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The 5 Business Phases from Solopreneur to Enterprise

If your ultimate goal is to go from being the boss to being the leader, you’ll need to learn the mindset and skillset required to grow and scale your business. Because if you don’t, you will either create a costly hobby or a meager-paying job for yourself. Either one of these options is fine — if that’s what you want.

But, if you’re going to cause transformation, deliver massive impact, build financial abundance, create a legacy and fulfill your purpose and mission in this world in a big way, then you need a roadmap.

Your end game is to remove yourself from the day-to-day operations and build a self-managed company. Your role as the founder is to let go of the minutiae, strategize and build relationships to supercharge growth, and inspire your team to achieve greatness.

By replicating yourself so that you can devote your time exclusively to making a significant impact with your big picture vision and mission while adding in more playtime.

Here’s a roadmap for summarizing the entire process from solopreneur to enterprise in five phases.

Phase 1: Solopreneur

Your starting point; you run and rule everything in your business.

You are the business. You create, implement, project-manage, direct, coordinate, sell, and oversee every step in your company’s process. At this stage, you wear all the hats, all the time. You are the chief of everything in all the departments: sales, marketing, customer service, client fulfillment, finance, and administration.

Your primary focus at this stage is getting new business, finding new clients, and attracting new customers. As the success of your business and your livelihood rest on your shoulders, you are often burning the candle at both ends and are the chief hustling revenue generation officer. Sometimes you feel like you’ve created a job for yourself.

Phase 2: Boss

You’ve graduated from the survival stage to the growth stage.

Your business is off the ground, and you are ramping up. You recruit a bare-bones staff. You may have an assistant, a marketing coordinator, and a bookkeeper. You’ve started to delegate a few things, but you are still reviewing and approving everything that comes in and out of the company.

You feel like you have a genuine business, not just a job, and yet, you are often the main bottleneck to getting things done. You struggle to delegate and relinquish control of the day-to-day operations and frequently get pulled into the weeds of the minutiae. You are often emotionally drained of being pulled in all directions, but your passion and mission fuel you.

Phase 3: Business Owner

Your business has taken root, and you are creating leverage.

You build a lean team consisting of talented admin, finance, marketing, sales, customer service, and fulfillment employees. You are no longer the only person responsible for the sales function in the organization. In this phase, you clarify your big picture mission, lead team meetings and share your vision, and collaborate with your team to create systems and processes.

You are simultaneously building a company culture and developing its core values. In all likelihood, you still have your hand in most decisions. You continue to review everything and diving into the weeds to ‘fix things’ from time to time, causing churn and communication problems. You may start to see your team feeling frustrated and unmotivated. They make mistakes and don’t seem to take responsibility for their actions, which annoys you because you want your team to be more accountable and learn how to manage up.

It doesn’t have to stay this way; you are experiencing growing pains.

Phase 4: CEO

At this stage, you realize the need to start trusting others so you can remove yourself from the day-to-day tasks.

You recruit the best talent and or promote and train team managers to lead the divisions of your company. You are a leader causing other leaders and happily invest in their professional development.

You start to let go of reviewing and approving everything, empowering your team members to become solution-oriented so that they can step up as decision-makers. Your department heads stop acting like followers. They take ownership of their teams and become leaders.

You and your team are now co-creating solutions, brainstorming new opportunities, showing up as thinkers versus doers, empowering one another, and building trust. Your team members challenge themselves by thinking about the more significant questions, like how to innovate, up-level the customer experience, increase revenue and profit, empower and motivate staff, improve systems and processes to save time and money.

As this transformation occurs, you focus on your big-picture vision and how to leapfrog the competition. You are thinking about your big strategic moves, creating new services, developing leverage strategies, opening up new profit centers, or acquiring another company.

To facilitate all this, you are coaching and mentoring your leaders and training them to do everything you do. You are replicating yourself so that you can focus on these other business opportunities.

Phase 5: Scaled Enterprise

It’s time for you to step back from meetings and resist adding your two cents to every discussion and decision.

Lighten up the reins and allow your team leaders to run with their ideas.

It’s challenging to let go so entirely because you are accustomed to controlling everything. The company was your baby from the beginning, and your ego keeps telling you that only you know the best way to handle things.

You must bite your tongue and resist the temptation to provide input constantly.

At this stage of the game, your team members don’t need you. You have superb leaders in place. You have systems and processes that work efficiently and are constantly improving. Your team is accomplishing great things independently because you trained them, trusted them, and empowered them. They are happy and are engaged in their jobs. You are no longer the bottleneck and getting in everyone’s way. Meanwhile, you have moved on to your next business venture.

Now that you know the roadmap from solopreneur to enterprise, which phase resonates the most with where you are right now? And, in which phase do you want to be.

Closing the gap is where your focus needs to be, and that should be one of the ‘big rocks’ or strategic moves in your plan to drive your business forward.

The cost of inaction comes at a high price.

When you’re ready to leap, reach out to me. I can help you get through the rough patches and avoid potholes, providing insights and expertise to navigate your business growth on purpose, with less struggle. I can help stop you from spinning in circles, wasting months or even years of deliberating on things. I will also help guide you to listening to your inner voice and staying in your zone of genius so you can feel more fulfilled and authentic to who you are.

I choose my clients as carefully as they choose me because alignment is everything. A conversation doesn’t cost you anything. And a conversation with me will always leave you with clarity and a ton of value. Apply for a consult at MeetWithMichela.com

About Michela Quilici

Michela Quilici, International Business Growth Coach, award-winning Marketing Strategist, and Global Leader at Women Speakers Association. Known as a Business Navigator, Michela works with growth-minded business owners, service professionals and CEOs who want to grow and scale their business. She is passionate about creating roadmaps that ignite leaders to take inspired action to navigate their growth on purpose using strategy, systems and self-leadership. Features include: USA Weekly, Canadian Living Magazine, Profit Magazine, and numerous marketing and entrepreneurship awards. She is a member of the Forbes Coaches Council and Co-Author of three International bestselling books, including; Conscious Business and Voices of the 21st Century 3rd & 4th Editions.