Every business, whether big or small goes through a business life cycle made up of four stages namely: Start up, Growth, Maturity, and Decline stages. At each stage of this cycle, companies go through certain challenges that could make or mar them. For example, statistics show that the riskiest part of any business is the start-up phase. About 80% of businesses do not survive this phase
because of several reasons. The sustainability of a company through its life cycle often rests on the business owner or the Chief Executive officer of the company. From the start-up phase to the Decline phase. Let us look at the various stages in the life business and what business owners and CEO are expected to do to go through these stages
1. Start up or Introduction Stage: This stage is the takeoff or starting stage of the business. It is said to be the most delicate stage of the business. It is at this stage that the acceptability of products and services is tested. It is at this stage a lot of capital is injected into the business without expecting any visible revenue or cash inflow. To go through this stage successfully most business owners/CEOs must focus and build their business ideas. They are resilient even in the face of an initial lack of acceptability of the products and services. They are strategic and determined to push their products into the market even in the face of other existing products in the market, a lot of businesses fail to go through this stage.
2. Growth Stage: This stage is when the business begins to experience some incremental growth. At this stage, a business begins to achieve some market acceptability and revenue visibility.
At this stage owners or CEO of businesses must keep pushing their products and growing their market share. They must put in place a management structure that aligns the management of all business resources with the vision of the business. At this stage also owners can inject more money into the business to sustain its growth.
3. Maturity Stage: At this stage, the business experiences a higher revenue and a highly acceptable customer base. It is the stage where revenue and profits are often at their peak. The business has a streamlined process and a stable source of income for its various investors. Owners and CEOs of businesses must keep an eye on the internal and external environment of the business. They must begin to enhance internal structures against expected threats and also be positioned to take advantage of opportunities
4. Decline/Saturation Stage: This stage of the business is where you begin to experience drops in revenues, profits, customer movement, and high labour turnover. The truth is not all business reaches this stage but once you perceive that you have reached this stage a business owner or CEO must quickly look at how to reinvent and relaunch the business so that a new business life cycle can evolve.
Now, for me as a business owner of over 20 years and overseeing the publication of this landmark edition – PRINTERS DIGEST 100TH edition, I can clearly say that I have been able to successfully manage my business over the four stages of a business life cycle. What we are doing this season is to re-imagine, reinvent and refocus our business. We have been in the business of providing marketing, managing, and consultancy services for the Nigerian printing industry through the publication of PRINTERS DIGEST. But today, we evolve into a Wholesome Media, Marketing communication, and events management company. We are leveraging on our strength and taking advantage of the inherent opportunities in the Nigerian business environment. It is a new journey for us at DCS integrated media and we believe with the experience of successfully going through a business life cycle we will also successfully go through this one. As we pursue this new journey, I will be sharing my encounters and experiences on this platform with all business owners and chief executives of business for their benefit as usual. Please Don’t touch that dial – STAY ON THE WATCH AS AN EXECUTIVE UNTIL I SEE YOU AT THE TOP