You’re Actually NOT Ready to Grow Your Business (Business Growth Stages) - XO, Tara Wagner

How To Use A Holistic Approach To Create A Profitable Business Without Burning Yourself Out

Words By Tara Wagner

You’re Actually NOT Ready to Grow Your Business (Business Growth Stages)

tara sitting casually smiling with a lush green leagy background

Of course, you WANT to grow your business, but that doesn’t mean you’re actually READY. There are 6 types of readiness that will keep your business growth stagnant (and 3 business growth STAGES you can NOT skip).

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You’re ready to grow your business, right? Everybody is. But if Oprah called and wanted to plaster your work all over the world, would you actually be ready?

Feeling ready for success or business growth is very different than actually being ready. I want to help you understand if you’re truly ready for business growth, by helping you understand the six types of readiness and five stages of business, your company needs to reach. 

Let’s talk about the six types of readiness first.

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#1 -Emotional Readiness

The first type of readiness is emotional readiness.

A lot of people can feel ready – “I want success”, or “I want more success”, but true emotional readiness is about not being afraid of success, not worrying about what other people are going to think, not freaking out about it. 

Now you can certainly have some conflicting emotional readiness.

On one hand, you are excited and ready to go. And on the other hand, you’re kind of freaking out a little bit. You’ve got a lot of worries. You’ve got a lot of fears. You’ve got a lot of what-ifs. If that’s the case, this is definitely something you want to continue to work on as you move forward. Don’t stop to work on it, but keep working on it as you’re working on your business and other types of readiness. 

#2 – Mental Readiness

The next type of readiness you want to have, if you’re really ready to grow, your business is mental readiness.

This is when you can genuinely say, “I’ve got this. I can figure this out”. When you’re not only confident in your ability to handle things, to work things out, to learn, to grow, to develop, but competent in your ability to do so. This is where you really know you’ve got some mental readiness. 

However, I also want you to consider things like:

  • Can I focus?
  • Am I scattered in too many directions or can I clearly focus on just the right things?
  • How are my decision-making skills?
  • Am I able to easily prioritize and know what comes first?
  • What comes next?
  • And what is down the road? 

All of these things (focus, making decisions, prioritization) are actual skills with tactics that you can use to develop them. And I want you to make sure that you catch my next video on the 8 entrepreneurial skills that you do want to develop so that you can make sure that you are actually ready to grow your business. 

#3 – Physical Readiness

The next type of readiness is possibly the hardest one for myself, and that is physical readiness.

Can your body, can your health handle the next level of success? 

This means, do you have the energy and stamina? This doesn’t mean your health has to be perfect, but it is important that your work is not totally wiping you out. And that it’s not a distraction to what you’re trying to do. If you’re in a situation like I’ve been in, sometimes you get to slow down on the business growth in order to focus on the physical health so that you can reach and sustain that next level of growth in your business. 

I know a lot of you struggle with this same thing. And yes, it is possible even if it gets to look a little bit different for us. 

#4 – Personal Readiness

The next type of readiness that you want to examine that so many people forget to consider is personal readiness.

“Can my home, can my family, can my life sustain the level of growth that I’m wanting to create in my business? If I grow my business, will my life fall apart? “

So this could include things like:

  • Is your family in a place where they can handle the changes that are going to happen to people’s schedules, to routines, to priorities?
  • Do you have the support systems in place that you’re going to need on a personal level to get you through the different stages of your business growth?
  • This could also include focusing on things like your time management skills and your organization. If things are a mess, either in your environment or in your schedule, it’s going to be really difficult to grow your business because those things are going to be a distraction. 

Comment below and let me know one thing that, you know, you need to organize in your personal readiness to be able to grow your business. 

#5 – Financial Readiness

The next type of readiness is financial readiness.

You actually need to be ready to make money, have the skills and the ability before you actually get the money, which is kind of a catch 22, because sometimes you got to have the money to learn the skills. 

There are actually two things involved in financial readiness. 

  1. Skills: Do you have the skills to budget to save, to use debt wisely, to manage your books, to handle your taxes?

    You don’t need to have all of these skills yourself at some point, hopefully, you’re going to outsource these things, but do you have enough of the skill to make sure that you know who to go to what needs to happen, where to get support? 
  1. Financial Means: The flip side of financial readiness is having the financial means.

    This could mean having the upfront capital, the money that you need to get it started to get it solid or to scale that business. It could also mean having a security net, having some savings in the bank, something to take the stress off so that you’re not stressing about money worrying about where it’s coming from so that you’ve got the peace of mind to be able to focus on the things that need to be focused on, be patient with the process and actually grow your business. 

And again, this can feel a little bit like a catch 22. A lot of people say you gotta have money to make money. Thankfully, in this day and age, that’s not actually the case. You can start off with nothing, grow a little bit. Re-invest that, grow a little bit more, and do so much more in your business in your life today than we’ve ever been able to do.

However, it is going to be trickier. If you’re not starting with any sort of security, safety net, savings account, or upfront capital, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means you get to be a little bit more creative and probably a little bit more patient. 

#6 – Business Readiness

So now once you get through all of those types of readiness, then we can start looking at business readiness. Is my business at a stage where it is actually ready to grow to the level of success that I want it to be at?

There are actually 5 different stages of business, depending on who you ask. I personally love the description by the Harvard Business Review that talks about these five stages: 

  • Existence 
  • Survival
  • Success
  • Takeoff, and
  • Resource Maturity

Now, most people who are talking about being ready to grow their business, they’re really in one of the first three stages. So I want to walk you through each of those stages, help you to see where you’re actually at in those stages so that you know what to focus on to get you to the next stage. 

Stage #1 – Existence

The very first stage of business that we all get to go through is merely existence.

This is getting the right offers and the right business plan in place. You’re basically trying to answer the question, “Is this idea even viable, do people actually want what it is that I have to sell?” You’re looking for proof of concept, which means it doesn’t matter how much you love the idea, will people actually pay you for it?

So until you actually get sales or pre-sales on something, you’re still just going to stay in that existence phase of, “Can I make something or tweak this idea to get it, to be something that people actually want to pay for?”

In this stage of business, there’s not going to be a lot of growth. There’s going to be a lot of testing. There’s going to be a lot of experimenting and there’s going to be a lot on your shoulders. You are the owner and the operator of the business. You might have a couple of small team members here or there, but these aren’t going to be really high-level people with, you know, major degrees in something, cause you can’t afford them yet.

So you’re going to be getting people in, hopefully over time, at least that is going to be able to just support you, taking some things off your plate so that you can focus on really making sure that this business is a viable idea. 

Harvard Business Review puts it like this, “The owner is the business. They perform all of the important tasks. They are the major suppliers of energy and capital.”

So this means you may love the idea of having a manager or having an integrator, which is a really hot topic right now, but you’re not going to get them at this level. It’s all on you. 

This is where you’re really going to find out, are you emotionally, mentally, personally ready? Because of the amount of work that goes into this level, it can take a long time longer than most people realize. Most people want to get through this level in a matter of weeks or months. And sometimes it can even take longer than that. 

Some businesses might not ever get out of this stage or might not even ever get to this stage of actually having a business that exists that has had proof of concept. That’s made some actual sales, but you cannot grow your business to the next level without knowing that you have a really viable offer so if you’re stuck at this phase put all of your time, energy, and direction into figuring out that viable offer. 

Once you do that, you can then start to enter the survival stage.

Stage #2 – Survival

This is where your business has the ability to survive. It’s actually making sales and it’s making clients and customers happy at this stage. Your primary focus is on increasing your revenue and learning how to keep it.

This means that you’re really focusing on optimizing, fixing, improving both your marketing and your sales strategies, as well as mastering the financial side of your business. You could be making a couple thousand to tens of thousands of dollars a month in this stage, but you’re still probably a pretty small organization.

You might start bringing in some managerial positions or that might still be on yourself. This is also the stage where your systems, your backend is probably still pretty messy and you’re focusing on short-term goals and smaller projects. This is because you’re still in survival mode until you get to the point where your revenue streams are more predictable. 

If you’re stuck at the survival stage of growing your business, make sure that your offers, your messaging, and your positioning of those offers are all really solid. And then once they are then focus on really optimizing and increasing your marketing and sales funnels.

Now, once your revenue is predictable, meaning you know that a certain amount of traffic or a certain amount of ad spend, it’s going to get you a certain number of sales, hopefully, more than you’ve put in, then you’re going to be ready to move on to the next stage of business.

woman with celebratory arms up silhouetted by the sun
Stage #3 – Success

This next stage is called the success stage, but Harvard Business Review actually categorizes this or sub-stages it into two different sub-stages that a lot of business owners fail to recognize. 

Those two stages are disengaged vs. growth

Disengaged Stage

The success disengaged stage is where your business is making predictable money, predictable profits, and you, as the business owner, can stay right there and just enjoy the fruits of your labor. Oftentimes taking yourself out of the business or replacing yourself with other people who can operate the business for you.

Now, your business can stay at this stage, generally, until something else comes along. This could be competition, this could be marketplace changes.

It’s important to recognize that there’s nothing wrong with deciding not to continue to grow your business if you’re happy with where it’s at. However, too much disengagement can lead to atrophy. You don’t have to keep growing, but you do need to make sure that your business is at least evolving to maintain the growth that you’ve built. 

Growth Stage

The success growth stage is the stage that everybody wants to get to. This is where you feel ready for, even if you may not be yet, the growth stage is where you’re making predictable income. But now instead of taking that profit and just enjoying the fruits of your labor, you’re taking that profit and reinvesting it back into the business to create more of it.

This might also be where you start investing in better systems, better optimization, better automation, and definitely in a team, making sure you’re putting the right people in the right seats to help you to be able to grow the business bigger. But I want you to notice this growth can only happen after you get out of the survival stage. Meaning once you have a predictable way to make money in your business, a predictable sales and marketing funnel or strategy, then you can really start to invest and create the growth that you feel ready for. That’s when you can reach the take-off stage and beyond that everybody wants. 

Feeling overwhelmed by all of this?

We’ve got emotional, mental, physical, personal, financial, and business readiness to consider when we’re thinking about being ready to actually grow our business. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, or like you’re never going to make it, guess what? You’re not crazy. You’re not alone. You’re an entrepreneur. Welcome to the game.

But this is also where I want to encourage you to check out my Healthy Hustle Approach.

I have a free class called How To Use a Holistic Approach To Create a Profitable Business Without Burning Yourself Out. It’ll show you the three mistakes that small business owners are making and introduce you to the strategies and the approach and the tools that I use to help you create a six-figure business in under 40 hours a week. If that sounds like your jam or something that might support you, be sure to check out by clicking the button below.

What about you, boss lady?

I’d love to hear from you! Let me know what stage of business you’re at right now, where you feel stuck, and based on what we’re talking about here, where do you think you need to most focus to get yourself out of that stage and into the next one?

Scroll down to leave your comments below.

xoTara-teal

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How To Use A Holistic Approach To Create A Profitable Business
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