The Start-Up Phase
If you’re in the Start-Up Phase…
96% of all businesses that exist in America are in the Start-up Phase. For most businesses that don’t have outside funding, the start-up phase starts at inception lasts for 3 – 10 years!
Key areas you should focus on as you get started
n the start-up phase, the business owner’s primary role is to sell and deliver services to clients.
Articles created to help you through the Start-Up Phase
In the start-up phase, the business owner’s primary role is to sell and deliver services to clients, and as you find success, build a team around you. You’re learning the fundamentals so you can do them well later.
- Generating leads without feeling slimy.
- The “easy way” to sell creative services
- Sales is a mystery!
- How to specialize your agency
- Why is my business growth stuck?
- How to avoid burnout as an agency founder
How to “graduate” from the Start-Up Phase
To graduate from the start-up phase, you have to:
- First, the business must build its basic systems and processes.
- Second, the business must find its product-market fit.
Key characteristics of businesses in the start-up phase
- They are largely driven by the founder’s vision, direction, energy, and effort.
- The primary role of the employees is to support the business owner. They are hired to do tasks and perform roles delegated by the business owner.
- The primary challenge that the start-up business is fighting to overcome is viability. For at least the first 3 – 5 years there’s a question in the business owner’s mind about, “Will we make it? Can we survive?
How to “graduate” from the start-up phase
You must achieve two primary developmental tasks
First, the business must build its basic systems and processes.
A start-up business must create a process for everything! This consumes a lot of effort and energy. The faster that those processes get established the more focus the business owner can give to other tasks.
Second, the business must find its product-market fit.
When they start a business, the owner sells whatever someone wants to buy! Viability is the core challenge. But in order to grow the business, the owner learns that selling different things to different customers means that we don’t get good at anything.
In order to grow, the business has to find one core customer, develop messaging that attracts clients with a specific set of needs, and shape a core service offering that meets those needs.
When you find that product-market fit, lead generation becomes much easier, your selling process becomes more consistent (making it possible to delegate some of it), and your projects become more profitable and consistent too.
In the start-up phase, the business owner’s primary role is to sell and deliver services to clients. This role means that if the owner stops working the business stops working, or at least slows significantly. This starts to change in the growth phase. Learn more about the Growth Phase.
Learn more about
The Start-up Phase
Get a full PDF with a detailed description of the Start-up Phase, including the most important things to focus on as you transition into the Growth Phase.