The Business Life Cycle

Brent Szalay

"Why it's so important to know where you’re at?"

To buy the most appropriate birthday pressie for a friend you have to have a pretty good idea of what age they are turning. Likewise to ensure you are making the right choices for your business, you have to know what stage of the ‘Business Life Cycle’ it is in.There are many life stages for a business and each will have its own challenges. Your business will require you to adapt to each stage and implement different management strategies, it will have different funding requirements and varying numbers of staff necessary to meet its targets. Without understanding your businesses stage in life and the obstacles you may be about to face, how will your business stack up?When working with SEIVA clients, I like to nut out what stage of life their business is in straight away. We do this by working through the varying life cycle stages and what they would likely encounter during each stage. These include;

1. Seed Stage

  • Validation of business concept
  • Market research
  • Establishing set up and business structure
  • Financial modelling to understand profit potential

2. Start Up Stage

  •  Seeking funding
  • Establishing an identity
  • Conflict management with customers
  • Business planning
  • Learning how to run a business

3. Growth Stage

  • Cashflow management and how to fund growth
  • Accurate and timely management reporting
  • How to generate sales to grow your business
  • Reinvestment of funds to capitalise on growth of business
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4. Mature Stage

  • Creating efficiencies to maximise profits for shareholders
  • Management by ROI using budgets and planning
  • Innovation and looking at strategies to reignite growth of business
  • Slower growth patterns

5. Decline Stage

  • Little or no profits
  • High competition from competitors
  • Get out before it is too late
So now you have an idea of the stages, what stage of life do you think your business is at? Are you planning for upcoming challenges? Do you know what might be just around the corner? If you answered no to any of these questions it may be time to talk your professional advisor, as without proper understanding, planning and management you could be bringing the wrong birthday present to your mates party.

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