Every business goes through four different stages of growth. Collectively, I call these stages The Maker Method, which is a proprietary framework I developed to help entrepreneurs progress through the sequence and sequence from starting a business to growing a business to expanding a business that makes you happy and successful and can generate income. for life.
My proprietary Maker Method is a systematic approach that takes the guesswork out of moving your business forward. When you don’t know what to do, consult the Maker Method to determine what stage your business is in, and it will inform you what types of activities are most important to you at that time.
The four stages of entrepreneurship in the Maker method are:
- Emergence Phase: Build a solid foundation for profitability and success
During the emergence phase, your only job is to build a solid foundation for success. During this stage, ensure you have a clear vision of how you define success as a business owner. Establish a vision for your business and where you want to take it in the future.
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What kind of lifestyle do you want your business to enable? Do you want to start small and stay small, or do you have a goal of getting your products into major retail outlets around the world? Clarifying these questions in the emergent phase empowers you to take the steps that will lead to your ultimate success.
Other activities that should be completed during the emergence phase include establishing corporate status in your state, identifying your niche target audience, opening business bank accounts, setting up your tax number, setting prices, and starting to build your customer list.
- Engagement Phase: Sell products and services by sharing your brand message, focusing on your specific target audience
Unsurprisingly, the engagement phase is all about interacting with your target audience to make a sale.
In the engagement phase, you’ll go out into the world and share your brand message and pitch your offerings to the target audience you identified during the emergence phase.
During the engagement phase, you’ll use social media, texting, direct mail, and newsletters to spread the word about what you’re offering. You can also host informational webinars and videos, attend networking events, participate in sales events, make guest appearances in media that serve your target audience, and do whatever you can to build awareness and community around your brand.
The engagement stage is where the sale starts to take hold. As you collaborate with more people, you enjoy more sales opportunities. As you close sales, you’ll develop relationships with customers who buy on an ongoing basis. Over time, these repeat sales will make your business profitable. Once you’ve created effective engagement systems that regularly produce repeat sales, you’re ready to move on to the development phase.
- Development Phase: Stabilize your business by designing repeatable systems that allow your business to operate without your direct and continuous presence
During the development phase, you will use the patterns and trends developed during the engagement phase to stabilize your business and create systems that will allow the business to function without your consistent and regular involvement.
The development phase is the time of exfoliation. In other words, you’ll smooth out the rough edges of your business and establish operating systems that create repeat success with greater ease. One way you will do this is by hiring people to perform tasks that produce the desired result in the business.
By the time you get to the development stage, you’ll have a clear picture of what products and services are selling best so you can make the most of those lines of business. You can also discontinue products that are not selling well or that have a low profit margin.
In business, you are constantly innovating to keep up with changing customer expectations, market trends and new business opportunities. As a result, some aspects of your business will always be in development, even as you move into the expansion phase.
- Expansion Phase: Capitalize on your success by creating multiple income streams that generate income for life
Once you reach the expansion stage, you’re ready to leverage your existing success to create multiple streams of income. During the expansion phase, you can look at the core profit centers and expand them.
There are two basic ways to do this. First, you can sell new products to existing customers. Second, you can sell existing products to a new target audience.
Kimberly Cross of Zhi Bath and Body (link at https://www.zhibathandbody.com/) in Charlotte sells artisan bath and body products directly to consumers through her website and through social media. As Kim entered the expansion phase of her business, she realized that other beauty companies wanted to add to their product line, but needed help with production.
Kim added a “private label” arm to her business and now sells the same products she makes for her customers to other retail brands. By adding a private label, Kim created an additional revenue stream by selling existing products to a different target audience.
“Quiet: Stage Five: Exit Stage
None of us live forever. At some point you will leave your job and it is wise to have as much control as possible over that planning ahead of time.
You can decide to quit your job at any time, so it’s important to be aware of the “quiet” fifth stage of the Maker Method: the exit stage. It is silent because it can happen at any time.
You may decide that you no longer want to run your business, so you can exit by selling it or simply closing and liquidating your assets. You can exit by leaving your business to your children or other family members.
Track and evaluate your progress quarterly so you can control the final exit process as much as possible.
Every business is somewhere in one of the four stages of The Maker Method, but many business owners are unaware of which stage they are in. This can lead to engaging in activities that are not appropriate for the given stage, especially at the beginning.
Take an honest and regular look at what stage your business is in so you can perform activities that match that stage. Don’t put the cart before the horse and don’t wait too late to take important actions.
Take the right actions today to ensure you build a business that makes you happy and successful and can generate income for as long as you want it to.
Let’s talk about it!
At which stage of The Maker Method is your business? how are things going? Are you taking the right actions at the right stage? How can I help you take your business in the direction you want it to go?
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