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Surviving the mid-lifecycle phase

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With technology and finance being available easier than ever, a lot many your entrepreneurs have taken it on them to launch brands across categories. Though only a handful make it through establishing themselves before going bust. One of the prime reasons for brands not making it through is related to losing momentum and focus in their mid-lifecycle phase. Subhashis Kar discuss the top mistakes every start-up should be aware of.

By Subhashis Kar, Founder & CEO of Techbooze Consultancy Services

The business life cycle represents the dynamic progression of a business through distinct phases over time. Typically, this cycle is broken down into five stages: launch, growth, shake-out, maturity, and decline. These stages can be visualised on a graph with the passage of time on the horizontal axis and various financial metrics, such as dollars, on the vertical axis.

The mid-lifecycle phase of a brand or start-up is a pivotal period that can significantly impact its long-term success. However, many businesses tend to make common mistakes during this phase that can negatively affect their growth and profitability. To overcome these challenges, it is essential to keep certain nuances in mind and navigate this period with a corporate and crisp approach.

Complacent: During the mid-life cycle of a brand or start-up, it is easy to fall into the trap of complacency. This is particularly true when a business has experienced initial success and achieved its goals. When the company is doing well, it can be tempting to assume that the status quo will be enough to sustain growth and profitability in the long run. However, this is a mistake that many businesses make and can prove detrimental to the future of the enterprise. Businesses that become complacent often fail to innovate and adapt to changes in the market. They may assume that what worked in the past will work just as well in the future. Unfortunately, the market is ever-changing, and what worked yesterday may not work today or tomorrow.

Failing to Focus: Another most common mistake businesses make during their mid-life cycle is losing focus on their customers. It’s easy to become internally focused and forget that customers are the lifeblood of any business. However, in today’s market, where customer experience is a top priority, it’s critical to keep the customer at the center of decision making. Seeking regular feedback from customers can help businesses ensure they are meeting their needs and stay ahead of the competition.

Short Term Thinking: Businesses can succumb to short-term thinking, prioritizing quarterly targets over long term growth and sustainability. Having a clear vision and goals for the future is essential to avoid this trap. It’s critical to make decisions that align with this vision, even if it means sacrificing short-term gains. By keeping the bigger picture in mind and maintaining a long-term perspective, businesses can sustain growth and remain relevant in a constantly changing market.

Navigating the mid-lifecycle of a brand or start-up requires a keen focus on certain nuances.

  • Firstly, maintaining a clear and consistent brand identity across all touch-points is crucial to build brand loyalty and stand out in a crowded market. 
  • Secondly, data-driven decision making is essential for informed and strategic decision-making as the business grows. Investing in data analytics can ensure that businesses stay on track and make informed decisions. 
  • Finally, scaling operations should be approached with caution, aligning with the business’s goals and capabilities. Taking these nuances into account can help businesses thrive during their mid-life cycle.

Time to seek funding

The right time for brands to begin looking for venture capitalists (VCs) depends on various factors, such as the industry, the business model, and the growth trajectory. In general, businesses that have demonstrated early success and have a clear plan for future growth may be attractive to VCs.

Typically, businesses that have gone through the initial launch and growth phases and are entering the shake-out or maturity phase may be prime candidates for seeking VC funding. However, it’s crucial to have a solid business plan and a clear understanding of the potential risks and benefits of seeking VC funding before taking that step.

Ultimately, the decision to seek VC funding should be made based on a strategic evaluation of the business’s needs and goals, as well as an assessment of the potential benefits and drawbacks of working with a VC partner. By navigating the mid-life cycle with a corporate and crisp approach, businesses can overcome common mistakes and position themselves for long-term success.

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