Taking Care of Business at any Stage of Growth
Starting a business can be tough. Taking care of business can encompass decisions such as obtaining funding, to deciding to have a home office or go elsewhere and the ramifications of each. Other business elements include ensuring that all the right legal documents are in place. These can include county, state, and federal documents depending on your business. Alternatively, documents can include partnership agreements that can help prevent or at least lessen expensive legal disagreements later as the business matures and perhaps takes on even more partners. Then there is the business of getting the word out about your business and selling your products or services. Then, there’s the business of the business. This includes the everyday nuts and bolts of operations, customer service and management. These considerations might be daunting enough. However, as a business grows, each stage of the business has its own business issues. The good news is that these patterns are predictable. Therefore, anticipation and preparation can help ease the pains of growing a business. Here is how to take care of business during different growth stages.
There are seven stages of growth and this growth is based on the number of employees – up to 500. After that, then independent divisions can follow this same model. For example a start up or stage one company typically has between one and 10 employees. The focus for this organization should be profit, people and process – in that order. However, a stage three company with between 20 and 34 employees should have a focus on people, profit, and process – in that order. Gasp! No, profits are not always THE top focus. In terms of challenges, a stage four company with between 35 and 57 employees will face employee turnover, systems development, and communication issues. A stage six company with between 96 and 160 employees with face challenges such as gaining staff buy-in, hiring quality staff, and having a weak business or profit design. Leadership styles will need to be different for each stage as well as different management focus. Even the staff will need to entertain different behavior styles. Taking care of business can be challenging at every stage. However, with a solid model and plan to follow at each stage, change can be smooth and profitability can remain strong.
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