Every business began with just one idea before it blossomed into a project plan and then a full-blown business. However, even after that, it keeps going through several stages or a repeatable process of growth. If you’re looking at starting up a business, it’s best to know that one of the critical features of a company is its stage-dependent growth pattern. Most businesses grow like children, gradually and in phases. So, if you happen to start a business and you’re struggling in the first few months, don’t get discouraged. With the right tools, there’s still hope for you to increase profits as time goes on. You can take a look at these four stages of business growth below to stay adequately informed.
Every large or small business has to go through the start-up stage before it grows into a thriving business. The start-up stage is usually the most exciting, yet it can be the most delicate, especially if you don’t have a basic plan. Starting and managing a business is almost like starting a project, complete with a project manager and project team. Whether you’re a team member in this scenario or one of the task managers, you need all the help you can get. Thanks to the digital market space, there’s an easy way to manage your business according to customer demand. With the use of a project management tool, you can make your work easier.
Most product managers and team managers underestimate the usefulness of a marketing project management solution because they feel like it’s unnecessary. This couldn’t be further from the truth. A proper project management software can help with workflow optimization, data analysis, file sharing, tracking project processes, and your project budget. It can also help you manage your workload and save you a lot of time.
At this stage, you and your customers will be able to define your business model properly. You’ll also be able to apply custom pricing on each product and professional service. Another thing that should improve at this stage is your budget management. Your budget should be slightly more or less than other businesses in your niche. This way, there’s some healthy competition.
The growth stage can also be very promising since things are stabilizing a bit more with increasing profits. It’s best to focus your attention and energy on internal issues such as building teamwork and team collaboration, employing higher-level staff like a chief operating officer, account managers, human resource management staff, etc. A good example of a business that went through a steady growth phase is Alamos Gold. With John A. McCluskey as its CEO, this mining business went from assets worth $620 million to $1.4 billion in just three years. It now has branches in both North America and Northern Ontario.
At the maturity stage, you should be observing at least a 5 percent growth annually with staff that has grown with the company for up to 10 years. There should be a solid free cash flow at this point and more stability compared to other stages. What’s more, your shareholders might be able to start some dividend reinvestment plans.
A mature business may not necessarily be a multibillion-dollar franchise, but the keywords here are stability and profit. There will be more project dependencies but also more experienced and able hands to handle the workflow. Since the company is on a somewhat steady profit margin at this point, there’s more flexibility in terms of creative work.
4. Decline or Renewal
If you’ve observed a slight decline in profits, this may signify that your business has entered the decline stage. It’s important to note that a decline is hardly the fault of the staff or brand management. It’s usually circumstantial and brought about by changing times. As we all know, change is constant and can’t be stopped, so the best way for the company to function is to adjust to these changes.