Unfortunately, there is no map when it comes to building a company that generates millions in revenue. Fortunately, success does leave clues: artifacts of opportunities, challenges, and problems. I know it’s easier if someone just gave you a map to the dreams of Avarice.
But success is not a gift it's difficult emotional work.
Micheal Masterson, the author of Ready, Fire, Aim shares:
”Here is my updated idea about the four stages of entrepreneurial growth and the most important problem, challenge and opportunity that presents itself at each stage:”*
1. Stage One: Infancy - $0 to $1 million in revenue.
- Main Problem: You don’t really know what you are doing.
- Main Challenge: Making the first profitable sale.
- Main Opportunity: Achieving a minimum critical mass of customers.
2. Stage Two: Childhood - $1 million to $10 million in revenue.
- Main Problem: You are only breaking even or may even be losing money.
- Main Challenge: Creating many additional, profitable products quickly.
- Main Opportunity: Increasing cash flow and becoming profitable.
3. Stage Three: Adolescence - $10 million to $50 million in revenue.
- Main Problem: Your systems are strained, and customers are noticing.
- Main Challenge: Turning the chaos into order.
- Main Opportunity: Learning how to establish useful protocols and manage processes and procedures.
4. Stage Four: Adulthood - $50 million to $100 million in revenue.
- Main Problem: Sales may slow down and even stall.
- Main Challenge: Becoming entrepreneurial again.
- Main Opportunity: Getting the business to run itself.
The stages that Masterson lists are critical in understanding not only at what stage your business is in but also identifying the main problem of each evolution of your business. Yes, there is no map but what Masterson has provided is nearly as important: a framework on how to get to the next stage.
* These stages were copied word for word from Micheal Masterson’s Ready, Fire Aim pages 19 and 20.