This stage is perhaps the most exciting one!
The key questions of this stage are: How to grow rapidly? & How to finance that growth?
Once you’ve laid the right groundwork in Stage 3, your business can enter a phase of rapid growth that enables it to become a large company. But be careful and considerate—this phase will offer new challenges to fight.
Do you know one interesting thing about rapid growth? Well, it can be hard to manage, and if it’s not done right, it can send you back to some of the very earliest stages on the growth curve—or even cause you to fail completely. Even big-name companies can make huge and costly errors when they try to grow rapidly, as shown by this list of the 13 most epic retail expansion failures.
So your challenges are:
To generate enough funds to invest in growth while keeping your cash flow stable
To choose wisely which projects to invest in and which to avoid and to hire more employees and continue to systematize your processes to cope with a larger and larger scale.
To abandon ways of working that were successful in the early startup phase but no longer serve you.
To scale up rapidly, without losing the innovation and motivation that got you this far.
The opportunity offered here is to enter the big leagues. Take a look at companies like Facebook and Apple—these were once small startups, and they successfully navigated the rapid growth phase and have now joined the ranks of the world’s largest corporations.
Actionable formula here is to have a strategy for rapid growth. You have a strategy, but you’ll probably need to refine it now to chart a course for real take-off.
Also, you’ll need to figure out source of your further funding. Will that come from venture capital funding or other forms of equity investment? Or decide on taking more debt? Decentralization in the business is required the most here. The systematic processes development is the key here. Investment in pro-level HR systems and other business software will do wonders.
In short, your small business will need to start looking a lot more like a large company. Some of these things may sound like unnecessary bureaucracy, but without them, you’ll struggle to stay on top of such a large company with all its far-flung departments and disparate activities.
UPCOMING STAGE IN THE SERIES - MATURITY