Whether you recently launched your company or you’ve been in business for months (even years), you can bet there will be ups and downs. There will underlying and repeating patterns just as every organization has experienced before you.
In a recent Launch Youniversity podcast, Les McKeown shared seven phases all organizations go through. He says if you are aware of these stages, you can avoid some ruts and survive.
Today we will review the three growth stages:
There are three growth stages every startup will experience. The first phase is “early struggle.” Just as the name states, you are struggling to figure things out, struggling to find your mark, and struggling to make a profit. Most startups are in this phase for about three years.
The key to conquering this phase and moving into the next stage is finding your market. As you figure out your target, remember not to get overly focused on one customer. Ask yourself if you lost that one customer, would you still have a customer base to support the organization?
Next, you must remember to be ruthless about your cash flow. Every penny counts at this phase. Make a spreadsheet to show every single expense.
You’ve found your market, you are making a profit, and everyone in the company loves what you have to say. You are “it!”
Enjoy this time. Don’t overthink and don’t pre-plan for the next phase. Focus on the here-and-now; worry about the future when it gets here (Les promises it will come).
This phase requires a company shift and a personal mindset shift for the launcher. If the proper changes aren’t made, you could be headed for disaster.
Instead of improvising (like you were doing in the early struggle and fun times), you must professionalize. You need to bring company systems and processes into play.
In addition to the company processes, you as the owner/founder must shift your thinking to becoming a steward of your business. Stop using your title as a ripcord and become part of the team.
If you are successful in accomplishing those three phases, you are headed toward predictable success. Predictable success is having fun and having a scalable company.