FOUR CONSIDERATIONS TO TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL
“Startups don’t fail because they lack a product; they fail because they lack customers and a profitable business model.” Steve Blank
How do you know that your business is ready to go to the next level, beyond the “start-up” stage? First, let’s define what a start-up should accomplish at the start of its journey. I am not setting a time for accomplishing these four things, but hopefully they are achieved in the first few years of operation.
- Proof that your product/service is in demand.
- Are systems in place to easily deliver these products/services?
- Is your business generating a profit?
- If you go on vacation, can your business operate without you?
To be ready to take your business to the next level, all four things have to be in sync.
With this good foundation in place let’s take a look at 4 new issues that have to be considered as you grow:
- Risk: Growth always requires a risk analysis; everything changes including your financial needs, your customer base, and your internal and external operations
- Investment capital: Growth does not come with an infusion of capital. Where is this money going to come from?
- Diversification: Will growth require diversification of products/services? Will your target market expand? What additional marketing support will be required?
- Focus: If you thought that running a start-up was difficult, this next level will require intensified focus. In my opinion, this transition from a start-up will be the most important and critical time in achieving long term profitability and sustainability.
Every business should strive to get to the next level and the one after that. The caveat is the continued firming up of the foundation upon which each level is built. A mentor/coach should be part of your business start-up life, but as you go through the different growth levels of a business, a mentor/coach is no longer a luxury, but a necessity.
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