Your Business Growth and Predictability
Stages of your business growth and predictability
Being predictable is often times a negative. It's not. For women owned businesses, being predictable can lead you to great success. For instance, if you discovered a formula that works why not use it every time? Now, being predictable isn't about staying the same year after year. It's about knowing which behaviors to exercise, once you've discovered their success, at each stage of business growth and even more so for women owned businesses. So, yes, you do incorporate and flexibility but there is room for predictable behavior that leads to major rewards.
The key is to learn how to use the information and knowledge to piece together the types of actions that can guarantee success in your business. Just as you grow, so does your business. There are comparatively predictable phases of growth. There are periods of distinct growth during times of no conflict or surprises. Growth also occurs at stages of troubled times when your business faces threats to survival.
There are basically four stages of business growth:
1. Up and Running
This is where you experience the struggle of bringing it all together. You're interested in momentum and traction. Cash flow is king. Is there enough money to make payroll? Can we continue to buy inventory? Will you have enough to take home to pay bills?
Another part of the 'struggle' stage is having a market for what you are offering. Branding, research and motivation demand your attention. This is the stage where many businesses die. But they don't need to.
2. Can't Keep Up
This is the stage of fantastic growth. Everyone is buying. It's the fun and exciting stage. This is where you sell, sell, and sell some more. As with each stage, there are seeds that lead to the next stage. During the Can't-Keep-Up stage you will find contributing factors to growing too fast.
3. Rough Waters
This is the stage where you need systems and processes to track your ways of doing things. Now, there are rules. What? Never needed them before! Because you were growing so rapidly in stage 2 you are now asking, "Am I making a profit?" Overhead is high. Number of employees is high. The need to manage profitability is high.
All of this leads to control measures being implemented. Now you are beginning to rock the boat. It's hard to come from a stage of fun and excitement to quality control and money management.
4. Predictable Triumph
This is the stage where, once you survive the rough waters, you and your business can set and reach results predictably. The part that makes this stage interesting is the fact that you have survived the Rough Waters stage. You know how to manage in this cycle; Rough Waters to Predictable Triumph. Your business will continually experience changes due to the economy, new products, new markets, and so on. But smart women business owners know, because they can predict, how to not only survive but triumph through this cycle.
Tremendous learning takes place at each business development stage. It's your job to know what worked and what didn't. What management styles served you best? What skills were required at each stage? Where did you use long-term versus short-term planning? When did you focus mainly on product or service versus market or customer? When were you task oriented versus people oriented?
These and many more activities that led to your success are what you need to make predictable in accomplishing your goals at each stage of business development. Once you make it through the rough waters stage your concentration needs to be on the predictable behaviors you successfully exercised to make it to predictable triumph. Remember, it's a cycle - one you can predictably maneuver through.
What is your business growth factor? How are you making predictability work for you?
Influence and persuasion expert, Karen Keller, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Master Certified Coach with over 25 years of experience. She focuses on women's leadership and empowerment as well as executive, personal, women business owners, relationship and life coaching. She is also a successful entrepreneur and author. Her other areas of specialization include mentoring, sales techniques, success skills, intuition, body language, management development training, motivational speaking, and corporate training. Discover the real POWER for Women now!
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