The Various Business Stages
The various business stages are a huge factor in determining what to do next. If you haven’t launched anything yet, you can be extremely flexible, whereas if you have a lot of followers and brand awareness, changes can be much more complicated. Determining where you are is a good first step in planning the next stage. After working with hundreds of fitness businesses, here are the most common stages I’ve found.
PRE-START UP STAGE
If you are in this stage, I commend you! The fact that you bought this book already means that you are doing a lot of research before pulling the trigger on anything. Thanks to that, you’ll avoid making a lot of mistakes that I have already made for you! Pre-Start Up means that you don’t currently have an active brand, but you’re just about ready to get started. You may not know what you primary revenue streams are going to be, but you know you want to get into the fitness industry and you’re looking into what it’s going to take.
START UP STAGE
Start Ups are the most common business type in the fitness industry. The reason is simple; there is a very high turnover rate for fitness professionals, and more people are just getting on their feet than actually working yet.
If you are a Start Up, you already have some of the essential branding and business components started or finished, you’ve made some mistakes, and may have already started making some money. You are not quite satisfied with how everything is going so far and you want to make sure you don’t waste any time.
The Growth Stage is an awesome place to be. This stage is defined by the fact that you have figured out one or more ways to make consistent revenue and increase that revenue through the same method.
You have figured out what your business is and who your customers are, and are now ready to reexamine your business to figure out what you are doing right and wrong. You are ready to make changes to increase growth even further and you have the energy and motivation to do so.
The Flowing Stage is similar to the Growth Stage in that you have found a way to consistently make money; the only difference is that you may not have the drive or necessity to make it grow any faster than it already is. You are happy with your income, your staff, and your overall results with the business.
At this point, the only thing you care about is maintaining stability for the long term. In my opinion, this is the best place you could possibly be in if you love working for yourself. It’s stable and could last for decades.
The only risk is that you will get too comfortable and let your product or service offering get stale. However, this could be avoided through a regular review of your business and the marketplace.
The Stagnant Stage is the Flowing Stage’s evil twin. It is characterized by stable (if not substantial) income, consistent work days, and a lack of motivation to change things in order to grow. You are most likely not happy with your income, but are afraid to lose your existing revenue streams if you change anything. You are most likely becoming bored with your business and may be considering leaving the industry all together if things don’t change soon. Basically, you’ve lost your passion for fitness and are questioning if you should be in the business in the first place.
The Exploding Stage is what every entrepreneur dreams of, then freaks out when it actually happens. This stage is indicated by a huge demand for your products or services and your inability to meet the demand without stretching your resources to their limits. This stage requires extremely high levels of attention, long hours, and lots of stress.
While it is technically a “good” place to be, there are a variety of risks that need to be considered when the stage starts, including your workload, cash flow, and long term objectives weighed against meeting short term demands. With the right guidance, this stage could be your ticket to long term success and wealth.
The Exit Stage could be a good thing or a bad thing. If you have grown your business to the best of your abilities and have realized that you don’t have the energy or motivation to grow it any further, the Exit Stage is where you would either shut down or sell to another individual or company. You may have come to the conclusion that you can make more money in another industry or have just become bored with your offering.
Either way, you are ready to move in a different direction and your business is not part of it. The decision here is really about making the most of the time and effort you’ve invested in the business. If you want to sell, now would be the time to make one last drive to revamp your business and increase its value before you sell it. Cut expenses, increase revenue, and prepare to present your assets as attractively as possible.