Where are you at in your business lifecycle or do you even know? Knowing where your business stands will help you predict problems that are natural to each stage. Just as diapers are a typical problem for a toddler, business development can be a challenge from infancy to the young adult business lifecycle. Each business lifecycle is a transition to a new phase where you will encounter new problems & issues. The key to minimizing stress, get formal business training, & optimize growth to be prepared.
There are ten stages of a business as per my Tony Robbins Business Mastery training.
Birth – The most uncertain and exciting stage. This is where you take the most risk and bet against the odds. Statistics show 96% of businesses will fail within the first 10 years and only 40% of businesses are profitable. 30% are losing money & don’t even know about it.
Infancy– You trying to survive, cash flow is extremely important at this stage. You are running most of the operations, doing protection details, marketing, etc. As you start valuing your time differently, it is most likely you will hire your first full-time employee to assist.
Toddler– You are the still the core person that making key decisions. The business starts to walk and talk on its own. You might still experience some cash flow instability. You are being reactive and managing by crisis, plugging holes in the areas where you are weak in.
Teenager– You begin to grow. The crises are created by the lack of management business skills. Cash flow is less of a problem. You build a website but have no SEO. You become over confident. You start developing a team to manage the business. More means better. Focus on getting some business skills vs a handgun class.
Young Adult– You start to settle down and get serious. You make better-committed choices. You start to focus more on business systems. You have a re-birth of your identity and what services you offer. You start looking at long-term goals and success. You need to get out of doing protection details and trust your team to do them. Invest on your business skills & training.
Zone of Maturity & Maximization– You begin to reap the rewards of you company. You develop a system of business management. You start becoming a business owner instead of an operator. You are no longer working daily protection details. This is when you have a full management team in place. An HR Director, Vice President’s of operations, accounting, business development, a marketing team, in-house training of your own and outside security. At this stage, you are developing ways to serve your clients with better service. Sales and profit are growing. You have more than the average 5% of growth in the security industry. Your gross margins and net profit are excellent. You have SEO/social media & formal marketing plan. This is the time to have an exit strategy and possible sell not when it starts going downhill or the next life cycle.
Mid-Life Evaluation– Things begin to start breaking down. You need to innovate. Sometimes you are unaware this is going on because you are in denial believing the maximization stage will last forever. The lack of business skills starts to show as things deteriorate. Small operational & business details go unmanaged. You need to assess and evaluate if you can rejuvenate the company or sell it. New gross revenues are slow. Sell before you get to this stage!
Aging– State of denial. You begin to blame or attack others in your business. The talented employees begin to leave. You identify yourself as the victim. The business breakdown accelerates. You don’t hire high-paid business educated employees with a business experience. Growth is stagnant or non-existent. If you sell you will not get the price you think it is worth. What your ego thinks it is worth vs sound business valuation is totally different.
Institutionalization– Your business is barely alive. No innovation. You are coasting on what you think you used to be. Your brand has been deteriorating and you are completely oblivious to the current state of the business. You are running high personal expenses through the business. Credit card debt is starting to mount to pay bills. You are losing client/customers.
Death– No one supports you. You cannot sell your business to anyone. Your old vision is no longer sustainable. You just took your business to the grave.