Using the Power of Anticipation for Business Success
50% of all businesses are gone within the first 2 years. After 5 years, it’s 80%. In 10 years, it’s 96%. 500,000 businesses are started every year. At the end of 10 years, there are only 20,000 of them left.
The bottom line: Only 4 out of 100 businesses survive 10 or more years.
To succeed in business, you need to understand how to create a concept and grow it to fruition. You need to understand how to build an organization. You need to understand how to develop the capabilities to rapidly expand the business to dominate markets at the local, regional, national, or even international level. You need to understand how to keep your company relevant and consistently growing.
But growing a business can seem a lot like taking a trip to an unfamiliar place. The best and fastest path isn’t always clear. You don’t know what lies ahead, beyond the horizon.
Unfortunately, most leaders navigate their company’s growth through trial and error, constantly reacting to the challenges of growth instead of anticipating and preparing for them.
Anticipation is Powerful
To be successful in business, you have to be able to lead two businesses simultaneously: the business you’re running today and the business that it needs to become tomorrow. If you can anticipate what’s coming, you can prepare for it. Then, you can create the solutions and action plans that will drive you forward, rather than reacting and stumbling over common issues.
Success always leaves clues. And the best way to foresee potential problems is to learn from those who have already been down the path you are taking.
When you master this concept, business success is within your grasp.
Knowing the Road Ahead
You need a map that can help guide you. Fortunately, although your business grows in a way that is unique to your situation, growth itself presents challenges that are common to every business. The most important issues that a leader needs to focus on change over time, and they do so in clearly defined stages.
The four stages of growth provide a framework for business leaders to:
- Anticipate and plan for how growth will impact their organization.
- Adapt their methods and management approach as their business gets bigger.
- Focus on the right things at the right time.
Each stage of growth changes a company. During each of these stages, the way the company operates and is managed has to fundamentally change to reach the next level.
These predictable stages provide a way of analyzing a firm’s growth, breaking it down, and ultimately managing it. Together, the stages form a simple and clear roadmap for identifying and understanding the challenges associated with a company’s growth and for helping leaders deal with those challenges in a more effective way.
This critical ability – knowing the right things to do at the right time – is what establishes you as a true business leader. Smart leaders have thought long and hard about where their business currently is – and they also have the preparedness to know what business it needs to become if they want to be a part of the tiny fraction of all businesses that succeed.
Understanding your company’s current stage of growth is vital to anticipate what’s coming next. Take this 20-question assessment to determine the current stage of growth of your organization.
And if you would like to learn more about the stages of growth, take a look at this interactive tool to find detailed information and videos for each stage.
Do you know what lies ahead for your business?