A business is a living thing, with a lifecycle and phases of development just like any living thing. From infancy: start-up, cash-sucking, unable to support itself, through toddler-hood: crawling, fumbling, learning to walk and finding a message, to childhood: making friends, reading and writing for greater reach, getting “schooled” on the playground, then young adulthood: risk taking, confident, living large, exploring new horizons, and maturity: confident, experienced, secure and high performing.
Sometimes the lifecycle adventure is so fast we can hardly track the phases as they flash by. If you’re on that roller-coaster, hang on to your seat, ‘cause you’re in for a hell of a ride! Other times a new venture struggles through infancy or toddlerhood, maybe reaching childhood, maybe not. In fact, over 50% of business ventures fold in the first five years. Of those that do fold, some were started on a false idea without enough of a proven market, others run into unforeseen obstacles and hurdles like major regulatory change that breaks the business model. But some are, quite simply, not prepared for growth.
Growth and maturity will always require a change in HOW we do business. Where a start-up can run on the efforts of the founder alone, eventually every business reaches a point where growth is limited by the capacity of the business owner. The question is: how prepared is the business to break through the expansion barrier and leverage the knowledge skills and abilities of the founding team to succeed and grow?
This month we’ll be talking about Leverage: the ability to magnify results through intentional engagement of a motivated team. To determine your leverage potential, the first step is to take a minute to really look at where you are in your business. What phase of development are you in? Do you have clear benchmarks established for your business growth curve? Are you planning for your business or are you reacting to whatever is in front of you all day every day? Do you know who is the next person, or what is the next position or asset you will add to your business to take it to the next level of success? If you’ve been caught up in working in your business every day, remember Michael Gerber’s advice and take some time today to work on your business and outline what would need to occur to take your business to the next level of success.