Stages of SME Company Growth– How do you know where you are and what’s coming next.
Small and medium size companies (<250 staff) in high growth mode that are scaling at speed are exciting, fun and very rewarding places to be. They provide amazing opportunities to learn rapidly and offer individuals a chance to change the world.
In my time working closely with companies aiming for high growth I have observed four stages that all these companies seem to move through; a Create Stage, Verify Stage, Cultivate Stage and a Scale Stage. When experiencing high growth, companies need to learn how to survive the turmoil that comes from the transition between these stages and the inevitable revolutionary and subsequent evolutionary circumstances high growth subjects them to.
Understanding where you have come from helps to identify the most pressing questions that must be answered to take you through the next phase of growth. Questions such as; what leadership skills do we now need, do we establish more rigorous processes, do we change our financing approach, does the next growth phase demand revolution or evolution, what’s new that we need to communicate and to whom, what lead indicators are we to measure, is revenue the target or margin, do we need to re-communicate our purpose to our teams, do we invest in expanding our teams skill sets now, what incentives do we need for internal and external stakeholders, do we change our structure to support our strategic plans, etc.
The answers to these questions will form the basis of your transformation plans.
Executing answers to the right questions ensures success. Executing answers to the wrong questions is a wasted opportunity.
Approximately 60% of all paid employees in OECD countries are employed by small and medium sized organisations. For companies wanting to grow, the benefits to their community and the wider economy is obvious with increases in productivity, average wage per employee, education, tax take and capital availability.
The very first step towards this growth is understanding where you are. In my second post the Create Stage, Verify Stage, Cultivate Stage and Scale Stage stages will be described to help you decide where you are now and what your next big growth step is likely to be.