It is estimated that about 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years.
All entrepreneurs know that running a successful business is not something that occurs overnight. It takes many ideas (some good and some not so good), trials and errors, and sleepless nights until you make it work.
Perhaps you have an excellent and sustainable business idea or you want a career change but you’re unsure where to start. A business coach can make all the difference.
Not just any business coach, but one that perfectly fits your business and its current stage of development.
If you don’t want to be part of the dreadful statistics mentioned above, it’s time you consider hiring a professional. Learn how a business coach can help you get through the different stages of a business life cycle.
Stage 1: Development
In the initial stage of your business, the development stage, you need a plan. Not just any plan, but a solid business plan that will serve as the backbone of your business.
This is why the development stage is delicate: far too many entrepreneurs start off with the wrong plan. They fail to ask the right questions and set the right goals, for example:
Is there a real need for my product?
Have I done proper market research?
Will this product bring me a profit?
In this phase, you have the idea and the enthusiasm but lack the experience that a business coach has. An expert will help you define the goals and provide mentorship. Most importantly, they will help you identify what can go wrong in advance and prepare for the unexpected.
Stage 2: Startup
At this stage, you’ve already started making and selling your product, slowly building a small yet valuable customer base. But this is where you have to be very careful as many entrepreneurs spend the little cash they have too quickly.
The emotional attachment many startup owners have towards their businesses often blinds them and prevents them from being objective.
What you need at this point is a reality check. Startup coaching provides that.
A startup coach has been through all of that and can offer the objective point of view you so desperately need at this stage. They are not emotionally attached to your business, they are realistic, able to evaluate your performance, and see where you’re making mistakes.
Stage 3: Growth
This is one of the most exciting and most tricky stages of your business.
You’re seeing positive results, increased sales, your business is growing, and new opportunities emerge.
However, along with these opportunities come numerous problems. Although small, the issues that emerge along the way are challenges that can cause your business to plunge to its death in the blink of an eye.
To meet the increased demand, you need more money, more staff, and perhaps a new business strategy. Running out of cash is one of the top reasons why new businesses fail. Many entrepreneurs rely on loans to keep the business going or sell off equity.
When is it the right time to apply for a loan?
How can you meet the new demands?
Should you hire more people or save money?
One wrong decision can kill off your business. At this stage, it’s essential to consult with an executive coach and review your business plan and improve your management and leadership skills.
An ill-advised investment could ruin you. Your executive coach will tell you whether it’s clever to get money from the bank, sell equity, get a grant or perhaps form a partnership with another business.
A coach can help you:
- Expand safely
- Stay focused on company goals
- Advise you on financial matters
- Advise you on hiring new staff
Stage 4: Maturity
In this stage, your business has matured. There are fewer challenges or at least they are easily manageable. You have built a great customer base and are actually making a significant profit.
But this doesn’t mean that you’re safe. New competition emerges daily and the market evolves. You need to make sure that you evolve with it.
Running a business means constantly competing with other businesses, improving productivity, automating tasks to save time, etc. You need to stay focused on your goals. You need to constantly improve. This is the stage where you need to learn how to prevent mistakes instead of having to learn from them.
This is the time to expand your business. Sometimes this means turning to a coach with a different approach and expertise. Perhaps the guidance of your current coach is no longer of use to you.
The right business coach can identify potential threats and anticipate change you are likely to encounter while scaling your business. They can suggest the right steps for overcoming these challenges and help you stay on the right path.
At this stage, we recommend 1-to-1 coaching on how to scale your business and maintain your competitive edge.
Each stage of the business life cycle has unique dangers and opportunities. That is why each of these requires the help of a confident and experienced coach.
You don’t have to and you shouldn’t have to do it all alone. Expert coaches will help entrepreneurs scale their businesses and go past the stability phase and into greatness.
This post was written by Jenniffer Wilson, a writer at Qeedle.com. She knows business processes and operations management inside out. As she understands all the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it’s her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.