Yesterday, I wrote about the infant stage of a business. Today, I’m exposing what I call the “Toddler Stage.” With all the growing pangs of early childhood, the toddler stage is ripe for mishaps. While experts warn against certain behaviors and actions, businesses in this stage are prone to “seeing for themselves.”
This is the very mentality that makes this stage so incredibly dangerous. Often toddlers want to walk before they are able to run, businesses that have achieved some success might suddenly decide to expand too quickly. Maybe the owner of a newly successful steak pit style restaurant might act on their lifelong dream of owning a fine dining establishment. Opening a second location too early in the game is another sign of a toddler.
Beware of These Common Mistakes
Often these decisions at later times in a business life cycle might not be ill fated but when attempted too early they can result in a near fatal or fatal crash. Why is it so dangerous to make large adjustments in this stage of a business? There are several reason why I think rapid changes can be fatal. Here is a list:
Often the business owner hasn’t really figured out all the elements that have delivered their success. Not knowing exactly what’s creating the success makes it virtually impossible to increase or duplicate it
They also might not have enough revenue to support the expansion. Frequently business owners think double the space equals double the income. I have rarely seen this be the case.
Beware of changing the business model. For example believing success in a family style restaurant makes a business owner qualified to open an elegant dining establishment. The entire model is different and unless branded very carefully could negatively impact both businesses.
It’s very important not equate success in one area with the Midas touch. Toddlers believe they can do anything, are prone to tantrums and fall down frequently and businesses in this stage a apt to experience the same type of challenges.
Here’s How to Protect the Toddler
The best advice I can offer is to reach out to people in later stages of the business cycle. Research to find out who the most successful person in your area of business is and learn about them. Usually these people have made mistakes in the past and have written or spoken about how they went about rectifying them. You can and should learn tons from other people’s mistakes. Join organizations that are made up of people in your field, outside your field, take classes, and attend conferences. The more info you have, the larger your support group and the higher quality information you have access to, the better your chances of survival of the toddler stage. You might want to check out the resources on my previous post From Ideas to Entrepreneur.
Consultants and coaches are an excellent way to help you focus. They should assist in your sorting through the info you have and the ideas that are floating around in your mind. Find one with a successful program and a strong track record of helping business owners over the bumps. Yes, it’s a drain on resources but if you are careful in your choice of the person, you should be able to make that money back time and time again.
If your toddler stage feels more like “the terrible twos” give me a call. I’ll help you, like I’ve helped many, many other now successful businesses, get back on track. I look forward to hearing from you. 651-501-1818.
Andrew Tjernlund - The Secrets that Made $10 Million on Amazon in 2015
January 15, 2016
Jack Canfield on Focus Forward
July 7, 2013
The Key Ingredient to Success - Are YOU Missing It?