Your aim in a business is to generate profits in exchange for providing products and services, which acts as a solution to another person’s problem. Generally, business is all about making money and growing people after solving problems for the market.
Business starts from you, or your key partners. With different challenges being faced in every level, a business can be thoroughly defined through the following stages:
Level 1 Business stage = Seed; People stage = Physiological Survival (Me)
The seed stage of your business lifecycle is when your business is just a thought or an idea.
Money Sources: Early in the business life cycle, with no proven market or customers, the business will highly rely on cash from owners, friends, and family. Other potential sources include suppliers, customers, seed angels, and government grants.
Level 2 Business stage = Startup; People stage = Clan’s Well-being & Safety (We)
Your business now exists in legal terms. Products or services are in production, and you have your first customers.
Money Sources: Owner, friends, family, suppliers, customers, angels, and grants.
Level 3 Business stage = Growth; People stage = Raw dominance & Control (Me)
Revenues and customers are increasing with many new opportunities and issues. Profits are strong, but the competition is surfacing.
Money Sources: Banks, profits, partnerships, grants, and leasing options.
Level 4 Business stage = Establish; People stage = Meaning & Purpose (We)
Your business has now matured into a thriving company with a place in the market and loyal customers. Sales growth is not explosive but manageable. Business life has become more routine.
Money Sources: Profits, banks, investors, and government.
Level 5 Business stage = Expansion; People stage = Autonomy & Achievements (Me)
This life cycle stage is characterised by a new period of growth into new markets and distribution channels. This stage is often the choice of the SME owner to gain a larger market share and find new revenue and profit channels.
Money Sources: Joint ventures, banks, licensing, new investors, and partners.
Level 6 Business stage = Decline; People stage = Equality & Community (We)
Changes in the economy, society, or market conditions can decrease sales and profits. It may quickly end many small companies.
Money Sources: Suppliers, customers, and owners.
Level 7 Business stage = Exit; People stage = Knowledge of Natural Flows (Me)
It is a big opportunity for your business to cash out on all the effort and years of hard work. Or it can mean shutting down the business, or being acquired by other company
Money Sources: Venture capitals and private equity.
Level 8 Business stage = Mature; People stage = Harmony with Living Systems (We)
This stage is a whole new level, whereby you may have successfully listed a company or joined a parent company in everything they do to system and structure.
Money Sources: Equity funds from Stock Market, merchant banks, private debts security, including bonds, notes, loan stocks and commercial papers, whether convertible or redeemable or otherwise.
Could you identify which level are you? Do you know the challenges to move to each level?