Start-up entrepreneurs transform new ideas into thriving companies. But they face significant challenges on their journey from market newbie to mature player. We explore some of the main questions founders should be asking at four key stages in the business lifecycle.
Turning ideas into practical business reality is one of the most important initial steps. Founders need to think about what’s truly innovative about the business, whether the products or services are sustainable and how large their potential market is. Other questions to ask include:
Entrepreneurs need to sell ideas to investors to transform their ideas into reality and bring the start-up to a new level. Preparing well helps them do so successfully.
The business takes off and the process of expansion to different markets begins. Entrepreneurs need to think about their growth strategy, including what’s driving growth and what the future direction will be. Regarding upcoming challenges, entrepreneurs should consider:
Decisions need to be made quickly to expand the business to new markets. This means updating the strategy, and hiring new talents to reach the growing phase and meet potential new investors.
At this stage, monitoring the risks and operations is essential. Indeed, these components may positively or negatively impact the valuation of the start-up today or tomorrow.
Over the years, financials stabilize while operations become more complex. The potential transition phase has been reached and it is time to plan the future. It’s natural to want to maximize the value of the company, but how can this be achieved? It’s important to think about:
Transition is the most challenging step on this journey. It can bring changes for the shareholders, investors, stakeholders, employees, management and operations.
Every stage in a business lifecycle involves specific opportunities and challenges for any entrepreneur.