We identify Seven Stages that seem to apply all businesses. See what you think. Which stage is your business? What’s the ONE THING you need to do NOW to get to the next stage? Sure, there’s probably a number of things you could do, but what is the one thing you will do to move ahead?
1 Concept & Start-Up
Business Owners pour time & ideas into creating a new business & getting it off the ground via outside funds. “THIS IS FUN!”
Survival is everything; funds from “outside the business” drying up. Need to generate funds by urgently driving sales. “We burn a lot of fuel on take-off.” “I DIDN’T THINK IT WOULD BE THIS HARD!”
FINDING CUSTOMERS DOMINATES
Business regularly breaking even. Business totally dependent on Business Owners for all functions. “I’M BREAKING EVEN – WONDERFUL!”
4 Stability (& Growth) by Hands-On
Business thriving; sales expanding. Business Owners – “hands-on” managers. Quiet desperation sets in. “MY BUSINESS OWNS ME!” CRAFTPERSON DOMINATES
5 Stability (& Growth) by Walking Around
Sales continue to expand rapidly and organization expands dramatically.
Owners operate on a basis of “management by walking around.” “I CAN TAKE VACATION, BUT STILL TIED TO MY BUSINESS.”
ASSEMBLY PROCESSES DOMINATE
6 False Maturity – Mgt. In Place
Full-time management in place.
Business is thriving and only needs for the owners to give it vision and guidance. “I GOT PEOPLE IN PLACE – I’M GOING FISHING!”
MANAGEMENT THROUGH OTHERS
7 Maturity – Mgt. in Charge
Business is thriving and only needs for the owners to give it vision. To complete “succession”, owners need to pass vision torch to a successor. “MY PEOPLE KNOW EXACTLY WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO IT. I’M FREE TO ENJOY THE LIFESTYLE I’VE CREATED FOR MYSELF AND MY FAMILY!”
OTHERS DO THE MANAGING
KEY – The business will have high sale value because it doesn’t depend on you to run it. Succession is a reality.
Stage four is the most dangerous stage. It’s the first stage where you can have some minimum life. The urge to escape any future risk to get to the next stage keeps us on the treadmill for years if not decades. But stopping at this stage ensures you bought a job, not a company
Moving from one stage to the next is like climbing a cliff. You have to take some measured risk, get back on the cliff face, and climb to the next stage. The only reason it takes decades to get to Stage Seven is because we spend years at each stage before we get fed up enough to take a small risk, put out some extra effort, and get to the next level.
Stage Six is the second most dangerous stage. You’re so close to having a business that will run itself that you convince yourself you’ve already got one. If you go off and “play” at this stage, you will come back to a business that will have slipped back a few stages. Focus for just a little bit longer, and make sure someone else is giving day-to-day GUIDANCE to the business, and all you have to do is give it VISION.
If you have that person or persons in place, you’re at Stage Seven.
Congratulations – take the next month off with pay. They won’t miss you!