Every business – large or small - passes through four stages of business growth on its journey from core business development to organizational maturity. No matter what stage of business growth you strive to achieve for your small business, every small business owner must first overcome the common challenges – or “growing pains” - associated with the first stage of business growth.
The first stage of business growth – Core Business Development – is described as $0 - $500,000 in revenue for a business in the service industry or from $0 - $1.5 Million in revenue for manufacturing. No matter the industry in which your small business exists, the major challenges are the same. And, the sooner you can blast through the challenges commonly associated with the first stage of business growth, the more quickly your small business will grow.
Small Business Stressors
The hurdles associated with the Core Business Development stage of business growth act much like "flies" in the machinery of your business. Although seemingly small and insignificant and, at times almost tolerable, they gum up your business growth. They’re quickly and quietly draining the three most critical resources needed to grow your small business – time, money, and energy. Once they are brought to a stop, the growth of your small business accelerates.
The most common and troubling challenges associated with the first stage of business growth and development include:
- Burnout – physical, mental, and emotional.
- Adhoc Planning – the type of planning involving “putting out fires” and handling the “squeaky wheel”.
- Overly optimistic – commonly referred to as “unrealistic” related to setting improbable expectations and goals.
- Poor cash flow – when the money runs out before the month.
- Underpricing - pricing below what’s needed to keep you in business
- Underearning – the evil twin of underpricing.
- Poor system development – systems developed “as needed” or when current talent leaves your business – along with your business expertise and knowledge.
- Undefined roles – even “me, myself, and I” are uncertain of the next best steps.
- Inadequate funding – what your parents aptly labeled, “you can’t get blood from a turnip.”
- Missed opportunities – what happens while you’re dealing with the “growing pains” listed above.
Sound familiar? You bet! And, you’re not alone. Every service business with revenue less than $500,000 or manufacturing business with revenue less than $1.5 million experiences the same challenges.
Business Growth Ahead!
What’s a small business owner to do? Certainly, don't pull out your hair! Subscribe to our small business strategy blog below and tune in weekly. Together, we'll discuss each “growing pain” in detail along with strategies you can put into practice to get rid of the challenges slowing your business growth.
Are you ready to get growing? What are some of your common "growing pains"?