you wanted.
The Growth Path
But how does one go from one stage of business to another? There are many factors that go into business growth: clear vision and goals, competence in marketing and finance, and a solid structure with solid systems.
Vision and goals drive the business. They are the heart and soul, the first thing to develop.
Marketing and finance keep the business moving. They are the lifeblood that circulates the ideas into creation.
But the structure and systems are what makes everything work together. They are the skeleton that everything else attaches to. Without them, your business is just a mass of ideas floating around.
If you’re ready to start creating your systems but don’t know where to start, download the First step to Cloning Yourself to find out.