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The 5 Stages of Small Business Growth


In the early days of a small business, it’s hard to predict how much money you will make or how long your company will last. There are so many uncertainties that come with starting a new venture. One of them is the question of when your business will hit its stride, what stage it will be in and if you can expect any growth after that point.

The Lifestyle Stage

The lifestyle stage is the time when you are the only employee. You may be working all day, every day and even weekends. It’s important for small business owners to know that they will not be able to take much time off work during this stage of their business growth because if they do, their company could suffer financially or lose clients altogether.

Over time, however, as your company grows and becomes more successful in its field (or industry), it will become easier for you to delegate tasks so that others can take over some of your responsibilities while still allowing enough room for additional growth within each department or region where there is room for expansion – but not too much!

The Survival Stage

The survival stage is a time of growth, maturity, and expansion. In this stage, your business has been established for some time and is growing steadily. It’s also profitable enough that you can pay your employees well and offer benefits such as health insurance or retirement plans. You may have more than one location in operation at this point—and if so, it should be easy to tell if any other locations are going under due to lack of funding or manpower issues (or both).

The main thing you want to focus on in this phase is getting your customer base established so that they’ll stick around when things get tough later on down the road!

The Success Stage

You’ve been successful. Your customers love what you do, and they’re loyal to the brand. You can now focus on scaling up and making money, but it’s not as easy as it sounds—you still need to invest in marketing and expand your product line if you want to grow further.

In this stage of business development, small businesses typically:

  • Focus more on scale than quality (and thus become less expensive)
  • Hire more employees for bigger operations

The Take-Off Stage

In the early stages of your business, you will be growing fast. You’ll be hiring more employees and expanding the company in exciting ways. Your customers are going to love it!

But here’s the problem: You don’t have enough resources yet to handle all of this growth on your own. So even though you’re making money now, it’s not enough for what needs to happen next—and if things don’t change soon, then there won’t be any time left at all before everything falls apart again…

The Resource Maturity Stage

The Resource Maturity Stage

The resource maturity stage is where you start to outgrow your founder’s skills and knowledge. Your company needs to hire people with the right skills, invest in technology or infrastructure, and otherwise grow up. This can be a difficult stage for entrepreneurs because it means giving up control over the direction of your business in favor of someone else—but if done correctly, this will lead each new employee toward becoming an integral part of what makes your company unique and valuable for customers.

Small businesses go through distinct stages of growth as they progress.

The five stages of business growth are not linear and don’t map to a specific sequence. They are more like a series of steps that you will go through as you build your small business, but each step has its own purpose and can be applied to different situations. Some businesses may need to start out in one stage before moving on to another one; others may have to jump from stage to stage within the same phase.

As an example: if your company is just starting out, it might make sense for you as an owner or founder at this point in time (or even later) simply because there’s not much else going on yet besides getting everything set up and finding customers—and those things could happen before actually making any real progress with sales or revenue generation! In fact, if all goes well during this early phase then maybe by next year or so everyone will finally be happy with what they see happening here 🙂


Once you’ve reached the growth stage, it’s time to start thinking about your next steps. This might be tricky if you feel like you’re still in survival mode but remember that every entrepreneur goes through this stage at some point in their journey. The important thing is to stay focused on your goals and keep moving forward!


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