Managing Entrepreneurial Growth

Strategize for Business and Personal Growth Management

As an entrepreneur, you’ll be used to fluctuating fortunes in business. However, as your business grows you will find that your need for managing your personal growth mirrors the need for business growth management.

Having a clear strategy for your business helps to keep you on track, both professionally and personally. Having founded, grown, and sold several businesses between us, we’ve experienced the highs and lows, trials and tribulations that you’ll face throughout your entrepreneur journey.

The five stages of entrepreneur and business growth

As you grow in entrepreneurship, just as your business grows also, you will need to adopt different strategies to manage that growth.

At times you will need to retrench, reduce costs, and focus on stability.

Other times you will benefit from entrepreneurial euphoria with the need to be more experimental, take risks, and innovate.

Adaptability is a key trait of successful entrepreneurs – it will help you work smarter to improve the quality of your life.

An entrepreneur’s journey can be mapped in the same way in which we map the growth of a business – in five stages.

Stage #1: Existence

You have the business idea. You develop this idea into something tangible. You create, with energy and stamina that knows no limits.

In this stage, you are the business. You are its expertise, its reason for being, and its bankroll. Your main goal is to exist and survive.

This is the stage at which your business needs clients, and the stage at which you need to develop your network.

Now is not the time to be overly self-critical or to have rigid business plans. You must learn how to develop your network. Your business must learn how to identify and sign clients. Be clear on business and personal marketing.

Stage #2: Survival

By now you have proven your personal branding. Your business has proven it has a service or product that is attractive and sellable. You have covered your costs.

This is where many entrepreneurs become stuck. They flounder in the belief that they must still do everything in their business, and so become stuck in their business.

At this stage, those entrepreneurs who move forward learn to let go. They become better at delegating and enlisting the help of their network.

Businesses that stagnate at this stage run out of money to develop new products and services, or don’t hire the skills to do so. As costs mount up, it becomes increasingly difficult to survive.

Just as you must start to think about replacing yourself in some of the tasks you do – without abdicating responsibility – you must start to consider how to replace yourself as your company’s chief source of funding and to bring in expertise to manage the business.

Stage #3: Success

This is the next stopping point for many entrepreneurs and businesses.

You are successful. You are spending less time in your business and more time on it. Your earnings match the success of your business, and provide a healthy lifestyle. You’re happy, and the temptation is to remain in this sphere of success. Why rock the boat?

For a business, this is the stage at which revenues and profits are at least enough to ensure continued success. You delegate management to a team – the size of your business requires this expertise to operate successfully.

As an entrepreneur you now have a choice. Do you remain in this stage and benefit from this level of success, or do you pursue new business ideas or a life calling?

Stage #4: Take-off

If you choose to pursue new ideas and grow, you opt to accept new risk. Your fallback position is to retrench in the success seen in stage 3.

In this stage, a business will depend upon its management to navigate growth. It will need new sources of funding, and capabilities to handle new complexities produced by further growth and the development of new products and services.

As an entrepreneur, this is your pivot point. Others may question why you are taking new risks. You may decide to sell your business. This decision is likely to be questioned, too. To overcome objections to your decision making, look inside yourself and stay true to your personal values. Ultimately, it is the way in which your life delivers to your values and purpose that determines your true success.

Stage #5: Maturity

Your business is now a mammoth. It has matured, has a loyal client base, and generates exceptional revenues.

The issue you now encounter is staying true to your values and your purpose. As the world changes, a business must not rest on its previous success. It must adapt, innovate, and remain agile to compete. Think more like Apple and less like Kodak.

In your entrepreneurial life, this is the stage at which your 10x growth has delivered maximum success. Now it is your choice to decide what to do in your life. Do you stagnate, or do you remain agile? Do you try new things, deliver the fruits of your efforts to the wider community, and attain the goals of your personal purpose?

Your success has delivered all the 5 Entrepreneurial Freedoms™. It’s why you do what you do.

Plan your entrepreneurial life

Knowing the impact of growth on you and your business will help you to adopt the best strategies for managing entrepreneurial and business growth. As you move through each stage of your growth, remember that your tactics will need to adapt.

To drive forward in life and in business, it is important to plan for your success. Never be fearful of hiring people who are better equipped for specific challenges and responsibilities than you – it’s an essential formula for personal, professional, and business growth.

Start managing your entrepreneurial growth

Take the Entrepreneur Assessment. It takes only a couple of minutes to complete. You will gain invaluable insight into your ability to get unstuck from any stage of your entrepreneurial growth, and make the best decisions for you.

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