9 Stages of Entrepreneurship

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Galway Daily business The 5 Stages of Small Business Growth

Entrepreneurship involves creating, launching, and operating a new business. It can be done full-time or part-time while maintaining your day job. However, if an entrepreneur is to reach their full potential, they need to follow specific steps: 

Ideation 

To be considered an entrepreneur, you must be the one to come up with the idea.

Considering the possibilities and opportunities around you can lead to a brand-new concept or an improvement on an existing one. This means looking at your inner talents to decide if your chosen launch will work. 

Start by determining your expertise and interests and narrowing down the industries you want to work in. It’s then up to you to generate ideas as they occur to you or research common problems in a specific industry and find solutions to them. 

In this early stage, you will also have to come up with a name for your company. Try to keep it simple, descriptive, and unique. Even if it seems silly or off-topic, jot down every idea that comes to mind. Also, remember to check whether the name is taken by searching business names from the CRO database. Moreover, verify it’s available as a domain name and on social media. 

Organisation 

With your vision already in hand, you’ll want to start immediately. In addition to developing your business plan, you can craft a mission statement explaining your goals and projected revenue. 

This stage of your entrepreneurial plan should also involve thorough market research. This research should ensure no competitors offer the same service or product. Your offering must be compellingly different or have a critical advantage over the offering of your competitors. 

Developing your brand messaging is also a good idea at this stage. You want the customer to see why your service or product is worth their money and time. It is key to brand your business the right way from the get-go.

Networking

Having a vast network of contacts is essential to succeeding as an entrepreneur. Connecting with other experts and professionals in your industry is vital, especially if you’re looking for mentors and partners. 

As a company, you will inevitably encounter problems that need to be solved, so it is crucial to interact with like-minded individuals with comparable business interests who’ve already dealt with similar issues. 

You’ll want to build connections with entrepreneurs in other industries and professionals such as financial advisors and lawyers. As early as possible, determine what types of vendors you will need and begin connecting with them. During this time, you can also start looking for potential employees.

Formation  

The idea is there; you’ve done all the research and made the connections. Now it’s time to build your business and legitimise your dreams. 

Whether pursuing a more traditional business model or starting an online business, you must decide the type of enterprise entity you want to establish (nonprofit, partnership, corporation, LLC, etc.) Doing so will allow you to file the required paperwork and register your new company with the government. 

Obviously, doing this can be much easier with the help of a financial professional – think about hiring one. A tax specialist or accountant could also assist you in finding a tax-efficient way to pay yourself as the company’s director

Funding

Unless you have investors who can fund it, your million-dollar idea remains just that: a million-dollar idea and nothing more. Following your enterprise’s formation and registration, you can begin searching for financial support.

Call your professional contacts and discuss the possibility of offering them shares in your company or forming a partnership. Your idea can also be addressed with any wealthy individuals you know to see if they would be interested in investing. 

Crowdfunding is another method of raising startup capital. Kickstarter, for example, allows entrepreneurs to build brand awareness and promote their services or products. Offering patrons exclusive access to your services or products and providing additional discounts, rewards, and gifts is an excellent way to encourage them to invest.

Creating a captivating story that resonates with your audience is crucial when crowdfunding. You could tell the story of your marketplace solution or shoot a video and demonstrate your product.

Assessment

Ask yourself a few crucial questions before launching the business. How sustainable is my business plan? Do my services or products meet customers’ needs and solve their issues? Do I have everything I need to run the business without a hitch?

Assess the current state of your business during this stage. Calculate any potential future problems and improve all that needs improving. You’ll be better prepared for upcoming struggles if you begin thinking about them early on. 

Before moving on to the next stage, repeat the steps of this stage as often as necessary.

Launch

Launching a new business is the most exciting moment for any entrepreneur. You’re ready to begin when you’ve developed your business plan and created your services or products. 

Ensure a successful liftoff by taking a hands-on approach as the business’ founder. This could mean running your services or products through quality assurance processes, working on initial manufacturing and development, and hiring vendors, contractors, and employees. 

It is unlikely that the launch will be flawless – mistakes happen, whether we like it or not. As bumps in the road arise, work through them with a calm mindset.

Growth

This stage involves the growth of your business and your personal growth as an entrepreneur. And as an entrepreneur, you will still grow even if your business fails or does not reach the expected numbers.

Make the most of the opportunity with your new venture and keep improving your skills. Remember that a business is rarely perfect, and there’s always room for improvement in efficiency, quality, and customer service. 

Ambitious goals and constant reassessment are essential for growth. Your success at this stage will depend on your character and how well you fared in previous steps. 

Exit

The last and final stage is the exit. You, as an entrepreneur, can exit a business in two ways. 

One is that you sell. When you decide to sell your business, you need to consult with your accountant on finding a tax-efficient way to sell your business, find a buyer, negotiate the sales price, and hand the business over to the buyer.

The other possibility is that you remain the business owner but remove yourself from its day-to-day operations. This final step of entrepreneurship evolution can be very profitable when done correctly.