Moving Your Business to the Next Stage

Owning a business, while rewarding, is risky. Whether you’ve had your business for two years or twenty, it can feel like “it owns you!” I know this from personal experience having founded, grown and sold my commercial furnishings and design business. It often got the better of me; I should have had a coach to support and advise me. Coaching wasn’t a profession at that time. Now I am fueled by a passion to help others.

In the classic HBR article “The Five Stages of Small Business Growth”, Churchill and Lewis describe the five stages of growth as:

1. Existence
2. Survival
3. Success
4. Take-off
5. Resource Maturity

They define the characteristics of the owner and the business-needs at each stage. Each stage is a transition from who and what you used to be to the “what’s next.” Each stage involves learning and changing: strategy, planning, roles, tasks and – importantly — one’s leadership skill.

Entrepreneurs have a bias for action. However, moving too quickly can resemble the ready-fire-aim approach. Engaging a coach is a powerful way to identify and move toward the results you envision.

A coach offers you support, accountability, increased awareness, consciousness, a safe place to practice and a process for moving through the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.

As your coach, I can help you slow down, giving you space to re-examine your goals – and ask:

  • Where do I want to go?
  • How will I get there?
  • Who do I need to be to get there?

Relevant Articles:

  1. Five Stages Of Small Business Growth” is a classic and must read for all small business owners who want to take their business to the next level. If an owner can anticipate the key requirements and structure for each stage of growth, the key for how to get there can unlock that door. As a business – and its owner – evolves from one stage to the next, the strategy for growth becomes more diverse and complex. I recommend this article to all the entrepreneurs I work with.
  2. Often when someone starts a business, they are off and running and “doing the business of the business”. You probably spend a lot of time “doing” and not a lot of time thinking or reflecting. However, there often comes a time when it feels like the business is running you or at best,  it’s not going the way you thought it would go. To chart a successful venture, you need to reflect and answer the questions posed in this great article, “Questions Every Entrepreneur Must Answer”. It’s never too late to decide where you want to go – from the beginning or this point forward.
  3. In this TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”, Simon Sinek asks, “How do you explain when things don’t go as planned” or even better “How do you explain how others are able to achieve things that defy all the assumptions”? He presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” This is an important video for exploring how to communicate your vision to your employees – to your customers. Linking modern neuroscience with business, get ready to express your beliefs and think BIG!