The Six Phases of Business Development

There is a normal progression of six stages that businesses go through while under development.  Understanding these six stages will allow you to be okay with where you are at any given moment.  It can also help you move through potential meltdowns because you’ll know where you are and where you have come from and what is normal in the phase where you are.  Further, it can help you develop the patience required to achieve success.

The six stages are:

Phase 1:  Strategizing.  This is the planning stage.  In this phase you begin to develop a clear vision of what you want your business to be, what your goals are and what you are committed to.  You are creating your business plan and a schedule; you are identifying the actions that you will need to take and creating routines to follow.   This is the phase in which you want to find your mentors and have help that you trust.

Phase 2:  Implementation.  Phase 2 is a busy time.  It’s the phase where you roll up your sleeves, put your head down, shut out the diversions and get to work.  Your focus needs to be on putting your plan into action and working on your goals by following your schedule.

Implementation is where you put it all into action – creating and launching your products, building your list of leads, improving your website and putting your systems and technology into place, mastering social media, networking, joint venture partnerships and so on.

This phase takes an enormous amount of commitment.  It is the phase where you are doing the most work and not earning much, if any income.  This is where you demonstrate how consistent you can be and how committed you are to your dream.  It requires faith in yourself and your business plan and also accountability.  Use those mentors to help you stay on track.

Phase 3:  Momentum.  Momentum is where you are moving forward as a direct result of all your hard work in the previous two phases.  This is a great stage because you start seeing a surge of results with less effort.  By this phase you have customers who are buying your products and services.  You may be getting noticed by your competition and have an opportunity to turn them into allies by joint venturing with them.  Your audience or customer base is growing and you are finally seeing money come into your business.

Phase 4:  Stabilization.  The key to your long-term success is your ability to stabilize your momentum.  In order to hand the pace of your business without breaking down you need the following:

•  Systems

•  Automation

•  Delegation

•  Accountability

In this phase you have effective systems (autoresponder, shopping cart, affiliate program, sales page, etc.) in place for every facet of your business.  You now have paid help to maintain your systems and you can take a breath and review all your plans – business, action, marketing, product creation, etc.

It is not a good idea to try to make major changes during this phase of your business.  This is the time to just let your systems work and make money for you.  You can hurt yourself in this phase if you get bored and try to make changes that aren’t needed.

Reaching this phase can take a year and a half to two years.  Don’t try to rush it to happen faster and you don’t want to push it once you’ve reached it.

Phase 5:  Breakthrough.   This is a very exciting phase to be in.  This is where your business has really taken off and you see the quality and number of your customers increase and they are spending more money with you and buying your high ticket products and services.  This is a busy time and you need to master time management.   You must be very careful when you reach this stage that you maintain your integrity, it’s essential and helped you get here.

It is important to note that you will probably move back to phase 4, stabilization, after you reach breakthrough because it will be necessary to stabilize this new level.  That doesn’t mean you have slipped backwards, it means you have to repeat phase 4 at this new level.  This cycle will continually repeat itself for the life of your business.

Phase 6:  Mastery.  What started out as simply “your passion” can lead to a successful business that has a life of its own and is no longer dependent on you to be around all the time.   The majority of your business is being handled by others.  You have learned to delegate and be a good manager, empowering others to run things for you.   You become the visionary who oversees the operation, offering guidance when necessary, free to create the next thing, to just work those parts of the business you love most, or simply have more time for the lifestyle you want to lead.

It’s important to understand these six phases of business development so that you can know where you are during the progression of your business.

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Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. - October 31, 2012

I’ve been meaning to update my posts about this issue for a while, but have failed to do so (obviously).
These six stages only apply to simple projects.
In complex businesses, they are but cycles- and the progression may not be from one to the next, but may include reversion. (Say, you strategize a new concept, implement it, and develop momentum- as a competitor comes up with something that stops your momentum. Well, you need to step back and strategize a better offering to whack you competitor (figuratively, please…)….
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    Julia - October 31, 2012

    Thank you for commenting Roy. You are right about these six phases being for simple projects. I specifically kept this simple since this is being written for at-risk teens and young adults who will likely have a small internet business or use internet marketing for their business. Anyone who is looking to do something more complicated like create a new scientific product and market that will need more guidance than I could hope to provide.

      Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. - October 31, 2012

      I know that. But, I wanted your readers to know- that even for simple projects, sometimes, there are cycles that need to be repeated to reach the ultimate goal.
      Great advice, Julia!
      Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted…Publish or Perish?My Profile

        Julia - October 31, 2012

        Your are right that we often cycle up and down through the various phases of whatever process we are in. There are so many outside influences that can impact the various movements through the levels of the cycle. I will be sure to articulate this when adding this topic to the book. Thank you for your continued support.

Lena - October 31, 2012

Definitely phase 2 🙂
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    Julia - October 31, 2012

    It’s always good to know where you are Lena. Thank you for sharing.

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