No one on earth was born an adult, we all started out as a fetus. After birth we undergo different stages of our human life cycle to, developing core elements that help us navigate the earth as fully mature humans. The same life cycle can be said for all living things and guess what? Your business as well.
If you understand that your business is a living entity, it will guide you on how to manage it to that level of blossom where it becomes the money maker you envision it to be. Today we would walk you through the different life cycle of every business and highlight how you can nurture it to maximum productivity.
There are are five stages in the business life cycle: launch, growth, stability, maturity and decline.
The launch stage is the birthing stage. So just like your fetus, you have been brooding on that idea and have finally taken the step to introduce it into the market. Congratulations!!!
A lot of businesses expect that at this phase they would start making the big bucks but that is a big misconception. Have you ever seen a baby that started running in the first five months? Some children take as long as a year plus before they start walking. As a matter of fact the parents keep spending monies on food, diapers, health etc. with no immediate returns. One comforting information though is that the child is being properly formed and is growing.
Same with your business. Monies don’t come in at the launch stage, instead you have more money sinking into the start-up as you create awareness and manage all contingencies that spring up. The profit cycle at this stage lags behind the sales cycle and the cash flow during this phase is not only negative but dips even lower than the profit.
If this is you, hang in there.
At this stage our business (baby) is beginning to walk, run and probably utter a few words. And guess what? Everyone is happy and excited at the seemingly small successes of the business. At this phase, if you have been diligent with building a solid brand and engaging in great marketing, then customers have begun to identify with your brand, words are going out about your business and sales are improving excellently.
As sales grow significantly, your business begins to enjoy profits once they pass the break-even point. However, because you are still attaining stability your profit might not be astounding inspite of your good sales. Nonetheless, there is a huge promise of profits matching sales if you keep applying the right principles.
This stage of your business is akin to adolescence. Your business can thrive independent of you to an extent. Your business not only brings in profits but sales continue to increase. At the stability phase your sales peak however there is also a likelihood that stagnation might set in if you don’t pay attention to the business.
For those of us who are aware of the law of diminishing returns, you will realise that at this level adding an additional marginal input will not imply more output. Your profits at this phase begin to decline and some reasons could be that you have new competitors with superior products venturing into the market and capturing your customers.
This doesnt mean that your business can come to a foreclosure, instead you can reinvent your business by investing in new technologies and emerging markets.
The decline phase is the old age phase of your business, all your teeth are probably fallen off, wrinkles etc. Your sales, profit, and cash flow all decline. At this phase you have two options, allow the business collapse and die peacefully or you can extend their business life cycle by restrategising and adapting to the changing business environment.
Every business is potent with life and every business has a customer that needs it. It is up to you to see your business as a baby, nurture it healthily and pay attention to its needs because your business will always speak to you. Do well to listen.
By: Omore Orifa