How often do you find yourself comparing your business to others that you see in the online space?

Knowing the 4 stages of business growth and which one your company is in is crucial for making informed decisions about where to spend your time and money, how to market your product or service, who to network with, and when it’s time to expand.

In this video, we will walk you through each stage of business growth so that you can more easily identify where your business currently stands. We’ll also give you tips on how to move up to the next stage and achieve even greater success.

The show notes are below.

Are you in the early stages of your business? Or have you been around for a while and feeling like you’re stuck? Maybe you’re not sure what stage your business is in. Well, today, I’m going to help clear that up for you. I’m also going to share what each stage looks like and how to know if you’re in it. So this post is for you whether you’re just starting out or need a refresher! Let’s jump in.

When it comes to your business, knowing where you are is crucial information. Why? Because each stage has its own set of challenges and opportunities, knowing which one your business is in will help clarify what actions to take next.

In order to figure out which stage your business is in, let’s first take a look at the 4 phases of business growth:

 1) Start-Up (aka no clients or cash flow)

This is the phase where you bring your business idea into existence. You’re juggling everything and trying to squeeze in the tasks that will help to get you going. There are so many things to do that you can feel overwhelmed. You’re working hard, but you haven’t seen cash flow yet.

You’re creating many things at this stage, starting with your business structure. You will be doing research to define your target audience and message, which helps you to create a solid brand foundation.

The main action items for this stage…

  • Do your research on your ideal client – their biggest pain points and the transformation they want
  • Put your brand foundation together – these include your value statement, and social media presence, logo and possibly a website too
  • Outline your first offer and create your free offer (lead magnet)

The potential pitfalls of this stage…

  • Starting to market your business too soon
  • Getting very distracted by all the shiny objects out there
  • Not having a system to follow and feeling overwhelmed because there are a lot of things to take care of in this phase
  • Not having cash flow from another source so you can actually do the work that’s required to get everything set up without being stressed about lack of revenue

This is where a lot of coaches struggle…because they know they need to do everything but don’t know where to start first.

Steps forward:

Be very disciplined with your time because you have to be focused on getting everything done with the amount of time you really have. 

Invest in expert guidance to help you get this groundwork laid as quickly and as effectively as possible is your best way forward, so you don’t waste a ton of time trying to figure it all out by yourself, or worse, build a shaky foundation

2) SURVIVAL MODE

In this stage, I typically see coaches hustling hard…but not seeing the results or rewards they were hoping for. You’ve launched your offer or service but haven’t had much traction yet. Your clients may be the people you already know or a free workshop – it’s marketing hit or miss. You’re still doing everything yourself – social media

In survival mode, you need to take your business from [an expensive hobby] to a profitable business with regular clients and consistent income.

The main action items to focus on:

  • Test and choose the most strategic marketing strategies for YOUR particular business
  • Consistent lead generation. Build a sales funnel to take potential clients from unaware to you aware.
  • Set up tracking for lead generation (an important and often missed step)
  • Create your onboarding process for the best client outcomes

If things really aren’t working, it may also be a matter of going back and revising or refining your business foundation. For example, if your niche isn’t specific enough, or your messaging is off, and you’re not really connecting with your potential clients on an emotional level…then you’re going to have a disconnect

Your Potential pitfalls

  • Being unsure which marketing strategies are best for your business…and that can be paralyzing
  • When they’re in the middle of this stage, there can be a whole lot of exhausting hustle…and not enough consistent income…and that can be discouraging

If this sounds like you, then…

  • Make sure you’ve got your foundation set up right (take an honest look at your niche, your offerings, your pricing, your business model, etc)
  • Create a smart marketing framework for your business to get consistent client leads every month. You need a roadmap for how to find and enroll clients, how to market yourself without losing your mind, and a plan for how to move toward consistent monthly clients and income
  • Analyze results (are people booking discovery calls and not enrolling? Or are you not getting enough discovery calls? Or something else?)

3) Time to Systematize!

Your business still requires a lot of YOU in it, meaning you being visible, being present on social media, maybe doing live video, and doing seasonal launches that take a lot of hustle and effort. You are starting to see some success with consistent clients and profit in your business. In this stage, The more you can automate things, the better. The more you can create systems and processes, the better.

Putting systems and processes in place will help you move into an even more profitable business that truly gives you the lifestyle you desire. 

As your business grows, there will be more projects and activities that you will want to take care of. And it’s not about you doing it all yourself. It’s important to learn how to delegate, hire the right people, and manage them effectively.

If you just thought, but I can never hire someone. Know that giving up control can feel awkward at first but it’s so empowering. If the “I can never do that” came from a fear of what it will cost, know there are fantastic freelancers to hire, even on small budgets.

Main action items:

  • Review your tech stacks
  • Build more systematic FUNNELS to smooth out the bumps of seasonal launches.
  • Now that you’ve figured out what works, you need to put SYSTEMS in place to ensure consistent income & growth.

4) Grow and Scale

Stage 4 is when things get really interesting. You have hit certain income milestones, whatever those are for you, and you are ready to make an even bigger impact in the world.

  • Maybe you’ll scale up into group programs if you haven’t done that already.
  • Maybe it’ll be building a lot of leverage with courses or live events.
  • Maybe you’re going to scale by outsourcing to a team or outsourcing specific projects
  • As you continue to grow, you may need to hire another you so you can serve more people.

Whatever it is for you, this is also about you getting removed from the day-to-day stuff and moving into more of a CEO role 

The success factors of this stage…

  • It’s also about delegating tasks so you can stay free to think about where you want to go, where the business needs to go and make the right decisions for your company and get it to the next level. 
  • Continue to hire, and get really good at managing your team, whichever team members you are hiring and what makes sense for you
  • And it’s about taking those steps into scale and leverage, moving out of a 1:1 model and into a much more sustainable model with unlocked income potential and a much greater impact in the world

Which is a super exciting place to be.

Okay, so there you have it, the 4 stages of business growth. Let me just recap:

In the startup stage, when you’re just at the beginning, and you have to build everything from the ground up. Even though you need to move through this phase as quickly as you can so you can get on to the good stuff of making money and working more consistently with clients, you really do need to build a proper foundation. If you skip the foundation, you are setting yourself up for a big mess down the road or failure to launch, to be honest. 

The survival phase is when you’re starting to make money, where you feel like your hair is on fire because you’re doing everything. But it can be feast or famine without a solid foundation. Focus on the key action items and steer clear of shiny object syndrome. 

Time to Systematize! This is a great place to arrive at because this is when you need to get things set up so you can automate systems which give you more time to focus on income-producing activities. And finally, the Grow and Scale stage is when things get really fun, and your income level can start to take off, and you’re building out more leveraged income streams, scaling your offerings, and growing your team even more.

So, how do you know if your business is in the startup, survival or systematizing phase? The answer lies in the metrics you’re tracking and your actions. If you feel like you’re constantly putting out fires and working really hard with no end in sight, then you’re likely in the survival phase. But if you have a plan and are moving steadily towards your goals, congrats! You’ve made it to the systematize phase.

If you’re unsure where to start, don’t worry – I can help. Request a clarity call with me, and we can chat about your next best steps.

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