No matter what your business does, businesses have similar characteristics at different stages. If you are the restraint, the way to escape from holding the business back, is to recognise which of your actions are restraining the business, then commit to doing something about it.
Business Doctors have identified 4 common stages:
Start-up – the survival stage. Turning your “work” into a business.
After the business comes into existence, the focus is to get some customers and grow the customer base. Marketing takes up all your time and if the cash does not run out then your business will start to grow. The growth is likely to be responsive to what occurs and will probably lack structure. Many businesses get to this stage and the owner continues to just “get by”, but their main concern remains, “where is my next customer coming from?”
After a couple of years trading you can either continue to just “get by” forever or invest in some organisation and structure to turn your “work” in to a “business”.
Lifestyle – it’s all about you and your motives.
This is a great place to be, the business provides you with a nice income, you can choose your customers and the team you have assembled around you make it an enjoyable place to work. An issue with this is that you can become the “hub” of the business, and you are important person. However, you notice that you cannot take extended holidays as when you are not there, the business slows down. We call this the “owners trap”. So, you can either remain trapped in your business or set about introducing a proper management team who report to you.
Scalable with repeatable growth cycles
95% of businesses in the UK are less than 10 people. This is because people find letting go and scaling up to be too much of a step. Scaling up the business and making it so the business is not reliant upon you, will give you the freedom to choose what you want to do. However, to scale up efficiently, businesses need to have effective management teams in place. Managing several management teams at different stages of growth, is rarely performed well by the founders. They will struggle and will cry out for the days when they were the “hub”.
Exit the business through a sale or passing it on.
Business owners cannot stop the ageing process and as much as some would like to continue forever, the length of time people now live, makes this an unrealistic expectation. The body and mind slow down and at some stage you should take a back seat or exit. The transition, to not being the driving force of the business is a big step. Business owners who don’t make provision for the introduction of fresh blood will inevitably cause their business to not keep up and decline with them as the aging process takes hold.
If you would like support to move your business to the next level or exit your business, please request a no-obligation “health check” to discuss what assistance you need. http://ow.ly/H4rc30jfQIu