The Five Stages of Business Growth

If you didn’t read Part I of this series entitled, “Do You Know What Phase Your Business is In?” then I’d encourage you to start there. Once you realize how critical knowing what phase or stage your business (or organization) is in, you’ll definitely want to continue reading the rest of this post (trust me, it’s critical).

Now, when I concluded my first post, I ended by saying that I’d write a series of posts outlining each of the five stages and their barriers, problems, challenges, and key skills required at each level.

However, as I thought about that, I realized that my approach to this subject was misguided. Why? Because all of us are afflicted with the same disease of WIIFM (What’s In It For Me). In other words, if you’re in Stage 3 (the Success Stage of $1M-$10M) you probably don’t care a lot about Stages 1, 2 and 5 (and maybe only a little bit about Stage 4). What you really care about is the stage you’re in (which means that at least three out of the five posts, you wouldn’t be that interested in).

Note: While I realize that there are some, like me, who simply like knowledge for the sake of knowledge—let’s be honest, that’s a very small number 🙂

So, I what I decided to do was to create a pdf document that has all five stages on it, in table form, so  you can have all the information you need in one place. How’s that for customer service 🙂

Click on the following link to download The Five Stages of Business Growth.

Now, knowing this information is helpful, but knowledge alone won’t transform any business, organization or individual. The key to transformation is always application.

In order to help you do that, here are a few ideas to help you apply the Five Stages of Business Growth to your business.

1. Identify the stage you’re in (based on revenue). Read through the information in your column.

2. Circle, underline or star anything that you know you need to work on (i.e. you need to master to get through your stage)

3. Read the stage BEFORE your stage

4. Circle, underline or star anything that you know you haven’t mastered yet (for example, if you’re in stage two and you haven’t created a predictable sales cycle (a stage one issue) then star that).

5. Read through the stage AFTER the stage you’re in

6. Circle, underline or star anything that you think you ought to master this year based on where you are now. Note: This is more important the closer you are to the next stage (i.e. if you’re at $1M (the starting position for Stage 3) Stage 4 issues aren’t very relevant. However if you’re at $8M, they are).

7. Go back through all your circles, underlines and stars and narrow down those issues to your top three to five issues that you think you need to work on over the next 12 months if you want to successfully pass through your current stage and be prepared for the next one.

Remember, if you focus on solving the problems of your current level (and the next level before you reach it), you’ll continue to grow at a much faster and accelerated rate than those who don’t.

To your accelerated success,

P.S. Make sure you show some Facebook “Like” love, tweet this post, and/or pass it around to others. In addition, if you have any comments, I’d love to hear them from you (including any changes you think might be helpful to improving this document). Hey, we’re all in this together.

P.P.S. The seven-step process outlined above is a great exercise for a staff team to engage in.

P.P.S.S. If you get overwhelmed by a lot of data, my encouragement to you would be to focus on the major barrier for each level. If you master those, you’ll be well on your way to the next level.