When you’re deep in the day-to-day of your own business, you might be surprised to find that most B2B service businesses follow the same “lifecycle.” Including yours!
Recognizing this is the first step toward reaching your next level of success. Because it means you can follow a blueprint of what other business owners before you have done to find their fortune.
It begins with pinpointing exactly where your business is currently in the lifecycle of a business. In other words, what stage of growth your business is in.
What are the stages of growth?
There are four stages of growth that every business falls into:
- 1. Startup Phase
- 2. Growth Phase
- 3. Stabilization Phase
- 4. Expansion Phase
I’ll get into the details of each stage later, but for now, what you should know is that the steps are chronological. Your business begins in the Startup Phase and “graduates” to each phase after that as it grows and changes over time.
Why knowing your stage of growth is crucial for success
One of the most important things you must do is examine your business and decide which stage of growth it currently falls into. Knowing your stage of growth is the only way you’ll be able to make effective plans for growth and long-term success.
You get clarity on your priorities
I’d guess that you’ve gotten a lot of advice about what to focus on in your business. (A good chunk of it probably unsolicited.)
With all the information floating out there, it’s challenging to know which advice makes sense for your business at this time.
For example, for businesses in the Startup Phase, many business owners get caught up in the marketing hype about SEO or landing speaking gigs or trying out Facebook advertising.
In the meantime, they neglect the thing that they should be laser-focused on product-market fit. Without product-market fit, no amount of marketing will lead to success for startups.
Companies in each stage of growth experience a similar dilemma: How do you know what your priority should be?
Once you know definitively which stage of growth you’re in, the answer is much clearer. You can block out the noise and zero in on the thing that will matter the most.
What worked in the past will hinder you once you’ve outgrown it
A while back, I worked with a marketing agency that got stuck in the $700,000-$800,000/year range—they couldn’t seem to bust through to become a million-dollar company.
Once we determined the agency’s stage of growth to be in the Growth Phase, I immediately spotted the problem. The agency was still running like it was a startup, even though they were now trying to grow.
They were offerings a vast menu of services and saying yes to every opportunity. That meant they had to employ lots of staff, had messy processes, and never truly mastered any one service.
This “yes-to-everything” mindset can work for you in the Startup Phase but holds you back in the Growth Phase.
I helped them simplify their services, charge a higher price for those services, and make their processes repeatable. The result? Their growth exploded well beyond that million-dollar benchmark.
Can you be objective about your stage of growth on your own?
The most challenging part of identifying your stage of growth is to see your business objectively.
That’s why I created the Business Growth Assessment. It’s a short quiz that reveals what stage of growth your business is in and offers specific recommendations for how to thrive in your growth stage.
You’ll even get a PDF that explores each stage of growth in-depth so that you can see where your business is heading.