Formulate, Maintain and Adapt a Clear Company Vision
I am often complimented on the success of our business, the creativity of the premise and the length of time we have been in business. I also often hear the likes of “I wish I would have thought of that,” which often makes me think of why a successful company, service, product, or brand goes out of business after five, 10, 20 or 30 years. What is the difference between success and failure? If five different people or companies are doing the same thing, why does one rise to the top?
There are myriad reasons, but if we looked back at the life cycle of a failed company, we would find unmistakable clues as to why it didn’t succeed. While most companies go through the same initial stages, those that grow complacent and neglectful usually fail. Each of the phases in a company’s development is marked by specific characteristics:
- Start-up phase: Energy, passion, creativity, innovation and drive.
- Survival phase: Patience, determination, hands-on approach and marginal gains.
- Ramp-up phase: Rapid growth, scaling of the business’ infrastructure, reinvestment, expansion, sales and margin management.
- Complacency phase: Satisfaction, validation, stabilization and the acceptance of mediocrity.
- Neglect phase: The opposite of the start-up phase, the tedium of the day-to-day operations and boredom.
- Extinction phase: No explanation necessary.