Are you interested in business growth? Well, that is why you are reading this article. Read on.
Someone asked a very funny question on Quora recently. The question reads “What business can I start with 1.5 million naira and start making money on a daily basis without stressing myself?” For the benefit of my readers from outside of Nigeria, 1.5 million naira is just about $4,100! There are 5 business growth stages a business must go through whether it starts with 1.5 million naira or 15 million naira.
Anyone who is looking for a business to start with just 1.5 million naira without having to “stress themself” daily will likely end up
- wasting the money or
- losing it to fraudsters or
- losing it to people who claim to know about business and actually do not.
I said that because of the business growth stages or phases a business must go through before it can become so established to the point that the founder can start running it without having to put in the daily effort.
The business growth stages include;
1. Infancy stage
At the infancy stage, the business needs you – the visioner. So no matter how much money you have spent in starting the business, your input is needed on a daily basis to make the business work. As a result of this, you will need to attend all meetings, speak with vendors, interview people while putting a great team together. You will need to ensure everything is running smoothly.
If you are not on the ground as you should, the business may fail at this stage because a lot depends on you. This is why most investors won’t put their money in your startup unless you assure them that you will be present to run it beyond this stage.
2. Adolescent stage.
At this stage, the business has taken form and shape. You have assembled a team that can run the business without your daily input. At this stage, other people can run the business with little supervision from you. At this stage, customers have been able to get some level of confidence in the business. This is mostly as a result of the fact that you are steering the business in the direction of the vision that inspired you to start it in the first place. Most businesses grow fastest at this stage of their life cycle. At this phase, the founders are taking risks and getting away with them. Profitability is very high at this stage. Plans are executed quickly and swiftly. At the adolescent stage of the business, the founder can take vacations. but they will need to call to check our things are going. These checks are very important in order to avoid decisions that can land the business on its face.
At the adulthood stage, the business has not only taken form and shape it has also metamorphosed into a structured organization. Decisions are not made based on the emotions of the founder but based on laid down business processes. At this stage, the founder can “take a walk” for up to 6 months to 1 year without the business collapsing. At this point, there is probably a governing council looking into things on behalf or alongside the founder. The governing council can either be a board of directors or an advisory board. The founder of the business can step aside for someone else to run the business when a business attains adulthood. This is also a very critical stage of the business. Things can be taken for granted. If this begins to happen, the business can start experiencing a decline especially if there are new entrants (competition) in the industry that the business is operating in. This is the stage in which the governing council must be bold enough to look for dynamic young people who have the entrepreneurial spirit to steer the business to the next level.
4. Re-invention stage
Businesses that exist over many decades are those that have been able to go through the stage and process of reinvention. A business does not necessarily have to be 10 years old or 15 years old as the case may be before it gets to its adulthood and to the stage of reinvention. But any business that has existed and thrived for more than 2 decades has gone through innovation induced evolution. As a matter of fact, there are businesses that get to adulthood within a year, 2 years, and so on depending on the pace, experience, and the resources that are available to the founder. Business growth is certain if business leaders make reinvention a culture in their organizations.
When adulthood sets in, death comes in view. Businesses that refuse to reinvent themselves must prepare to die. Signs of a dying business are;
a. Drastic sales decline,
b. Terribly low returns on investments,
c. Mass customers migration to better competition,
d. Valuable manpower jumping ship.
This happened to all the newspaper giants that refused to reinvent themselves when they could. Thankfully, any business can be saved from dying as long as its products/services are still relevant.
So, do not look for a business you can quickly invest in and make quick money without putting in hard work. Just like humans, businesses take time to grow. I know this, not just as a business trainer but as an experienced businessman.
Do you have a dying business? Let us talk. Join me on my Business Growth Group on WhatsApp via this link – https://chat.whatsapp.com/FzMktBP6HZRJm5icwTmf5O .
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