What if there was a way to cut down the business growth stages so that you could grow more in less time?
It turns out, there is! And, before you go thinking, “The promise of bigger business results in less time is nothing but clickbait!”, consider this: Business Growth SHOULDN’T take months or years on end. In fact, hitting a growth phase shouldn’t take more than a few weeks, because growth is simple, not complicated.
If you believe that hitting a growth phase should take a significant amount of time because mainstream business life cycle charts say so, then think again!
To prove it, we’re sharing exactly how you can cut down the stages of business growth to grow more in less time AND sustain growth into the future.
If you keep on using typical business growth charts as a signpost, you’ll:
- Grow at an extremely low rate;
- Hit a growth plateau; or
- Never grow at all.
If you think that it’s impossible to grow more in less time, then it’s impossible. However, if you believe that business growth is straightforward, then you can certainly grow more in less time!
What Are the 5 Stages of Business Growth?
Most basic, mainstream business growth cycle charts have 5 stages, including the:
- Existence stage - A new business starts or an existing one is simply existing
- Survival stage/startup stage - A new or existing business is just getting by
- Growth stage - The business starts to grow for an unspecified period
- Maturity stage - Growth slows down
- Expansion stage or decline stage - Business growth usually plateaus or declines, and in some rare picks back up again
Unfortunately, many business owners consider these charts to be a cornerstone of business philosophy.
And, we don’t blame them! If sources like the Harvard Business Review reference these charts on their website, then they must be effective... right?
Sadly, basic business growth cycle charts are another prime example of, “Just because everybody is following something doesn’t mean that it works and you should do it too”.
Moreover, if you want to get the growth results that everyone else gets- which, again, are sub-par to say the least- then go ahead and follow their terrible philosophy.
On the other hand, if you want to be different by growing more in less time AND sustaining it, then you have to go in a different direction from everyone else…
Mainstream Business Growth Cycles Are Trash
Here’s a question for you - If mainstream business life cycles are so good at predicting growth and helping CEOs grow in general, then why do so many businesses struggle to grow at all?
Worse than that, why do the vast majority of businesses fail within such a short amount of time?
Mainstream business growth philosophy, particularly that associated with the typical business life cycle, sets CEOs up for growth failure because it:
- Doesn’t consider the most important growth factors;
- Is based on short-term versus long-term success; and
- Makes growth more complicated than it needs to be.
Moreover, the logic behind mainstream business growth philosophy is extremely flawed in itself, so it’s no wonder why most CEOs never achieve solid growth!
Bottom line: You can be pounding the pavement every single day and still not grow if you don’t have the right approach. Instead of following the crowd, join the minority of CEOs who take a totally different approach to growth in order to create totally different (and better) results.
Here’s How to Grow Your Business Bigger In Less Time
Here is exactly how CEOs of large and small businesses cut down the business growth stages to grow more in less time by not following a traditional business growth cycle.
Again- You can use the typical business life cycle chart as a model for growth, but you’ll likely end up with the same results as everyone else (sub-par to say the least!).
Moreover, here is how you can simply grow your business in less time and sustain it for the long haul!
1. Fostering a Business Growth Mindset
First thing’s first- Your mindset can make or break you. Whether it’s business development, professional sports, or quite frankly any life endeavor, results are a direct reflection of your mindset.
That being said, the first thing you need to do is break away from the mainstream business growth logic that never leads to anything good. Particularly, you need to breakaway from these common misconceptions:
- Growth is an end goal, not a process;
- Growth is a short-term endeavor; and
- Expect a plateau or a negative decline after a growth phase.
Now, you might be thinking, “Is mindset really that important for growth?”.
In short- Yes. Think of it like this: The thoughts you think create the emotions you feel. The emotions you feel determine the actions you take. The actions you take determine the results you get.
That said, if you’re thinking negative thoughts or the wrong thoughts about growth, you’re really digging yourself into a hole.
Playing to Win Instead of Not to Lose
There is a BIG difference between playing to win versus playing not to lose.
On one hand, playing to win is about going all in for your business vision. It’s about always having your big business vision at the front of your mind, and then doing everything in your power that it takes to manifest it.
On the other hand, playing not to lose is about only putting in what it takes to survive. It’s about wanting to manifest your business vision, but focusing more on just getting by instead of thriving.
Moreover, playing not to lose is about just keeping your head above water, while playing to win is about catapulting yourself out of the water!
Unless you play to win, the odds that you manifest your vision are slim, because big visions require you to put all hands on deck.
In order to grow as big as you want and sustain it for the long run, you need to have a long-term mindset instead of a short-term mindset.
Unfortunately, most business growth logic sets you up to fail in this department!
Why? Because, instead of focusing on the business vision, it’s all about the business goals (AKA, checking boxes!).
The thing is... Business growth isn’t a matter of checking boxes and then calling it a day. Rather, checking boxes is simply a means to manifest the vision! In no way can a goal ever encapsulate the experience that your vision creates.
That said, the way to stark thinking long-term instead of short-term is by shifting from a goal-oriented mindset to a vision-oriented mindset. From now on, see your goals as the means, and not the end itself.
To put it simply: Short-term thinking leads to long-term disaster!
Broadening Your Perspective
Everyone has a lens through which they view life. And, their lens shapes the way that they see the world. More specifically, it shapes their perspective on life!
For example, two people with two different lenses can listen to the exact same speech but have opposing takeaways or perspectives on it. On one hand, the first person can walk away feeling inspired from the speech, while the other person can walk away feeling degraded.
When it comes to business growth, the best lens to have is the broadest lens. With a broad lens, your perspective allows you to:
- Identify more new opportunities;
- Create a bigger/more impactful business model; and
- See beyond the momentary challenges of a situation.
Think of it like this... With a broad lens, you see more than what’s right in front of you. Instead, you see what’s behind you so that you can learn from it, and what’s ahead of you so that you can make the best of what’s to come.
Clarifying Your Business Idea
The best business visions are the clearest ones.
While there are many business owners who have an idea of what they want, the vision in their head isn’t totally clear.
Fogginess or lack of clarity is one of the most pervasive business growth challenges out there.
With little clarity, strategic planning is nearly impossible. Without strategic planning, it’s nearly impossible to make it to the next stage of growth. More than that, it’s difficult to even make it out of the early stages of growth at all!
Without clarity, you’ll never make it anywhere with your business plans… Not having a clear vision is like driving in a dense fog, unable to even see a few feet in front of you, yet still hoping you’ll reach your desired destination.
Surrounding Yourself With the Right People
If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you've certainly dealt with your fair share of small-minded people.
For example, have you ever had a business growth idea that you couldn’t keep quiet about anymore... So out of excitement, you decided to share the idea with a peer, only to have them respond with, “That’ll never work” or “Maybe you should think smaller”. Then all of a sudden, you start questioning the idea and whether or not your peer was right.
If you’re like most business owners, you know exactly how terrible that feels! Not only that, but you understand the toll it takes.
From now on, start surrounding yourself with big-minded people instead of small-minded ones. More specifically, the kind of people who you can share your own business ideas with and they’ll respond by saying, “Let’s talk about how to make it happen!”.
It’s nearly impossible to run a growing business on your own. Therefore, opt for the big-minded people instead of the small-minded ones.
2. Focusing on Sales Growth
When it comes to business growth, many CEOs don’t know where to start. One moment they’re focusing on the marketing plan, and then the next they’re bringing on new team members.
However, there is one single factor that just about every business growth strategy boils down to. And that factor is sales!
Think about it... Whether your idea of growth is expanding to new markets, rolling out new products, or upping your market share by snatching up new customers in your current market, it all comes right back to sales growth.
But it actually runs much deeper than that: The way that you bring your business vision to life is by making sales!
For example, Steve Jobs had a vision of a world empowered through technology, so he sold products like the iPhone to bring the vision to life.
It’s literally that simple: Growing your business AND manifesting your vision comes down to sales growth. The more sales you make, the greater impact you’ll make.
Solidify Your Sales Growth Strategy
Business growth is not necessarily difficult. While it certainly comes with its fair share of challenges, it’s actually a very straightforward process! Because, again, business growth comes down to sales growth 99% of the time.
That said, after getting your mindset in the green, it’s time to develop a sales growth strategy that outlines your plan of attack.
You can think of a sales strategy like a blueprint for a house: It’ll show you all the steps you need to take in order to create the final outcome.
Once you have the blueprint, you can finally start doing the real work- No more wandering around not knowing what to do first!
Setting Energy-Based Sales Goals
Now, you might be thinking to yourself... “How do you know which part of the sales strategy to tackle first?”
On top of that, you might be thinking... “How do I stay on track to accomplish the strategy?”
Simple: Once you’ve outlined your plan of attack, you need to set energy-based goals to accomplish each step in the plan. With each minor step you accomplish, you get one major step closer to fulfilling the entire strategy.
By energy-based goals, we mean goals that are set based on the amount of time and resources that it’ll take to accomplish them. Believe it or not, but the key reason why most sales pros and CEOs fail to accomplish their goals is because they’re always underestimating the amount of energy it’ll take to accomplish them.
With solid goals, you show up at your desk each day knowing exactly what you need to do to get closer to the final desired outcome!
Fostering Customer Relationships
In the process of making new sales, be sure not to neglect your current customer base!
Believe it or not, but one of the prime mistakes that CEOs and sales teams make during the sales growth process is alienating their current customers for the sake of snatching up new ones. Or, if they’re focused on developing new products, then their existing product quality slips.
In short- If growing your business forces you to neglect your current customers, then you need to rethink your plans.
When it comes down to it, solid customer relationships are one of the absolute last business factors you want to neglect, because customer relationships:
- Can lead to regular referrals for already qualified leads;
- Give you insights into your current customer base; and
- Can lead to amazing sales and marketing material.
Moreover, customer relationships are business assets!
Ultimately, sacrificing customer relationships for the sake of new ones will lead to either a business plateau or outright negative business growth.
Are you one of the many entrepreneurs who feels like they’re in the thick of the weeds on a day-to-day basis? Does something about it just seem off to you - Don’t you want to be focusing on big-picture items versus being in the thick of sales growth?
If so, not only are you not alone, but as a business owner, the truth is that you shouldn’t be in the thick of the weeds! Instead, you should be focusing on leading your business by worrying about the most big-ticket items, such as:
- Expanding and clarifying the vision;
- Honing in on the sales growth strategy; and
- Fostering solid customer relationships.
To get out of the weeds, you need to start delegating pieces of the sales process to your team members. That way, you can focus on the items that matter the absolute most to business growth success.
3. Preventing Business Growth Plateaus Before They Start
If you look at the fourth and fifth stages of the business life cycle, growth begins to slow down and then either fall straight down or pick back up again.
Moreover, if you’re looking at a normal business cycle chart, it’s expected that your business will hit a growth phase only to plummet shortly after! Makes you wonder whether all the initial growth was worth it...
While this does regularly happen to businesses owners, thinking that it could happen or will happen might be a self-fulfilling prophecy!
Think about it: If you expect to positively grow only to negatively grow after, then you might be planting the seeds for it to happen in reality.
That said, instead of assuming that growth will eventually start to plummet, kill the self-fulfilling prophecy and take action to keep growth going for the long-haul.
No Room for Complacency
When it comes down to it, business plateaus are directly caused by complacency.
By complacency, we mean getting comfortable with the status quo. And, it makes sense why CEOs might start to feel complacent after hitting a growth phase: After putting in all the effort, sometimes it’s easier to get comfortable than it is to keep pressing forward.
Therefore, if you want to avoid a rapid decline in sales growth followed by a plateau, you’ll need to stay on your toes!
The best way to do that? A CEO coach will encourage you to:
- Keep innovating your product or service;
- Find new ways to serve current or new customers; and
- Smooth out any rough edges in your business plans.
Again, it’s easy to fall into complacency, but you’re only setting yourself up for failure by getting complacent!
Another one of the best ways to keep complacency out of the picture... Continue to seek fulfillment in the business growth process!
Also known as enthusiasm, fulfillment is that deep-rooted joy that you get from running your business.
Unlike surface-level happiness, fulfillment is something that only ignites when you’re doing the things that you’re most passionate about.
In case you ever find yourself getting complacent, seek new ways to reignite the flame of enthusiasm. Because when you’re enthusiastic or fulfilled, plateauing or declining is virtually out of the question.
Believe it or not, but many entrepreneurs almost never monitor their business growth metrics! Out of fear that they’re not doing as well as they want, they simply don’t regularly check-in on their progress.
That said, avoid total catastrophe by monitoring your growth metrics on a regular basis. For example, make it a ritual to check-in on your metrics every Friday or Sunday.
By doing so, you’ll:
- Get a better idea of what is and isn’t working for you;
- Know where/how you need to make changes; and
- Prevent a potential sales catastrophe.
The absolute last thing you want to have happen is to be heading south and not knowing it. Therefore, make it a point to monitor your metrics. It might cause some short-term discomfort, but it’ll help prevent long-term disaster.
Finally, continue to keep your eyes peeled for new ways to serve more people.
Remember, as the CEO, your job is to manifest the business vision by focusing on bit-ticket sales items. By doing so, you sell to more people to ultimately scale your vision even higher!
One of the best skills anyone in the world can have is knowing how to step into somebody else’s shoes to see life from their perspective. If you can learn to do just that, you’ll never run out of ideas to serve people.
Final Thoughts on Shortening-Up the Business Growth Stages
Following the stages of a typical business life cycle sets you up for sub-par, unsustainable growth. Why? Because, most basic business life cycle charts are based on poor logic. Not to mention that most CEOs who do follow its logic never achieve almost any growth at all!
On the other hand, by following the growth advice above, you’ll achieve rapid growth in less time AND or for long-haul. Other top entrepreneurs have done it, so why not you?
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