When people talk about success, they often use words like luck, fortune, or chance. Most large firms can look back and spot a few key events that helped propel the company upwards quickly. That might seem like luck to outsiders, but encountering those kinds of opportunities is not rare or even unusual. In fact, many companies come face to face with such game-changing events on a regular basis. However, most are not set up to take advantage of them. In other words, luck is useless if you don’t know what to do with it.
In this sense, there is no such thing as luck in business. There are simply things that happen, and if you’re ready to leverage opportunities, your company can be “lucky” again and again. That’s why successful and growing firms are structured in ways that empower them to expand quickly when needed, so it can grow fast while also maintaining margins.
Unless your firm is built on this kind of solid foundation, with reliable systems in place, it’s unlikely that your company will be able to take advantage of unexpected opportunities when they come along. These entrepreneurs understand how to leverage the power of the 7 stages of business success.
A Proven Process
The 7 Stages approach is an achievement-focused methodology that helps businesses understand what they need to do to grow and prosper reliably and predictably. I’ve worked with over 7,000 companies in 68 countries, and time and time again, I’ve seen how the 7 Stages of business growth works in all kinds of situations.
If an entrepreneur is unfamiliar with these stages, they won’t know how to grow, what they need to do to scale, or how to keep their growth trajectory moving upwards. And that usually means they get stuck. They stop growing, and they don’t know why.
By following the lessons offered in each stage, companies can grow from a small enterprise into a major company with dependable revenue in just a few years.
Stage 1: Strategic Planning Stage
Success starts with a plan. That’s why you need to create a company roadmap with goals and strategies. Whether you started a business this week or ten years ago, a strategic plan will help you grow in a predictably progressive fashion. With a plan in place, you’ll have context for decisions, reasons to move forward, and rationales for rejecting ideas. A strategic plan also makes it much easier to keep your team focused (even if you don’t have a team yet.)
Stage 2: The Specialty Stage
Once you know what you want to do, it’s time to become the best at it. In Stage 2, you develop expertise that puts you ahead of the competition. You do what you need to do to be the best and become known as an expert. This builds your reputation, cements your credibility, and positions you for premium pricing.
Stage 3: The Synergy Stage
Business owners hate to cede control, but in Stage 3, it’s a necessity. Running a growing business is a team sport. In Stage 3, you’ll need to develop strong leaders to handle different parts of the company. This is the time to stop doing everything and let others lead certain parts of the firm.
Stage 4: The Systems Stage
Without processes, you can’t gain momentum. As your organization expands, creating systems for everything from ordering office supplies to onboarding new employees to converting new clients becomes increasingly important. When your company develops repeatable processes, checklists, and evaluations, success becomes predictable.
Stage 5: The Sustainability Stage
With systems in place, it’s time to think about fortifying your brand, your point of difference, and what makes your business unique. Once that’s well-defined, you can scale quickly without losing momentum. Maybe you want more locations. Perhaps you want to franchise. Once you’re clear about what makes your business model sustainable in a variety of situations, you can scale your product, operations, markets, and expertise in ways that allow you to increase profits exponentially.
Stage 6: The Salability Stage
Many entrepreneurs love creating successful businesses but don’t want to run them forever. Others create companies with the intent to sell. But both types must pay attention to what makes your business salable. You must have top management in place. Your brand and operations should be appealing and contribute to your company’s value. Your books have to be immaculate. By looking at your business from a buyer’s point of view, you add value and increase stability, even if you’re never going to sell.
Stage 7: The Succession Stage
Some business owners don’t want to sell. They want to pass the business on. Whether you plan to step aside, step down, or step away from a company, you need a succession plan. At this stage, it’s the business owner’s job to ensure that the firm continues to succeed even after you’re gone. In Stage 7, you will make adjustments that ensure the firm runs profitably after a handover.
Every business owner is different, and every company is unique, so there’s not a one-size-fits-all roadmap for success. But if you internalize the 7 Stages of Business Success, and you follow the system in ways that build on your strengths and eliminate your weaknesses, you might just become one of the thousands of people who own a multi-million dollar business. 7 Stage Advisors can help. Contact me to find out more.