We identify the 3 different Business Stages, where each stage has a specific set of strategies, activities, beliefs, and rituals. The stages are
The Growth Stage is about… building the foundation for sustainable growth
At this stage, it’s crucial you focus on activities that make you money and get your business off the ground. Activities such as creating an offer that people want to buy, and a sales mechanism that works for your particular offer are two key activities at this stage.
Possible growth blockers
At every stage, there are multiple challenges that block our growth. These challenges change when you develop, but there will always be challenges when you navigate from one stage to another. Here are the most common growth blockers at the Building Stage.
The biggest growth blocker at this stage is total confusion. A confused business owner sees neither the trees nor the forest. Since the Internet is full of great opportunities and advice, growing a business has become such a complex thing to do. Today, everything is googleable, which also leads to information overload and confusion. If you haven’t figured out your own way to grow your business yet, there’s a risk that you’re scanning the Internet for all kinds of tactics that could move the needle for you. Unfortunately, this will leave you more confused than before.
Right activities, wrong timing
The second biggest growth blocker is to focus on activities that are not relevant right now. Many try to put together systems that are meant for the scaling stage, and while it’s great if you already now know what the future holds for you and plan for the next stage, scaling too quickly or focusing on activities that are designed for scaling, could potentially hurt your business more than help at this stage.
Cash is the fuel that keeps your business engine running. Regardless of your relationship with money, cash is the fuel your business needs, and the need doesn’t become smaller when you grow. A business needs to generate cash to invest it back into the business to make it grow more. A business that doesn’t increase your personal wealth will eventually be a waste of your time, money, and dedication.
Growing a business eats cash for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and for night snacks too. Too many business owners don’t focus on cash-generating activities, but rather tweak things that don’t contribute to the cash flow. There’s nothing that keeps a business owner’s mind calmer than a steady flow of cash and sufficient cash reserves. They say money can’t solve your problems… but gosh, those people have never built a business.
We have created a simple framework that helps you get started and sell your services and products. It’s called the Growth Engine, and it has 5 key pillars, which will look slightly different depending on your business model.
Digitalization at this stage
At the building stage, your digitalization game plan consists of a well-functioning digital sales and marketing system, as well as some digitalized offers that you use strategically to bring new leads, prospects, and clients into your ecosystem. At this stage, you’re likely choosing the tools that can help you take your business to the next stage, so you need a clear strategy and vision for your future.
Doing the right things at every stage
First, let’s be clear: there is no one-size-fits-all model to grow a business. Your business is as unique as your, and so are the strategies, tactics, and decisions. However, growing a business at this stage is simple, if you allow it to be. Millions of small businesses have navigated through this stage, so there’s no reason to try to re-create the wheel. Here’s a short checklist of the activities to focus on at this stage:
- Understand who your ideal customer is and what they need. Note: this might not be your DREAM customer, because you might not know who your dream customer is… just yet. Ideal at this stage means that he/she/they have a problem you can solve, and they are willing to pay to get that problem solved. This is the absolute foundation for any business: finding the hungry crowd who want to get a solution to a problem, and offering it to them for a fee. Not free, okay?
- Create an offer that makes sense to your customer. This offer should be easy to sell, easy to buy, and easy to deliver. This is the Essential Offer you create, and it’s one of the cornerstones of your Growth Engine. At the beginning of your journey, this offer should be delivered 1:1, so you can learn as much as possible about your customer. 1:1 means that you work privately with a handful of customers and start to form your delivery processes and systems.
- Design a brand that speaks to your audience. The focus is on building your offer brand, so your offer becomes known and seen as THE solution in your marketplace. But, you also want to design your brand positioning message to make it very clear what your business does, for whom, and why they should care.
- Engineer a sales system that works. As stated earlier, the goal at this stage is to get sales going, so you need to engineer a system that makes that possible. This system is simple, straightforward, and requires low technical skills.
- Engineer a marketing system that keeps your business on top of your prospects’ minds, and position you as the best logical choice for them. We use simple strategies to build social authority and implement a simple method for lifecycle marketing.
You have a business concept that people buy into, a suite of products/services that you can sell at a price that makes you profitable and happy. Your sales process is working, your marketing is no longer a guessing game. You have a Growth System in place that you can scale if you want…
- help you get clarity on your growth avenue
- help you position your business as a leader and sell at a premium price
- help you identify your scalable offer suite
- help you package your signature offer
- help you build your sales and marketing system