Our own existence might break down into such "chapters' as infancy, childhood, teenage and young adult years, the middle years and old age. That's a simplification of the personal growth process, but it will do in illustrating how the same thing happens with your company.
Just as each phase of human development features changes in the way we operate, the same can be said of any company.
Not every business goes through each and every life cycle, but each is important to know. Each cycle presents your company with new challenges and opportunities, and new ways to reinvent and reinvigorate your operation. Your marketing strategy must also change to meet your company's new life cycle, too. That's why you need to recognize what your company is likely to undergo before the change takes place.
So let's take a look at the life cycle of the typical business, whether large or small, and how that cycle suggests strategies for surviving－and thriving.
There aren't enough hours in the day. You might think of that as the theme of your company during its start-up phase. You must launch a company and try to introduce to a dubious or uncaring market the products or services you hope to offer. Explain how you're different from everyone else with similar products or services. And probably do all of that alone or with one or or just a handful of partners or employees.
Just as it sounds, this is the cycle in which everything is happening now. You've got customers or clients and job orders. You're hiring as fast as you can schedule interviews. Old clients are introducing you to new clients and you're finally reaching profitability.
This is no time to slow down. The world changes. Your main competitor just came out with a new product that looks much like the next generation of the one you launched last quarter. You realize that even while you're winning now, irrelevancy might be just around the corner. What worked today won't necessarily work tomorrow.
So take time to enjoy your victories, maybe treat your people to a company picnic or year-end party. And then roll up your collective sleeves and get back to work before the competition takes the next swing.
This is when you ease off the accelerator and start coasting a little. You've earned the break. Your company has a stable client roster, a little money in the bank and its peaks and troughs aren't nearly as dramatically high or low as they used to be.
Enjoy your success, but don't get complacent. Mature companies can get picked off by new, harder-working competitors with new technologies and fresh, dynamic leadership.
Old customers retire, and new technology makes yours obsolete. The point is, your company's greatest threat to its survival might come while you're at the pinnacle of success, because that's when you've stopped accelerating and maybe even tapped the brakes.
It would be tempting to ignore this business cycle altogether. It sounds negative to even mention it, but that's not our intent. In fact, the mention here is to encourage and inspire business owners. Unlike with us humans, businesses aren't necessarily fated to end. Oh, sure, eventually. But maybe the decline and fall won't happen for a century or two if the right steps are taken today.
Each phase of your company's life cycle suggests new strategies for inventing or reinventing your company, introducing or reintroducing yourself to target audiences.
During the start-up cycle, your company is the mystery that no one really cares enough to solve. You need a logo, taglines and your first marketing materials. You literally have to introduce yourself, and do it in a way that will make your target audience care.
Your company's rapid growth stage probably involves the frequent introduction of new products or services or ways of doing business. Your marketing materials must constantly evolve to keep up.
The maturity cycle of operation is when you must do all you can to stay relevant. In your company's past, your marketing communications kept up because you knew you had to keep your materials fresh to gain customers or clients. But now you have them. Advertising and promotion doesn't seem to be so important because "everyone" knows you. Your clients have been with you forever, and they're not going anywhere.
The problem with this (lack of) strategy is that new competitors come along all the time. They might look fresher, more vibrant and relevant than your company. And no client is actually a "lifer." Management and culture changes and at some point almost all clients end up listening to a competitive pitch.
Then there's the decline stage. Just knowing it's out there should be enough motivation to keep your marketing strategy fresh, your products or services appealing and your sales team on point.
At OrderMyVideo.com, we can help you stay relevant with marketing videos that tell your engaging business story－whatever life cycle it's in.