Every business goes through cycles.
They get started. They expand – sometimes rapidly. They decline. They consolidate.
But if they’re not careful navigating the storms that the market and fate throw at them, they could cycle right out of existence, says Dave Hopson, managing partner at the information-technology consulting firm Triumphus and author of Surviving the Business Storm Cycle: How to Weather Your Business’s Ups and Downs (www.davehopson.com).
In fact, about half of all new businesses don’t make it to their fifth birthday, according to the Small Business Administration. Essentially, those startups stalled out.
Maybe the reason was too little capital. Maybe it was a faulty marketing plan. Sometimes the reason may be that the technology crucial to any business’ success simply couldn’t meet the always-evolving challenges the business faced.
“Transitioning from startup to successful enterprise is always going to be a difficult undertaking,” Hopson says. “But that’s going to be even more so if your company hits an exciting growth phase and your back office fails to keep up.”
As they try to make sure their businesses survive, Hopson says it’s critical that company leaders keep these key points in mind:
Although it can sound like he’s sounding a dire warning, Hopson says with the right planning businesses can survive those “tornados” and thrive.
When you do, take a deep breath and relax, he says – but not for too long.
“Eventually, a new tornado will come along,” Hopson says, “and you will go through the entire cycle all over again.”
About Dave Hopson
Dave Hopson, author of Surviving the Business Storm Cycle: How to Weather Your Business’s Ups and Downs (www.davehopson.com), is the managing partner at Triumphus, which offers IT consulting services to companies from startup through exponential growth to IPO. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Sam Houston University and a master’s in international relations from Claremont Graduate School. He also has a doctorate in international relations and econometrics from the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management and School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation at the Claremont Graduate School. Hopson also served in the Marine Corps.