5 Business Growth Stages

Starbucks, Tesco, and Apple; what do they have in common? They all started as a small business idea. Every huge corporation in the world was once no more than the very beginning of a plan, probably scribbled on a napkin or typed into a phone. So, how did they get where they are? By growing.

There are set growth stages of a business that most companies follow. These take them from a tiny startup to – potentially – a household name. If you want to grow your business, get to know these stages and give your brand a head start.

Stage 1: Existence

In the first stage of business growth, your brand is like a tiny seed. You exist, but there’s not much going on yet. At this stage, you’ve got your main business plan nailed, but you might still be working on the smaller details. You’ll run into several hurdles in stage 1 that you’ll have to jump over, including:

  • How will we attract and retain our target customers?
  • Can we provide high-quality services/products?
  • Will our budget be able to meet our startup requirements?

At this stage, the founder of the business usually takes charge of most of the business activities. There aren’t many complex systems in place, and the main goal is simply to stay alive.

Stage 2: Survival

If you reach stage two, it means that you’ve established yourself as a workable entity. Now you face a new set of challenges as you grow your business, usually involving revenues and expenses, like:

  • Can we break even and cover emergency expenses?
  • Can we create enough cash flow to start to grow and earn a reasonable return?

A lot of companies stay in stage two for a long time, which isn’t ideal. However, unless you have the knowledge and means to move on, it can be challenging, leaving you in a sort of business limbo.

Stage 3: Success

Good news! If your business enters stage three, you’re officially starting to flourish as a brand and entering the profitable stages of business growth. While this is a lovely place to be, you do start to face a dilemma; do you stay comfortable with your profits for your company’s security, or do you try to expand?

Stage 4: Acceleration

If you decide to take the plunge and opt for further growth, you’ll enter stage four. Here, you’ll focus on rapid business growth. You’ll need to be capable of delegating tasks and sharing business responsibility, and you’ll need to find the funds to grow your brand. This usually means generating debt as you invest in your company, which you’ll pay off if your expansion is profitable.

Stage 5: Maturity

Maturity is the final stage of business growth. At this time, you’ll have to deal with the debts you incurred at stage four and navigate running a larger company without losing the benefits of a small business, like flexibility and innovation. Luckily, though, your systems, finances, and resources should be well organised by this point, so you can kick back and relax (kind of!).

Grow Your Business

The growth stages of a business might seem simple on paper, but actually moving from one stage to another is difficult. It takes a lot of know-how and experience, and it can be a pretty daunting challenge. This is where we come in. With the help of our growth coaches, you can learn the skills you need to help your brand thrive, no matter the industry you’re in. Take a look at our events and register to join in, giving you the knowledge you need to succeed.