The Entrepreneurial Journey

The growth of every business is a unique process since each business, regardless of their industry, have a unique identity. However, because millions of companies out there have existed and failed, there is a close approximation of the basic levels of business growth. There are six of these levels, and achieving each one of them can help your business become an industry leader.

First Level: Product and Research

Product is the first thing you’d need to start a business, and you’re going to need to research for it. This means dedicating a lot of time to knowing about your industry and how you can be competitive in it. It can be as simple as creating a home loan calculator in real estate or as complicated as making a real estate app for homebuyers. If we’re to talk about which is more successful, the latter seems to take a price for a straightforward reason: it generates demand.

Second Level: Growing Demand

It’s easy to create a product, but it isn’t easy to generate demand. Some products generate demand organically, like food and drinks. Some products don’t marginalize like the calculator we’ve mentioned above. They’re easy and needed by everybody. But the real secret to generating demand doesn’t lie in a good product but getting good feedback.

Get a product into the market as fast as possible, but ensure that it’s functioning well. Get it into the hands of consumers and ask for feedback. Evidence-based results are one way you can know you’re generating demand. Continue to improve your product, and you should have loyal consumers in no time.

Third Level: Net Income

The third level of growth is generating net income. Companies like Tesla can go for years without generating income because they have big investors, but a small company like yours needs to generate gross profits by its fifth year.

The idea of generating net income lies in the lifetime value of your product. You can give a free subscription as much as you can, but if those people aren’t going to upgrade to a paid subscription, then you’re not going to gain any net income. Your expenses will overtake your profits, and you’ll be back in square one.

Measure the lifetime value of your product, and find a way to get push people to spend on it. Increase the lifetime value of your product through other services, and you should be able to bypass this level.

Level Four: Marketing

Now we’re reaching the challenging levels of growing a business. The first gatekeeper to your business’ world domination is marketing. Unfortunately, no one has cracked the code of efficient and effective marketing, and millions of businesses spend billions of dollars on this department. However, there is one good tip to keep in mind, and that your marketing should always add lifetime value to your product. It’s the way big businesses have done it, and it’s also the way you should do it for your business.

Level Five: Scalability

Not many small businesses reach this point, and no one has cracked the code for scalability—aside from one of the world’s biggest fast-food chains, McDonald’s.

There are about 39,000 McDonald’s restaurants in the world. That’s a number that many fast-food restaurants would like to achieve but struggle in doing it. For example, the next closest chain is Subway, and it’s about two thousand behind McDonald’s. So how can your company find the scalability that McDonald’s has achieved throughout the years? It’s simple and yet complicated at the same time, expanding to other industries.

McDonald’s expanded to real estate more than two decades ago, and it ever since it did, it has achieved billions of dollars in profit. They then placed this profit into scalability: building more and more franchises worldwide. However, this is just one way of achieving scalability. Expanding to other industries makes you flexible enough to scale, but you’ll still need a lot of luck to reach the final fundamental level in growing your business, starting a platform.

Level Six: Platform

Only one percent of businesses worldwide can create a platform. That’s how hard it is, and, probably, your business won’t reach this point, and that’s fine. Businesses that create a platform essentially create a new culture that crosses various countries. They can rewrite the way we think and how we spend our time. It crosses millions of variables, which means that there is luck involved.

There is no real guide to help you establish a platform. But feel free to look into big companies like Facebook, McDonald’s, Microsoft, and more. They’ve essentially created their platforms perfectly, and they continue to grow up to this day.   

Growing a business isn’t easy, especially if your goal is to become an industry leader. Bide your time, and don’t expect to get through these levels in a span of ten years. Take it one step at a time, and you’ll reach your expected point in no time.