What Stage Are You in With the 7 Stages to Business Freedom?

We have developed a system that helps us understand our business owner clients’ specific needs to achieve business freedom. This system is divided into seven stages, each addressing the unique challenges they face at that particular stage. Our goal is to tailor a solution that meets their individual needs.

 

Nearly every day, as I talk with business owners, I will describe the 7 Stages to Freedom and ask them, “Where is your business on the 7 Stages to Freedom?” With the thousands of business owners I have talked with, I have rarely heard them say that their business is in the “Freedom Stage.” In many cases, they are either in the “Chaos Stage” or “Burnout Stage.” What stage is your business in?

Let’s dive into each stage to understand its purpose better.

Dream Phase.

If you are a prospective business owner in this stage you are sick and tired of working for someone else. You are researching the market to determine a need for your product or service. You are creating a business model and looking for investment capital from banks or investors. You are in love with your idea!

You may be excited and passionate about your new journey at this stage. You are motivated and have set your decision to take a journey to achieving your vision and be your own boss. Your passion fuels your determination to move forward and create a successful business.

You may also be frustrated that you are working full-time and don’t have a clear path to getting into your business. You may lack capital. You may be afraid of failure. After all, 80% of business startups fail. 

One of the first steps you should take in this stage is to do deep research. This includes identifying and studying target markets, understanding consumer needs and wants, and potential competitors. Equipped with an understanding of your industry, you can create your own business model that sets you apart from everyone else. 

You also need to determine whether you will start your business as a side venture that allows you to continue working to make a living. Or should you jump into the business full-time and take a big risk? 

The answer will be different for each person depending on your income needs, your family situation, and your risk tolerance. In some cases, having some income from your new business can help bridge the gap.

dream phase in 7 stages to business freedom

 

Start Up Stage

In this stage, business owners like you take the leap of faith and launch your business! You develop a plan. You talk constantly with whoever will listen about your business. You are also focused on all different kinds of marketing, such as developing a website, social media, and networking groups.

You will need to develop a written strategic plan. This will lay out where your business will be in 5 years, 1 year and 90 days, and your action plan to get you to your goals. Your plan should include your vision, your values and your mission. 

If you plan to attract investors or to find a lender, you will need a solid business plan with 5 year proformas on how your business will perform. That’s one of the things that Shark Tank investors want to know from the entrepreneurs who present their ideas and businesses to them.

One significant aspect of the Startup stage is creating a strong brand identity for your new business. This includes defining your unique selling proposition (USP). The USP sets you apart from your competitors and convinces customers to choose your products or services. It should be clear, concise, and memorable to attract target audiences effectively.

In this stage, you also build relationships and expand your network. This includes potential customers, investors, mentors, and business partners who can provide valuable support and guidance.

Another important action is to create a marketing strategy that targets the right audience and effectively promotes the brand. This may involve using different marketing channels, such as online advertising, content marketing, and social media.

business freedom

Brian, like many other business owners, had an ambitious vision for his first business and wanted to make it successful. However, without a clear strategic plan and guidance, according to him, his initial efforts were “floundering.”

Acknowledging the need for support, Brian took the initiative to reach out to us at Small Business Coach Associates (SBCA). Knowing that he was in the start-up stage, we helped Brian develop a strategic plan along with a strong brand identity. At the same time, we guided him in developing his business mission, vision, values, and unique selling proposition (USP) that effectively stood his brand in a competitive market.

Furthermore, we assisted Brian in growing his professional network.  We advised  him to connect with potential customers, mentors, and business partners who would provide him with valuable and helpful support and guidance.

Having a strategic plan, mission, vision, and goals helped his business move forward; moreover, developing an effective marketing strategy played a key role in achieving success in a short period of time. The well-developed marketing strategies, such as low-cost and online marketing that we used in order to promote his business on various platforms helped him reach his ideal prospects and clients.

The coaching, mentoring, and modules that we used with Brian during the start-up stage were instrumental in impacting Brian’s business progress. Within a year, Brian’s sales grew by 300%, he was able to hire and motivate his team members and began to pay himself a consistent salary.  All the while he was able to travel without worrying about his business operations.


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chaos stage in the 7 stages to business freeom

 

Chaos Stage.

As your business succeeds, most successful business owners like you move into the Chaos Stage. You have achieved your goal of winning customers. You may feel a little “giddy,” knowing that there is a demand for you and your business.

But these new customers create a need for taking orders, billing, employees, and providing products or services. This can cause disorder, red ink, and stress. Also, you are investing cash, time, and energy, and you are also growing in sales; at the same time, you are growing your team.

Combining all of these puts an extreme amount of pressure on your shoulders. You begin to feel overwhelmed, overworked and even confused. As a result, you need systems to help you manage and track your key performance indicators, finances, sales processes, cash flow, and time management. You also need to come to the realization that you can’t do all the work yourself. Learning to delegate is becoming more and more important. But at this point you can’t afford to hire anyone because the business isn’t making money.

Having effective systems in place is important for the success of any business. These systems help to simplify processes, track important metrics, and improve overall performance. By creating and utilizing these systems, you can navigate the challenges of the Chaos Stage and continue to grow your business with confidence.

business freedom

After she filled out the business questionnaire that helped her evaluate herself and her business, it clearly indicated that she was experiencing the “chaos stage.” As her business grew and increased sales, so did the stress and pressures. Harp realized that she needed an effective system, sales processes, time management, and employee management.

Before engaging with us, she was facing various issues, mainly with managing her employees and needing more self-confidence, which were the main hindrances to her business progress

Upon engaging with us, the profound effects were evident. Her coach implemented and targeted a personalized strategic plan, and coaching strategies. The coach’s hands-on approach tailored to her needs and goals. Harp was able to focus on one thing at a time until it was successful.

Harp’s self-confidence skyrocketed as she gained clarity on her business direction. With her coach’s assistance, she was able to move forward in improving her website, develop a marketing plan, and experience a significant increase in sales of $500,000 in a short period of time.

The foundation we laid, along with Harp’s participation, has allowed her to overcome the “Chaos Stage” and open doors for more growth and success.

breakeven stage in 7 stages to business freedom

 

BreakEven Stage.

From the Chaos Stage, you can develop some basic systems that allow you to climb into the Break Even Stage. You begin to feel some relief from the pressures of your business that was losing money. You also feel more of a sense of normalcy with your day-to-day routines.

In the Break Even stage, you begin to measure your business results. You are providing incentives to your team and to strategic partners and expanding your business through various markets.

You will also create and implement systems for your business to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of your business operations. 

A successful business demands that you constantly monitor and manage your finances, customer satisfaction, and pricing system in order to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

The possibility of hiring and delegation becomes more real, but you kind of enjoy being in the middle of everything. After all, nobody can do it as well as you, right?

The Break Even Stage is a critical point for businesses as it sets the foundation for long-term success by implementing the right strategies and systems and creating a positive workplace culture that values teamwork and communication. Business owners can create a sustainable business that will continue to thrive.

business freedom

Ensuring effectiveness, financial management, and efficiency are just a few of the obstacles that Andy needed to overcome. These obstacles are common for businesses that are in the Break Even Stage. 

Andy knew that to be able to forward his business, he needed first to find solutions to the issues he was facing. So he decided to engage in coaching and work with Small Business Coach Associates. We helped Andy improve their operations, especially in three important areas: sales, quoting, and the conversion process.

This resulted in an increase in both sales and cash flow. These achievements also opened a new opportunity for him and his team to create and offer value-added services that both benefited the business and its customers. 

Andy acquired his long-desired work-life balance and business success. Additionally, he was able to increase his employees’ salaries, enjoy his vacations without worrying about his business, and successfully navigate the “breakeven stage.”


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Burnout Stage.

At this stage, your excitement has worn off. Too many hours, headaches, missed family events, and too little pay have taken a toll and stressed you out. Many business owners develop health problems, financial problems and marital problems at this stage. And most think about quitting and some business owners quit at this stage. 

When a marriage is about to fail, wise couples get counseling. When a business is on the brink of failure, wise business owners hire a business coach. Luckily that’s what I did when I was in the burnout stage. Something had to change, and I realized that nothing would change unless I got some help. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, and I needed an expert to help me see the problems.

Like a failing marriage, the key to moving forward and navigating this stage in your business is to fall in love with your business again. In order to fall in love with your business again, you need to renew your vision and have time for yourself. In this stage, you need to build a business that runs well without your daily supervision.

Burnout stage can be an important turning point in your business journey. It is a stage where you face a crucial challenge: overcome the pressures and give up on your dreams, or confront the obstacles and seek effective solutions. 

This were you are going to make sure that you will attract and hire the right people for your team. If you don’t begin to delegate now, your business is going to stagnate, and eventually you will quit.

It usually leads to a reassessment of business strategies, pushing business owners to explore the possibility of delegating tasks, reorganizing,  investing in team building, and implementing effective systems for employee retention. 

burnout stage in stages to business freedom
business freedom

Charlotte started her business in 2012 and experienced significant growth in the year 2020; however, despite this success, she was exhausted. By 2021, the thrill of running a business was replaced by feeling burnt out.

Charlotte realized that she was shouldering multiple responsibilities, such as answering calls, managing appointments, attending sales meetings, and even billing clients. In short, her business could not operate without her, and because of this, she found herself working 100+ hours every week, which was affecting her health.

Having this knowledge, we at Small Business Coach Associates helped Charlotte improve her business strategies and create and implement a delegation system. This is done by developing a strategic plan that helped her to delegate non-CEO tasks and allow her to focus on executive tasks that helped her business move forward. 

In order for her to overcome burnout, we utilized strategies from our coaching modules from this stage to help her in delegation, time management, process improvement, employee development and management, and a new action plan for her business. 

As a result, Charlotte overcame the “burnout stage” and managed to reduce her working hours from 111 to 47.5 hours a week. Most importantly, she can now spend time with her family, do the things she loves, and take care of herself.

profitability stage in 7 stages to business freedom

 

Profitability Stage.

The Profitability Stage presents both opportunities and challenges for you as a business owner. In this stage, your business generates profits; however, you still often find yourself overworked and controlled by your business. 

However you are now falling back in love with your work again! And you are starting to take some extra time off to rest and to enjoy your family and some favorite hobbies.

The main challenge that you will face in this stage is balancing business growth while maintaining personal well-being. To get to the next level, you must focus on economizing and maximizing profitability. You are also adding team members, delegating and promoting from within.

This involves implementing a lean program to eliminate delays and simplify operations. At this stage, it is important to systematize the documentation of key processes and foster process improvements.

Furthermore, specialization often becomes a focus at this stage; you aim to narrow your range of services, concentrating on the most profitable and scalable ones. Ultimately, the Profitability Stage requires strategic decision-making and careful planning to ensure sustainable business growth.

Milton, Forestry Company

Before working with Small Business Coach Associates, Milton’s business was generating profits, but he was struggling with understanding where his business stood and finding a balance between personal growth and well-being.

We help Milton implement a lean program, helping him eliminate operational deficiencies and foster process improvements. We also helped him optimize his Google Business page, getting reviews and leads and ensuring his business will sustain its growth path. 

This significantly increased his sales, from an average of $12,000 per month to more than $28,000 in less than 90 d. Milton also navigated this stage successfully and is now on his way to the Success Stage.

 

Success Stage.

In the Success Stage, you and your business have established your brand reputation and provided high-quality products and services. At the same time, you are generating profits but you may still feel overwhelmed due to the high demands of running your successful business. 

In this stage your business is becoming recognized in your community. Articles are being written about your impact on the community and employees. You may have won some awards for your outstanding services and growth. Your business is becoming more visible to your community and beyond.

You are hiring or promoting your team members to management or leadership positions. You are developing infrastructure and acquiring technology to enhance your offerings.

One of the main challenges you will face in the Success Stage is letting go of some of your favorite day-to-day tasks. This is because you find it hard to trust someone to do the tasks that you have been doing when you started your business journey.

To successfully navigate this stage, you need to develop strong leadership skills for yourself and mindset in order to lead your team toward success. You also need to promote or hire an operations manager to handle all day-to-day operations. 

You also need to step into the role of CEO, learning all of the roles and responsibilities.

At the same time, you also need to focus on creating strategies for customer retention and the CEO’s leadership plans for long-term success.

success stage in stages to business freedom
Matt, Owner, Glass shop

Our client Matt had established a profitable business when we first connected; however, he was feeling pressured and described his day-to-day activities as chaotic; at the same time, he was struggling with finding and retaining people.

Matt was not entirely sure what he needed the most, so after answering our business scorecard and business and personal questionnaire, we recognized that the key to managing this stage is to develop Matt’s leadership skills and mindset. Our focus was to enable him to successfully motivate his team effectively while keeping an eye on a long-term strategic plan. 

Within nine months, Matt saw the results: his business sales grew by $397,976, along with a boost in profitability of $308,120 during the same period. Matt’s testimonial is evidence that a straightforward approach, result-oriented paired with commitment, can definitely bring success to a business.

freedom stage in 7 stages to business freedom

 

Freedom Stage.

The Freedom Stage is transformative for business owners. In this stage, your business turns into a self-sustaining entity. Your business is now capable of maintaining and enhancing its performance even without your day-to-day supervision. 

You are now serving as the CEO. You are giving strategic direction to your business. You have no more than 5 direct reports. 

You can leave your business for 6 months; when you return, your business will be thriving even more. Reaching the Freedom Stage opens many opportunities, such as business expansion, starting a non-profit, reaching a wider audience, working part time hours, starting another business, and harvesting extra profits while enjoying a fulfilling life. Or if you choose to sell your business, you can sell it for the highest amount with the best terms available. 

This is the stage where the business serves you rather than you serving your business. 

Strategies For Progression

The journey of each stage involves several challenges, opportunities, and key steps that, when executed effectively, will move your business forward. The following list is a few of the strategies that we have implemented with our clients that helped them overcome their challenges.

Set Clear Goals

It is important that you should set clear personal and business goals. It is also important that these goals should be broken down into smaller, manageable, and achievable goals. 

Each of your goals should have a clear and measurable outcome, deadlines, and owners, as this helps for accountability. Using this process of breaking down the goals allows you to modify and change if necessary under any circumstances. 

Comprehensive Business Plan

A well-written business plan helps you in your operation and simplifies business processes. It should outline your marketing strategy, financial projections, strategies for growth, vision, mission, and values.

It is important to identify your business KPIs and marketing strategies in targeting, understanding, and developing a message that conveys the needs of your target client. 

At the same time, identifying the short-term and long-term goals for your business growth is vital as marketing strategies. You should be flexible in adapting to fast-changing market conditions. 

Marketing Strategy

One of the common issues that you will face during all the stages is marketing your business and acquiring clients. At SBCA, we will help you understand the needs of your target client and whether your products and services provide solutions to these needs.

 It is vital to understand the challenges and needs of your target client, as it helps you build an offer and communicate with them, showing them how your product or service can address their needs.

We then utilize a mix of marketing channels, both traditional and digital. We also introduce you to paid and organic marketing. However, we are an advocate for low-cost or no-cost marketing, so we will help you utilize platforms and strategies for marketing, such as local business SEO and guerilla marketing strategies.

Local business SEO and guerilla marketing strategies are just a few of the strategies that we introduce to our clients. Using these strategies has resulted in tremendous success for our clients in acquiring new clients, boosting sales, and growing all dimensions of their business.

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Time Mastery System

The Time Mastery System is one of the tools that we use for our clients. It is a systematic approach to managing time to maximize productivity and reduce stress. It is designed to guide you in organizing tasks based on their urgency.

In this system, high-value tasks, such as business strategies and plans, are prioritized, while low-value tasks or tasks that take away your energy, such as email management, are delegated to team members.

This system has already helped and changed the lives of many of our clients; it helps them increase efficiency, leverage their time effectively, and achieve their goals in a short period of time without sacrificing time with their families.

Reading Your Mission, Vision, and Values Daily 

Reading your mission, vision, and values daily is one of the most important things you must do. Sadly, this is mostly left out or ignored by most business owners. It is important to understand these three elements, as they are your business’s foundation. These serve as your guide for making decisions, setting goals, and fostering a positive business culture.

Here are a few of the reasons why reading your vision, values, and mission daily is important:

Your Vision Reminds You of Your Future

The future of your business is outlined in your Vision statement. This statement clearly communicates what your business will look like in 5 years, how you will impact your employees, your clients and all stakeholders in the future. This exciting vision will energize you first, and then everyone who hears your vision and sees it coming to pass. By reading it daily, you are constantly reminded of where you are going.

mission, vision, and values are important element in order to achieve business freedom

Your Mission Reminds You of What Your Business Does

Your mission statement clearly sets forth your services and/or products and what you are your team does every day.

Your Vision Guides You In Making Decisions

Your Vision statement portrays a picture of what your business wants to achieve in the future. In other words, your Vision statement guides you in every decision you make, ensuring that it is aligned with your goal. 

Your Values Foster a Positive Business Culture

Your values will be the guiding principles that will influence the behavior and culture of your business. Also your values include how you want to make a positive impact on underprivileged people groups that you want to help. Reading your values with your team will help them to understand and be motivated by these values. This will lead to a positive environment with a sense of teamwork.

Team Building

Team building is another important strategy you can use in order to shape an environment with mutual respect, collaboration, and open communication. When there is a sense of unity in the business, team-building opens the doors to shared decision-making, problem-solving, and addressing weaknesses. Moreover, team building helps you in terms of employee retention, satisfaction, and motivation for the team.

team building for business freedom

The Framework of 7 Stages To Business Freedom

This framework helps you understand your current position. This also gives us coaches a better understanding of how to tailor specific and targeted strategies to the unique challenges and needs that each stage presents.

The “7 Stages to Business Freedom,” consists of 36 coaching modules and we divided it into three parts: Growth, Profits, and Freedom. We categorize each coaching module into three major aspects of business.

Each part focuses on a specific aspect of business development. The “Growth” section comprises coaching modules that will equip you, both startups and established businesses, to create and build plans and strategies that will serve as the foundation for business expansion.

if-you-want-to-experience-business-growth-join-small-business-coach-and enjoy the amazing results and achieve business freedom

Growth

A Start-up Plan is a solid foundation as it highlights the strategic planning process and ensures that it aligns with the business’s Unique Selling Propositions. 

The Business Plan module equips you with the necessary tools to win over lenders and investors. The Branding/Rebranding Plan module emphasizes creating and reinforcing a compelling brand identity. 

The “Growth” part is diving into the world of Marketing, comprehensively integrating all the business marketing efforts. It highlights the Guerilla Marketing Strategies that give importance to innovative and low-cost marketing tactics, maximizing the opportunities of the internet and social media through a Digital Marketing Plan. Lastly, the Local Marketing Presence Plan will allow you to establish your business presence locally.

The Selling System module refines the business sales process, while the Financial Review and Improvement System ensures financial sustainability. Finally, our Time Mastery System is designed to promote productivity and manage time and tasks effectively. 

Profits

The “Profits” section focuses on enhancing and improving business profitability. This includes implementing strategies for managing your team effectively and creating a system for tracking your business performance. Finally, implement effective pricing of the products and services you offer.

Our “Profit” enhancement strategies involve comprehensive systems designed to maximize financial performance. The Cash Gap Plan and Profit Enhancement Plan are created to tackle your business’s operational efficiency, check unnecessary expenditures, and capitalize on potential revenue streams. 

The Products & Services Pricing System ensures profitable pricing models for the business profitability. Key Performance Indicator System provides you with valuable insights about your performance. This will also serve as a tool to guide you to make SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time Activated) decisions about what to do next and what improvements must be made.

Our approach fosters profit growth not only through financial strategies but also through human resource optimization. 

Aside from giving importance to business and financial growth, we also created coaching modules to nurture your team members. The Employee Handbook & Training Manual, Hiring, Retention, and Delegation Plans are created to guide you on attracting, acquiring, and keeping efficient, skilled, and motivated team members. 

Finally, the Team Building System and Psychometric Profiling Process enhance the team dynamics, while the Leadership Development Plan fosters effective leadership, contributing to increased productivity and profitability.

profts
freedom

Freedom

Lastly, “Freedom” emphasizes systemizing business operations, ensuring efficiency, and structuring its systems for future opportunities.

The “Freedom” category is composed of coaching modules that aim to optimize and enhance the performance of business operations. Implementing and integrating processes that provide a clear result into the business performance and the areas for improvement. 

Systems/Process for Improvement Plan helps you in identifying the areas for improvement and enhancing productivity and business processes. Business Budgeting Plan will help you maintain the stability of your business financial planning.

Performance Incentive Plan is designed to motivate your team members and promote a positive and high-performance workplace culture. This is followed by the Organizational Structure Plan, ensuring that the work roles are allocated to the right people. 

Customer Retention Loyalty Plan equips you with strategies to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty with them. We also have the Customer Base Balancing Plan. This plan helps maintain the diversity and balance of your customer base and reduces any dependency on a single high-paying client, which eliminates that risk.

A unique coaching module for this part is the CEO Personal Growth Plan. The purpose of this module is to ensure that you as the business leader are continuously improving and developing ahead of the business. 

Each module is designed to align with the strategic goals, ensuring the coordinated growth of your business.

Conclusion: 

In conclusion, the 7 Stages to Business Freedom are designed to guide you to success and achieve awesome results in navigating each stage you are in. From helping to create a solid foundation, optimize financial performance, improve team dynamics,  and systematize and simplify system processes, we offer a versatile approach to business development.

Our main aim is to align every area of your business with your goals while ensuring sustainable growth and profitability. At the same time, give positive results to your life, such as having time to take care of yourself and spending time with your family; we at Small Business Coach Associates believe that a successful business is not only about boosting sales but also having a positive work environment, motivated team members, and a systematized system.

The modules in 7 Stages to Business Freedom cover all aspects of business development, from branding to team-building. By implementing the strategies tailored to your business, sustainable growth, profitability, and freedom are achievable. The framework of the 7 Stages to Business Freedom is beneficial to a startup or business owner looking to maintain a successful business; you can surely benefit from our modules.

So, I’ll ask you the same question that I ask other business owners.

 

“Where is your business on the 7 Stages to Freedom?” 

 

If you are ready to go to the next level in your business, give us a call. We’ll explore that possibility with you at no charge. 

Since we’re talking about growing your business, here’s an article on 10 Ways to Grow Yourself So You Can Grow Your Business

If you want to know more about business coaching, here’s an article on What is Business Coaching ? Why do you need it?


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