All companies go through a phenomenon known as the “S” curve, aptly named because it follows the shape of an S (clever huh?). These stages include:
Stage 1: Formulation
Stage 2: Concentration
Stage 3: Momentum
Stage 4: Stability
Stage 5: Breakthrough
Over the next few weeks, we will walk you through each stage, its purpose and what it entails. Consider it a lesson in the progress and journey of your business. Come on, it will be fun!
So let’s begin with the Formulation Stage (we’re pretty biased toward this stage as it involves taking your dream and making it a reality). This is the stage where you think about and plan your business. In other words, it’s a brain dump!
Here’s a few more specifics for your spectacular brain dump. You commit to paper everything you can possible think about for your business, including:
Organizational Structure—Sole Proprietorship, Corporation(C or S) or Limited Liability Company (LLC). Check out some questions to ask when choosing an org structure here.
Your Foundation of Culture
- Mission: Why are you in business? What do you want to accomplish?
- Vision: Inspiring state of where and what your organization is striving to become in the future—this is your guiding star
- Purpose: An inspiring statement of why you exist
- Core Values: Your beliefs—what you stand for. You will use this to guide your actions and decisions
- Strategies: Your plan for accomplishing your mission, making your vision a reality, all while living your purpose, guided by your values.
Strategic Business Plan, which includes a five year look into your business that supports your overall strategic plan. (Want to know more about business planning? Check this out.)
Exit Strategy. As Stephen Covey says in the 7 Habits “Begin with the End in Mind”
While the Formulation Stage may be fun, especially because you’re finally starting to formulate (see what we did there?) your dream, it’s also the most critical stage. Why? Well if you skip this stage, you may have a lot of activity but no direction or purpose!
Up next: Concentration. Stay tuned!