Many people have the entrepreneurial spirit, but few are brave enough to take the risk. I’m here to tell you that entrepreneurship is worth it.
In fact, there is a 5-stage process of entrepreneurship that will help guide you through this journey from idea to success.
The 5 stages of entrepreneurship are:
First Stage – Idea stage
Also known as the Start-Up stage.
This stage is all about identifying your passion and figuring out if now really is the time for you to start pursuing your dream.
Every entrepreneur has a great idea.
The difference is that only some of them have the courage to see their idea through all the way to fruition.
If you’re an entrepreneur and need help figuring out how to get your business off the ground, start here with the Dream Team.
Here’s the thing, the idea stage of entrepreneurship is the most exciting and daunting time in a business.
It’s not until you’ve been through this stage that you realize how much work goes into starting your own company.
“To the entrepreneur, a blank canvas represents endless possibilities. They say, ‘The world is at my fingertips. All I need is a good idea.’ Then boom, they can start taking themselves through these building blocks.” —Kevin Harrington
In order to help you get past these early stages, here are a few tips for entrepreneurs at the idea phase:
-What type of business should I start?
-Where can I find funding for my startup?
-How do I come up with a name for my company?
These are just some questions an entrepreneur might have when they’re first starting out. Next, you’ll need a plan.
Second stage – Planning stage
You need a plan!
Some entrepreneurs get so excited about their idea they rush ahead and start a business before they have taken the time to plan.
This can lead to some costly mistakes in the long run, such as not having enough capital on hand when you need it or failing to establish good customer relationships with your target market.
The planning stage of entrepreneurship is crucial for success!
“Entrepreneurs need to be looking at a six-month time frame for a business plan (not the 5-year business plan). Period.” —Kevin Harrington
The planning step involves research on the viability of your idea as well as developing a timeline for when you’ll execute each phase.
Know what resources will be needed throughout each step of your journey so that when one thing doesn’t work out another does instead (it’s called diversification).
This is also where you should decide what type of entrepreneur you want to be- do you want to start an offline business or an online one?
Once this has been decided, it’s time to execute!
Third stage – Execution stage
It’s time to take some risks and make some decisions.
The execution stage of entrepreneurship is where entrepreneurs take what they learned from the ideation and planning stages to bring their business idea to life.
“Once we get closer to the end of our planning process, that’s when we have to actually do something with it, or we have to get feedback about it, or we have to put it out into the marketplace. That is where all the anxiety and fear soaks in.” —Kevin Harrington
This can be a difficult time for many, as there are often unforeseen obstacles that come up during this stage.
The completion of the execution stage is when an entrepreneur knows if they have succeeded or failed.
They’ll receive feedback on whether or not their product was desirable enough for customers and will know whether it made money while executing their plan.
Once complete, entrepreneurs move onto either starting another venture, look into growing and scaling the business, pivoting away from an unsuccessful one, or exiting the business altogether.
Fourth stage – Growth and scaling stage
Some entrepreneurs have a vision for their business and are able to see it through from the beginning.
Others may take a few steps back before they can get moving forward again, but this is not always seen as a bad thing.
The growth stage of entrepreneurship is where you will start seeing your company grow exponentially and need to scale or face being outpaced by competitors.
Learn the key tips on what all entrepreneurs should know about growing their businesses from small-scale operations into sustainable enterprises that are capable of handling increasing levels of demand inside my recent book, Mentor to Millions.
“It’s difficult to multiply in your own ecosystem —You’ve got to get out of your own ecosystem to be able to think and grow exponentially. We need diversity for creativity. It’s why I read so many different newspapers and trade journals.” —Kevin Harrington
The first three stages of entrepreneurship require a founder to be an expert in their field – whether that is coding or marketing – and knowing how to build the right team around them for each phase.
This is what I call creating the Dream Team.
Enterprise companies also need to have someone on board who is accountable for operations, so it’s important for founders not only to focus on being the best at what they do but also picking up new skills (i.e., product management).
It’s hard enough running one company let alone two or more!
Entrepreneurs at the growth and scaling stage have a lot of decisions to make.
The key is to keep an eye on your business, be proactive, and innovate.
With these three things in mind, you will be able to grow your company with confidence so that it can scale up without losing its identity or mission.
Fifth stage – Exit
Do you feel like it’s time for an exit? You’re not alone.
Many entrepreneurs are thinking about what they want to do next and how they can have a more balanced life.
In fact, I’ve been in this stage many times and it’s all about the mindset and timing for an exit.
“By the end of my first year in business, my new company had a staff of twenty-five employees, and we had sold $1 million worth of air conditioners and furnaces. I was nineteen years old.” – Kevin Harrington
Starting your own company is an exciting time – you’re living the dream!
But it’s also scary because there are so many unknowns ahead:
-What will happen if things don’t work out?
-What if we can’t get funding?
-Will anyone even want our product or service?
And these questions can be paralyzing when running a business.
Get clear on your goals to make your next move:
- What are your short-term and long-term goals?
- Do you want to stay in business or sell out?
- Think about what kind of lifestyle will best suit your needs.
Once you know where you want to go, it’s easier to figure out which direction is the best fit for your company.
The next move is to find a partner!
If there’s no one else involved in running the business, think about bringing someone else into the fold.
Learn how to navigate all 5 stages of entrepreneurship!
What do all entrepreneurs have in common?
They are all on the same journey.
The entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one to take, but it is a rewarding one that can be full of twists and turns along the way.
Whether you want to start your own business from scratch or build upon an existing venture, there are some defining moments that every entrepreneur will face at least once in their lifetime.
The 5 stages of entrepreneurship can be navigated successfully and we can help.
Contact the Harrington Dream Team for details over at kevinharrington.tv.
People are often drawn to entrepreneurship because of the idea that they can create their own life, a sense of freedom from corporate life, and the ability to be their own boss.
However, as time goes on it becomes clear that being an entrepreneur is not all sunshine and roses.
It’s hard work, there are many challenges along the way and it takes a lot of effort to keep your business afloat.
However, the 5 stages of entrepreneurship provide a quick blueprint that will make it easier for all business owners to succeed, so keep these handy: Ideation-Plan-Execute-Grow-Exit!