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The business lifecycle is not based on revenue, profit or employee numbers. It’s based on emotions.

At start-up things are exciting. With some success this moves on to frantic. From there, investment in further growth leads to getting through your 1st brick wall and receiving payback, commercially and culturally. Great news!

Unfortunately, the euphoria of payback doesn’t last. You may be distracted by your new, more affluent lifestyle. However the business has built its own growth momentum, and payback can trigger a further period of accelerated growth.

The skills, experience and way of working you used to grow your start-up are no longer working. Now you’re feeling frustrated; you don’t understand and can’t control every aspect of your business. Left to fester, this frustration becomes stress.

You need new skills and your business needs a shift in responsibilities.

If this is not addressed, you and the business will accelerate into the 2nd brick wall.

At the 1st brick wall you felt confident, at the 2nd brick wall you feel disillusioned. Only successful businesses make it this far, but by this stage the business doesn’t feel successful.

Stress has taken its toll and you feel exhausted. Good times are now “the good old days”, and you can’t go back in time!

Despite the growth and success, many business owners give up at this stage, close their doors or sell the business. They may know that they are walking away from years of work and a successful business, but they don’t know how to get through the 2nd brick wall.

Those who do prioritise and reinvest accordingly will enter a phase of research to move the business forward. Many ideas are tried; the owner becomes reenergised, and eventually exits the 2nd brick wall in one of three ways:

–  Advanced Growth
–  Plateau, or
–  Decline

In troubled times many businesses focus on generating cash to make up for lost income rather than diverting some of the profits to expansion. There are a vast number of business owners whose personal wealth has been greatly impacted, can’t retire any time soon and now find themselves smack up against the 2nd brick wall.

If they want to be reconnected with their vision, and significantly increase equity over the next couple of years then they can prepare for advanced growth. If not, then their business will probably plateau and ultimately decline.

To thrive in the future, businesses need to achieve all 5 of the advanced growth pillars:

  1. A clear product strategy, with evolving product extensions
  2. Agreed channels to market, providing a consistent flow of clients and revenues
  3. A functional internal structure that ensures the right person is doing the right job at the right time
  4. A management system that allows for strategy to be a constant evolution rather than an intermittent process, and
  5. Transition to an asset driven business; identifying processes that can be documented and replicated

While there are many different areas of business that can be addressed, these five pillars are a great starting point.

If you’re interested in expanding your business toolkit and finding out more about our business growth strategies, email hello@shirlawsgroup.com, call 0800 878 9500 or complete this form and one of our team will be in touch soon.

In addition, it will help with implentation of any of our strategies to learn how to shift your communication style from instructional to coaching, find out about our Coaching Skills Masterclass, click here.