Have you heard the saying, “you have to walk, before you can run”? Well, building a business is no different. In this blog, I’ll take you through the 5 stages of business development that your business will go through, and why taking short-cuts is a really, really bad idea.
Every single business, doesn’t matter what type of business you have, goes through five basic stages of business development; in a particular order. At each of these stages, all business owners experience a common set of challenges and obstacles.
It’s not dissimilar to the education system for example, in which the progression from elementary school to high school and then University follows a formal evolution. In school, you have to learn particular subjects, before being able to progress to the next more advanced level. It makes sense, right? You’re building on your skills one step at a time. At each level, there’s a common set of lessons that the student has to complete and challenges to overcome, before graduating to the next stage.
A business is an entity that needs to be purposefully created, strategically built and intentionally led, in order for it to have longevity and for it to meet your revenue, lifestyle and other goals.
And that longevity comes from laying a solid foundation, putting the framework in place to support your vision, and using the right tools to strategically grow. You wouldn’t build a house without a vision of what you want it to look like when it’s completed, without the architectural drawings to support reaching that goal, without the construction crew to make sure it’s structurally sound, or without using the appropriate tools to get the job done, right? Building a business is no different.
Here are the 5 stages of business development, and 2 key success factors that you have to master at each stage, before graduating to the next level.
Creating VISIBILITY for yourself and your business, educating the targeted markets so that they know you exist.
- Marketing exposure in the right places where your market hangs out and is looking for information to solve their problem or fill their need.
- Speak your clients’ language; use their words, not yours. Craft your messaging using the language of results.
Developing CREDIBILITY for yourself and your business, showcasing your expertise or competence in doing the work that you are selling/offering to your markets.
- Spot on brand positioning that enables you to stand out from the competition and showcase your uniqueness.
- Several authority platforms for sharing your thought leadership and your message, whether by writing or speaking.
Reaching PROFITABILITY in your business, at which point your market is targeted, engaged and closed on a business offering.
- Dialed in qualified buyer. This is the buyer who is thinking about making a purchasing decision, has the motivation and sense of urgency and above all – the willingness to invest.
- A good sales process. This is your system for attracting and converting your buyers.
SUSTAINING that profitability in your business on a consistent and predictable basis, month-over-month, year-over-year.
- Having a predictable and/or automated marketing-to-sales funnel.
- Systems and tools in place so you can deliver with excellence.
SCALING your business to leverage your supporting resources so that you don’t have to do it all yourself, and moving away from trading your time for money.
- Adjusting your business model, so that it supports your scalable strategy.
- The right people, in the right seats in order to carry out the functions in each area of the business.
Here’s the deal. There’s no shortcut to business growth, and business building is a marathon, not a sprint.
One mistake that I see business owners often make (which kills their business) is to scale before their business is ready. It’s like trying to build a house on a foundation made of quick sand.
I have seen business owns try to skip some of the fundamental steps and attempt to build a scalable business from the get-go, which is a big mistake. Not to say that you can’t create leverage and systems from the get-go, but first you have to master the initial 3 steps before you try to scale. Your visibility, credibility and profitability have to be dialed in.
Think of the first 3 steps as a rite of passage. Those initial steps are critical to help you prove the business model. And as a business owner, proving your business model should be one of your primary goals. This means proving that there’s a market who wants what you offer and is willing to pay for it, and proving that you have a predictable and automatic system in place for generating leads and closing business.
Once you’ve proved those things, you have a solid foundation from which to scale your business efficiently and effectively. If you don’t prove the basic business model, then in essence you don’t have a workable business – so anything you do beyond that is a waste of time, money and energy. Is this making sense?
Prove the business model first – then work to proving that it’s a sustainable model – and then you can pivot the model and invest the money and resources to scale it.
I invite you to take the time to reflect on which stage of business development you are in. If you are suffering in your business and if feels harder than it should be, it probably means that something isn’t right with the fundamental business framework, what you are working on and more importantly how you are doing it. You can use the framework I shared with you as a diagnostic tool.
If you want to grow your business with less struggle, I’d love to show you how, inside my exclusive online community at QYourBusinessSuccess.com We need to know you, and you need to know us – so drop by, tell us how we can support your business growth, while expanding your network with like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs. See you in the group!
If want to move even faster with expert support, I’d like to offer you a complimentary Business Clarity Session with me. During our call you will:
- Create a crystal clear vision for ultimate business success
- Get focused on the next most powerful step toward your goals
- Uncover the hidden challenges that could be sabotaging your sales and marketing efforts
- Leave the session renewed, re-energized and inspired to finally grow your business faster and easier than ever before
I have very limited spots available, so if you want to take advantage of this offer I invite you to apply today, by going to MeetWithMichela.com
To your success,
p.s. Listen to the audio version of this blog on my podcast.