Four stages of business

I was consulting with a company recently and I was reminded of the four stages of business that I have alluded to in previous blogs. These four stages define just about every business from Apple, IBM to the cupcake store across the street.

Stage 1 – The cutting edge – This is the stage that is raw, messy and impossible to fully organize. It’s the new business stage where you go get new clients. Stage 2 – the management stage. This is where you want to manage more than you want to sell. Stage 3 is the analytical stage. This is where you want to run an analysis on how you manage. Stage 4 is you file for bankruptcy.

I don’t care if it is Walgreens, Microsoft or the local restaurant, you have to spend as much time in the new business stage as you do in the other stages. Human nature will tell you it is easier to manage others or to analyze others because stage 1 is unruly, raw and messy and you can get your feelings hurt. Some people want to talk about doing it but then there are the few that want to actually go do it. As a company, when you find these few, they are the ones you want to build a company around.

As a leader, you must have some extra space in your schedule if you want to attract new business. If you personally are running at 120% of capacity every day and every week, there will come a day when you look around and ask, what happened to the business? KT

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