Success doesn’t come overnight. You can’t just start a business with an idea and wait for it to grow on its own. If you have laid the foundation of a business, then it has to be nurtured very carefully.
A business’s development goes through various phases facing difficulties and challenges. Today’s challenge might be different from yesterday’s, so you have to be prepared for it.
If you thoroughly research before starting a business, you will find seven initial and aftermost stages of business growth. You don’t know what exactly is coming for you, but at least you can anticipate the upcoming challenges you will face.
What Are The Stages Of Business Growth?
Here, I have listed the seven stages of business growth. Every stage might not be as challenging as the previous one. It can be more like an opportunity that can be seized in your favor to scale your business. Study all the stages and key insights within it carefully. It will surely help you build your business from scratch.
1. Seed Stage
The Seed Stage belongs to the idea that you are going to apply before starting your business journey. You can’t just think of a business and start right away. It takes more than just having an idea. You have to spend weeks doing the research and putting all the pieces together to know how you can start with innovations.
If you want to start a business in a partnership or sole proprietorship, you must find answers to these questions:
- What is the market need?
- Does your idea offer any solution to the market need?
- Will you get value for your solution?
- Does the value give you any profit?
- Is your idea enough for a sustainable business?
- How to find a proper business structure that helps you achieve your goals?
You can use your business idea as a blueprint that will help you remember if you’re missing anything. Once you have done the market research and gathered all the resources for your niche, you are ready to start.
Since this is an early stage of the business cycle with no sales or customers, the funding relies upon you, your family, and your friends. Once you get stability, you will have other potential resources such as suppliers, government grants, and customers, but it is a long way to go.
2. Start-Up Stage
The Start-up Stage is considered the official start of your business career. It comes after you convince yourself that your idea is profitable and worth following. You will have all the resources to take off your business at this stage. You have an office, the business is registered, the products are developed, and the operations have begun.
The Start-up stage is all about following the structure you have built for your business idea. During this stage, you can test models to determine how it works. You can develop a healthy conversation network with your customers. Ask for feedback and reviews from your customers. In this stage, your business mentor can also guide you. If any adjustments are required, you can do that at this point so you can meet customer expectations.
This is still a hectic stage. However, you don’t carry economic risks since you have already secured enough funding to face this phase. But, you are yet to maintain a market presence since you haven’t established a customer base.
3. Growth Stage
The Growth Stage is more like a survival stage for small businesses. If small businesses or organizations fail to survive this stage, they eventually quit or are struggling to keep from falling apart. At this point, you might run out of initial funding or feel the tension of loss.
However, the situation is feasible to adapt. All you have to do is keep the faith, and you must not stop at this point. You can also seek professional advice from experts on:
- How to establish USP (Unique Selling Proposition)?
- How to keep up with clients?
- Business growth strategies
- Key points for stability
- Maintaining profit
Poor staffing, communication gap, or lack of staff management can also cost your business. So make sure to hire trained staff and maintain a cordial relationship with them. Once you get past this stage, you will see growth and stability in your business.
You can also expand your funding resources from partnerships, government grants, or bank leases.
4. Established Stage
The Established Stage is a steady phase where you will have gradual growth, but eventually, it is enough to get out of the survival stage. At this point, your business is stabilized since you have secured enough clients. You might start getting your predicted profit.
Your internal processes will also start to steady, and you can count on your management staff. However, the challenges can be harder to move to the next phase. But some businesses stop at this point because all the business operations can be managed without facing challenges.
There’s nothing wrong with it if you are not ambitious. But if your business mindset is innovative, you will make yourself face further challenges and adapt to modern technologies. You will also face heavy competition. But you have to focus on your vision without being swayed by the competition.
Money resources won’t be a problem since you have a stable revenue stream. You can also find investors if they believe in your vision.
5. Expansion Stage
If you have effectively implemented all the Growth and Established Stages interventions, then congrats, you just entered the Expansion Stage. This phase involves accelerating the steady setup. To experience the full potential of this stage, you must expand your business to larger markets and new distribution channels. This way, you can find new revenue and profit streams.
Introducing your business to new marketplaces requires lots of planning and research. Doing business in an irrelevant market can create unavoidable circumstances. Instead, research the market thoroughly and under your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.
You may have to hire a more qualified workforce in order to run your business on solid ground. Promote your business and find better ways to retain your existing customers so you can scale your business to another level. At this growth scale, uncertainty lies around you, so try not to put too much pressure on your assets.
Entering the Expansion Stage requires you to be financially stable. You join ventures and find new investors to fund your business for this bigger stage.
6. Maturity Stage
After spending a decent time within the Expansion Stage, at a certain point, you might need some drastic changes in the business since it is overgrowing. This evolutionary stage is known as the Maturity Stage. You must have implemented revolutionary growth strategies for your business to reach this stage. It is a long road from the beginning and might take years to reach.
At this point, your business must be dominating its presence in the market. If your growth level is reaching its peak, you may have to branch out your business to different locations or might need to acquire a new company so you can get help in some areas. The business has been consistent the whole time, but after reaching the maturity stage, it is necessary to keep adapting to the new changes to remain balanced.
You can launch new products or discover new opportunities to create new revenue streams. Tailor your business with innovative technology to remain on the top.
7. Exit Stage
Exit Stage is straight as it seems. At some point, you will feel you have achieved everything you thought, and it’s time to move on. You can pass your legacy to a family member, trustworthy team member, or simply retire. Some people use the exit stage early when they fail to adapt to the drastic changes in the mature stage.
Business owners also sell or shut down their businesses due to financial loss or psychological pressure. Though, I won’t recommend you to think about this stage now.
Conclusion: Stages of Business Growth (2022)
You can’t put two businesses on the same page. Whether it’s facing difficulties or finding resources, their entrepreneurial journey somehow differs from each other. The seven stages of growth are just the general path most businesses follow.
This is also not a chronological order because some businesses might enter the exit stage due to some reasons. Some small businesses also choose to stay in the established stage to avoid more significant challenges.
Whether your business is thriving or falling apart, it totally depends on adapting to the upcoming challenges and variable life cycles. If you are focused and believe in your vision, you can easily overcome these challenges to make your business sustainable.