:
The Small Business
Life CycleBy Charlie Gilkey
Outline
The Stats
Intro to the Stages of the
Small Business Life Cycle
Stage 0: The Aspirational Stage
Stage 1: The Entry ...
>
TheStats
The Stats
More and more people start small businesses today because
technology, societal expectations, and the demands of ...
TheStats
23millionsmall
businessesintheU.S.
accountfor54%ofall
U.S.sales.
Source: http://www.sba.gov/content/small-busines...
Approximately543,000newbusinesses
arestartedeachmonth
TheStats
Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-the-stat...
Half of all small
businesses
survive 5 years or
more.
TheStats
Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp...
55%
66%
Smallbusinessesprovide
TheStats
ofalljobsintheU.S.
and ofallnewnetjobs
sincethe1970s.
Source: http://www.sba.gov/c...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
TheStats
Are you going to make it?
The Stats
Most small business owners feel overwhelmed
by all the information they get about
how to grow their business.
• ...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
TheStats
So what steps
to take right now?
are right for you
TheStats
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
a
Intro to the Stages of theTrust us! We’re Awesome
Small Business
Life Cycle
Intro to the Stages of the
Intro
SmallBusinessLifeCycleOverview
Everystagehas:
Challenges Strengths Inconvenient
Truths
Ways
Forward Moments
Catalytic
Intro
Myth:
Thefartherthroughthecycleyouget,
theeasieratimeyou’llhavegrowing
yourbusiness.
Intro
Fact:
Everystage
willhavechallenges.
Don’t Give Up!
Intro
TheSecrettoSmallBusinessSuccess
Take
theright
stepsatthe
righttime.
Stage O:
The Aspirational Stage
Stage0
TheAspirationalStage
“Whenever you see
a successful business,
someone once made a
courageous decision.”
-Peter Druc...
Stage0
people who want to start a business.
The aspirational stage is for all
but they haven’t actually started.
they dayd...
Stage0
Challenges
Figuring out what business
to start
Making the leap
Overcoming the
overwhelm around
changing the world
0...
Stage0
Strengths
HopeEnergy Anything counts
as a win
01 02 03
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage0
Your business
might not work.
Inconvenient Truth
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage0
Just Start.
The Way Ahead
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage0
How do you start?
What makes you come alive?
What are you natively go...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage0
Catalytic Moment
You try something and it
WORKS
even if it’s just a l...
Welcome to Stage 1:
The Entry Stage
Stage1
Stage 1–TheEntryStage
“In the business world,
everyone is paid in two
coins: cash and experience.
take the experien...
In Stage 1 you get a little
traction, but don’t yet have
a lot of customers, market
share, or demand for what
you do.
Stag...
Take on too much work,
work with anyone willing
to work with you, and say
yes to anyone who shows
interest.
Stage1
Thisisa...
Stage1
Challenges
Having a little success does
not mean you’ll have
sustainable long-term success
Talking about what you d...
Youstillhave
energy Small wins count as huge
wins because you are
#winning
SuccessHigh
“Fail fast and
fail often.”
-Seth G...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage1
You have no idea
what you’re doing.
Inconvenient Truth
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage1
The Way Ahead
Focus on a beachhead offer
Test, fail, iterate
around y...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage1
Catalytic Moment
You hit your first
Home Run
Welcome to Stage 2:
The Growth Stage
Stage2
Stage 2–TheGrowthStage
“The success
combination
in business is: do what
you do better… and:
do more of what you
do....
Stage2
You have customers and market
demand, you’re excited, and business
is taking off
Riding the Rocket
Source: https://...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage2
You’re going
fast and it’s
fun.
This stage is the one so
many entrepr...
Stage2
Challenges
It’s hard to hold on
You have too many ideas
You’re not there yet
01
02
03Source: https://flic.kr/p/9x8R...
Stage2
Strengths
There are
lots of
possibilities
It’s fun You have
confidence
01 02 03
Stage2
You can’t keep
going like this,
or you’ll burn
out.
Inconvenient Truth
Stage2
Focus on your
specialty or niche.
The Way Ahead
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage2
Tips for Moving Forward
Add supporting or complementary offers
Mainta...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage2
Catalytic Moment
Market demand
xceeds your ability
to deliver.
Welcome to Stage 3:
The Crucible Stage
Stage3
Stage 3–TheCrucibleStage
“The mark of a successful
organization isn’t
whether or not it has a
problem; it’s whether...
This is everyone’s least favorite
stage because it is frustrating.
Seth Godin calls it
“the dip.”
Stage3
The First “No” St...
There is enough going for you
that it’s hard to quit,
but not enough in place
to continue indefinitely.
Stage3
The First “...
Stage3
Challenges
You’re tired
You need help
People are watching you
now
01
02
03
Stage3
You’re finally at home
as an entrepreneur
Strengths
You’re a small giant You know what’s
working
01
02
03
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage3
There’s no
business
under the
business.
Inconvenient Truth
Stage3
The Way Ahead
people
processes
systems01
02
03
positioning04
You need to get 4 key ingredients
into place:
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage3
Focus on Your Core
Reduce complexity, extraneous effort, and
Start th...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage3
Catalytic Moment
gelsystems, and positioning
Your people, processes,
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage3
At this point it is common to seesaw
back and forth between Stages 2 ...
Welcome to Stage 4:
The Cruise Stage
Stage4
Stage 4–TheCruiseStage
“Keep your eyes
on the stars and
your feet on the
ground.”
-Theodore Roosevelt
Stage4
All entrepreneurs do
1 of 3 things:
What happens at Stage 4?
They
implementa
newbusiness
model
Theylosea
critical
r...
Stage4
Object Syndrome
Challenges
Patience: You must
You have a lot to
Bright and Shiny
01
02
03
switch to a
long-term str...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage4
What is BSO?
A Bright and Shiny Object is a new project or
potential ...
Stage4
Strengths
You have leverage
You’re a well-oiled
machine
Money and profit
become secondary to
your mission
01
02
03
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage4
You can move fast,
but you can’t change directions quickly.
Inconveni...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage4
The Way Ahead
Make your key
players obsolete
Scale intelligently01
02...
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
Stage4
Catalytic Moment
You introduce a new brand
or business dynamic
and st...
The Way Ahead
In life and business
one size
doesn’t fit all
TheWayAhead
Wherever You Are, It’s OK
We think if we just make it to
We forg...
TheWayAhead
Yourtaskasanentrepreneur
tryingtogrowyourbusinessis
toassesstheresourcesyou
haveNOW,andproductively
usethemtos...
If you run out
of problems to
solve, you’re
either out of
business or
asleep at the
wheel.
TheWayAhead
“A journey of a thousand
miles begins beneath your
feet.”
-LaoTzu
TheWayAhead
Thank you for being
in business!
TheWayAhead
For more information on the Small
Business Life Cycle, visit
Please share thi...
TheWayAhead
Get even more tips
to grow your small
business with the
second edition of
The Small Business
Life Cycle.
Get t...
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Tips to Grow Your Small Business

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Tips to Grow Your Small Business

  1. 1. : The Small Business Life CycleBy Charlie Gilkey
  2. 2. Outline The Stats Intro to the Stages of the Small Business Life Cycle Stage 0: The Aspirational Stage Stage 1: The Entry Stage 01 02 03 04 Stage 2: The Growth Stage 07 06 05 Stage 3: The Crucible Stage 08 Stage 4: The Cruise Stage The Way Ahead
  3. 3. > TheStats
  4. 4. The Stats More and more people start small businesses today because technology, societal expectations, and the demands of life favor small businesses.
  5. 5. TheStats 23millionsmall businessesintheU.S. accountfor54%ofall U.S.sales. Source: http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-trends
  6. 6. Approximately543,000newbusinesses arestartedeachmonth TheStats Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-the-state-of-us-small-businesses-3013-9
  7. 7. Half of all small businesses survive 5 years or more. TheStats Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/01/27/do-9-out-of-10-new-businesses-fail-as-rand-paul-claims
  8. 8. 55% 66% Smallbusinessesprovide TheStats ofalljobsintheU.S. and ofallnewnetjobs sincethe1970s. Source: http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-trends
  9. 9. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all TheStats Are you going to make it?
  10. 10. The Stats Most small business owners feel overwhelmed by all the information they get about how to grow their business. • One expert says one thing, and another says something else. • Best practices from last year are obsolete this year. • There is always more to do… …than time and resources available to do it with.
  11. 11. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all TheStats So what steps to take right now? are right for you
  12. 12. TheStats In life and business one size doesn’t fit all
  13. 13. a Intro to the Stages of theTrust us! We’re Awesome Small Business Life Cycle Intro to the Stages of the
  14. 14. Intro SmallBusinessLifeCycleOverview Everystagehas: Challenges Strengths Inconvenient Truths Ways Forward Moments Catalytic
  15. 15. Intro Myth: Thefartherthroughthecycleyouget, theeasieratimeyou’llhavegrowing yourbusiness.
  16. 16. Intro Fact: Everystage willhavechallenges. Don’t Give Up!
  17. 17. Intro TheSecrettoSmallBusinessSuccess Take theright stepsatthe righttime.
  18. 18. Stage O: The Aspirational Stage
  19. 19. Stage0 TheAspirationalStage “Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” -Peter Drucker
  20. 20. Stage0 people who want to start a business. The aspirational stage is for all but they haven’t actually started. they daydream, They read books,
  21. 21. Stage0 Challenges Figuring out what business to start Making the leap Overcoming the overwhelm around changing the world 01 02 03
  22. 22. Stage0 Strengths HopeEnergy Anything counts as a win 01 02 03
  23. 23. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage0 Your business might not work. Inconvenient Truth
  24. 24. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage0 Just Start. The Way Ahead
  25. 25. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage0 How do you start? What makes you come alive? What are you natively good at? Who fires you up? What frustrations can you solve? Pick one frustration and start generating 01 02 03 04 05 solutions.
  26. 26. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage0 Catalytic Moment You try something and it WORKS even if it’s just a little bit.
  27. 27. Welcome to Stage 1: The Entry Stage
  28. 28. Stage1 Stage 1–TheEntryStage “In the business world, everyone is paid in two coins: cash and experience. take the experience first; the cash will come later.” -Harold S. Green
  29. 29. In Stage 1 you get a little traction, but don’t yet have a lot of customers, market share, or demand for what you do. Stage1
  30. 30. Take on too much work, work with anyone willing to work with you, and say yes to anyone who shows interest. Stage1 Thisisanaturalpartoftheprocessofgrowingabusiness. The Entry Stage is a Yes Stage
  31. 31. Stage1 Challenges Having a little success does not mean you’ll have sustainable long-term success Talking about what you do Undervaluing what you do 01 02 03
  32. 32. Youstillhave energy Small wins count as huge wins because you are #winning SuccessHigh “Fail fast and fail often.” -Seth Godin You’renot toobigtofail Strengths Stage1 Atthisstage,therearen’tawholelotta peoplewatching.
  33. 33. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage1 You have no idea what you’re doing. Inconvenient Truth
  34. 34. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage1 The Way Ahead Focus on a beachhead offer Test, fail, iterate around your solution 01 02 03 Center your marketing
  35. 35. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage1 Catalytic Moment You hit your first Home Run
  36. 36. Welcome to Stage 2: The Growth Stage
  37. 37. Stage2 Stage 2–TheGrowthStage “The success combination in business is: do what you do better… and: do more of what you do...” -David Joseph Schwartz
  38. 38. Stage2 You have customers and market demand, you’re excited, and business is taking off Riding the Rocket Source: https://flic.kr/p/96iJmd
  39. 39. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage2 You’re going fast and it’s fun. This stage is the one so many entrepreneurs love to stay in. Source: https://flic.kr/p/7YHYBb
  40. 40. Stage2 Challenges It’s hard to hold on You have too many ideas You’re not there yet 01 02 03Source: https://flic.kr/p/9x8R1f
  41. 41. Stage2 Strengths There are lots of possibilities It’s fun You have confidence 01 02 03
  42. 42. Stage2 You can’t keep going like this, or you’ll burn out. Inconvenient Truth
  43. 43. Stage2 Focus on your specialty or niche. The Way Ahead
  44. 44. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage2 Tips for Moving Forward Add supporting or complementary offers Maintain your beachhead Stay customer facing and focused Keep going! 01 02 03 04
  45. 45. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage2 Catalytic Moment Market demand xceeds your ability to deliver.
  46. 46. Welcome to Stage 3: The Crucible Stage
  47. 47. Stage3 Stage 3–TheCrucibleStage “The mark of a successful organization isn’t whether or not it has a problem; it’s whether it has the same problems as last year.” -John Foster Dulles
  48. 48. This is everyone’s least favorite stage because it is frustrating. Seth Godin calls it “the dip.” Stage3 The First “No” Stage
  49. 49. There is enough going for you that it’s hard to quit, but not enough in place to continue indefinitely. Stage3 The First “No” Stage
  50. 50. Stage3 Challenges You’re tired You need help People are watching you now 01 02 03
  51. 51. Stage3 You’re finally at home as an entrepreneur Strengths You’re a small giant You know what’s working 01 02 03
  52. 52. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage3 There’s no business under the business. Inconvenient Truth
  53. 53. Stage3 The Way Ahead people processes systems01 02 03 positioning04 You need to get 4 key ingredients into place:
  54. 54. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage3 Focus on Your Core Reduce complexity, extraneous effort, and Start thinking like a manager Review your margins, brand resonance, Sell to your current and/or previous customers 01 02 03 04 information silos and sustainability
  55. 55. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage3 Catalytic Moment gelsystems, and positioning Your people, processes,
  56. 56. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage3 At this point it is common to seesaw back and forth between Stages 2 and 4 Warning
  57. 57. Welcome to Stage 4: The Cruise Stage
  58. 58. Stage4 Stage 4–TheCruiseStage “Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” -Theodore Roosevelt
  59. 59. Stage4 All entrepreneurs do 1 of 3 things: What happens at Stage 4? They implementa newbusiness model Theylosea critical resource Theysellthe businessand startoverAnyofthesethingswillcauseyouto movebackdowntoapreviousstage.
  60. 60. Stage4 Object Syndrome Challenges Patience: You must You have a lot to Bright and Shiny 01 02 03 switch to a long-term strategy lose now Stage4
  61. 61. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage4 What is BSO? A Bright and Shiny Object is a new project or potential project that key players in the business latch onto that alters the business’s ability to operate. Look for the words
  62. 62. Stage4 Strengths You have leverage You’re a well-oiled machine Money and profit become secondary to your mission 01 02 03
  63. 63. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage4 You can move fast, but you can’t change directions quickly. Inconvenient Truth
  64. 64. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage4 The Way Ahead Make your key players obsolete Scale intelligently01 02 Develop a BSO warning indicator 03
  65. 65. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all Stage4 Catalytic Moment You introduce a new brand or business dynamic and start the cycle all over again.
  66. 66. The Way Ahead
  67. 67. In life and business one size doesn’t fit all TheWayAhead Wherever You Are, It’s OK We think if we just make it to We forget that even though the grass may be greener on the other side, it still needs to be mowed. the next stage, all our problems will go away.
  68. 68. TheWayAhead Yourtaskasanentrepreneur tryingtogrowyourbusinessis toassesstheresourcesyou haveNOW,andproductively usethemtosolvethe challengesoftheday.
  69. 69. If you run out of problems to solve, you’re either out of business or asleep at the wheel. TheWayAhead
  70. 70. “A journey of a thousand miles begins beneath your feet.” -LaoTzu TheWayAhead
  71. 71. Thank you for being in business! TheWayAhead For more information on the Small Business Life Cycle, visit Please share this with your fellow small business owners!
  72. 72. TheWayAhead Get even more tips to grow your small business with the second edition of The Small Business Life Cycle. Get the Book
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