Stages Of Business Growth | 4 mins read

5 Clearly Defined Stages of Business Growth

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Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Stages of Business Growth

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Business growth is a process that every business and startup must endure to mature and thrive. It entails strategizing profitable business models, recruiting employees, raising brand awareness, and increasing market shares. While each company will have its unique road to success and longevity, all brands will go through 5 key stages of business growth.

The 5 Main Stages of Business Growth

Business growth refers to how a company develops and expands in the upcoming one to five years. It begins with an idea, which fruitions into a business plan. Eventually, if everything works out well and funds are in place, the company is established with a location, employees, and customers. The following are the 5 main steps to growth, in detail.

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1. Development

The development stage is when an entrepreneur decides their idea is profitable and is worth creating. They will begin to make a business plan that outlines how a business will survive throughout its lifespan. It should indicate the brand's mission, operational goals, and plans on how to attain objectives.

The business plan can be used to strategize growth and how owners anticipate the brand to develop in the following years. Entrepreneurs can utilize the business plan to guide their growth process, as well as seek investment from stakeholders. At the development stage, business owners should also delineate the following factors.

  • Will the business idea, product, or service fulfill consumer needs?
  • Is the business idea, product, or service going to be accepted in the market?
  • What will the business structure be?
  • Is this business idea, product, or service going to yield high-profit margins?
  • Who will buy these products or services?

2. Start-Up

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Business experts consider the startup phase to being the riskiest and most stress-inducing step, causing many entrepreneurs to back out of their ideas. At this stage, business owners will need to reassess their budgets, which oftentimes may exceed what was initially expected. They must also accumulate capital by looking for investments, utilizing personal funds, or raising money.

Other activities during the start-up stage include recruiting and onboarding employees, setting sales goals, and managing business accounts. Entrepreneurs will also have to create marketing campaigns to promote their brand and market presence. This is important in creating a solid consumer base and audience.

3. Growth

After a successful start-up stage, the company will enter the next stage - the growth phase - where they are generating consistent profits. They are also expanding their consumer base and catching up to competition if there is any in the market. With more stability, entrepreneurs can begin scaling their business by enhancing the business model and improving efficiency.

Businesses should also consider ways they can maximize profitability, whether it is through new sales or marketing strategies. Other key factors that entrepreneurs should focus on at the growth stage include the following.

  • Increasing customer bases
  • Expanding to new markets
  • Improving operational efficiency
  • Boosting competitive advantage

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4. Expansion

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Entrepreneurs can leverage their growth by expanding their buying or purchasing channels and consumer base. Essentially, the focus of the expansion stage is finding innovative streams of revenue and profits. Some companies may begin diversifying their inventory by introducing new products and services. Others may open new locations in different cities, states, or countries. Another way to tap into new markets is by targeting new customer demographics.

When expanding, there are various challenges that a brand can experience. Entrepreneurs should plan their development accordingly to mitigate any risks to their business and financial standing. The following are common obstacles to expansion.

  • More competition in the market
  • Acquiring new competitors as product lines expand
  • Increase costs due to new locations, inventory, manufacturing, and marketing
  • Expanding into territory or markets that are already saturated

5. Maturity

Finally, at the maturity stage of the business growth process, the company has stable profit generation and is a leader in its industry. To be at this stage, entrepreneurs need to have effective strategies in the four stages prior. They also need a steady financial source to keep the business afloat and remedy any unexpected challenges, such as market fluctuations. Entrepreneurs in the maturity stage will oftentimes review their business plan and evaluate new ways to continue expanding and how to maintain a healthy cash flow.

Key Takeaways to Stages of Business Growth

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  • Business growth is a process that a starting business has to go through to mature and thrive.
  • Business growth phases are how a company develops and expands in the future.
  • The 5 business growth stages all companies go through include development, start-up, growth, expansion, and maturity.
  • Understanding these growth stages will make sure entrepreneurs are prepared for how their business ideas can fruition.

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