USING THE STRUCTURE OF THE FOUR PHASE LIFE CYCLE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS

Phase 1 – THE STARTUP

  • Tasks to be done:
    • Create a viable business model with a unique value proposition for selected markets.
    • Develop a draft business plan to initiate startup. Include a marketing-production-finance-administrative plan.
  • How will they be done?
    • Through innovation, collaboration, and lean startup principles of build-measure-learn.
  • What is the ‘product’ of a successful startup?
    • A market eager for the product or service based upon field experiments.
  • How do you structure for sustainability?
    • Continuous improvement and innovation.

Phase 2-THE GROWTH

  • Tasks to be done:
    • Gain traction in identified market segments and reach break-even as soon as possible. Set a time limit (6 Mos?).
  • How will they be done?
    • By working the model and the draft business plan, particularly marketing.
    • Plan and execute a scaling plan as the market develops.
  • What is the ‘product’ of successful growth?
    • Excellent customer feedback.
    • Growth in number of customers and total sales at a profit.
  • How do you structure for sustainability?
    • Maintain quality.
    • Grow internal systems to match growth.
    • Provide employee training.
    • Maintain profitable operations above break-even.

Phase 3-THE MATURITY

  • Tasks to be done:
    • Maintain continuous growth and operate profitably.
  • How will they be done?
    • By improving product and services.
    • By controlling costs.
    • By developing new products and markets.
  • What is the ‘product’ of successful maturity?
    • Continuous building of value in the business.
  • How do you structure for sustainability?
    • Maintain profitable operations while monitoring industry and other trends, using SWOT analysis.
    • Develop transition plan/exit strategy.
    • Embrace change.

Phase 4-THE EXIT

  • Tasks to be done:
    • Please and execute exit on favorable terms
  • How will they be done?
    • Use legal, accounting, business consulting services to structure best possible goals of the exit.
  • What is the ‘product’ of successful exit?
    • The attainment of the goals that were set.
  • How do you structure for sustainability?
    • Plan ahead.
    • Anticipate trends favorable and unfavorable and react accordingly to maintain business value.
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