A business, of any kind, has its own lifecycle. That lifecycle is similar to our lifecycle as a human being. Just like every human has a similar lifecycle, a business of any kind or of any stature has a similar lifecycle. Some become the unicorns and then public companies, some die prematurely while some find stagnation in their growth stage. There are different businesses, different paths, different results but one cycle. Today we are going to study the life cycle of a business. Not one in particular but all.
As well all know business is nothing but a preconceived notion that only goes to the stage of preconception upon some research. The opinion formed about your idea in your head needs some thought so that it can be nurtured and that thought can be a billion-dollar business one day. A business is nothing but an idea turned into something great. Now the stage when you first make a move towards implementing that idea is the stage called startup.
Now, there is a term coined as ‘early stage startup’ but it is nothing but an early stage startup is nothing but a startup. So startup is a process when you are in the phase of seed and development which means that your business is formed and is up and running. Now the startup is just a phase in the business, many people have a notion that it is something different from a business but no, it is just a phase of your business lifecycle.
This phase is the riskiest and the most challenging phase of a business. Startup requires a lot of man hours as it is a make or break situation. It is you and four other people working your socks off. You are trying to create your own customer base and are trying to win people all over. It is a phase of adaptability, a rigid mind cannot last the startup phase. One has to consider, reconsider, shape, reshape, design, redesign and all of this done through customer feedback. There is no focus group in this part of the business, everything in a startup phase is trial and error. Either you bow out or you prevail.
Now, once you have passed that riskier stage, you see steady growth, a kind of growth where you are seeing a steady income. It is not just the four of you working your socks off this time around, it is 40 of you doing it. This stage is where Series A funding has kicked in and growth is imminent. This is a phase where competition will be fierce. You will realize that your idea wasn’t that unique after all. There are other heads thinking about the same thing and this is where you will learn to tackle problems and manage the customers cleverly. While doing all this, the main man has to keep one eye on the growth rate.
Once you are out of this phase is where you will reach the end of the term startup. From here it will be an establishment. It will stop being a company of 40 people but will have 400 people. Your job would be to sign things and make fierce decisions. You will have to look for new opportunities, new markets and smaller matters are not your concern anymore. You will have 100s of people to take care of those things. Now your business generates revenue and there is a constant cash flow which you need not worry about. The only thing that matters to you now is expansion. The hard-working days and the long nights have finally brought you to this stage.
Now if you have stopped dreaming, there is another stage, the final one. Here you have to decide, to stop being in the competition or continue as a long racehorse. This is where you will have to make critical decisions. This is the phase where true CEO pressures will take over. Profits, revenues, and everything will be beyond you and all you have to think about is to stay or to leave.
This is a lifecycle of a startup within the lifecycle of a business. This is how a business is started, this is how you become rich but it is not as easy as it is to write and read. It takes a lifetime to go through this cycle and it takes a lot of courage and belief. So, are you still considering your idea for a startup?