Where to from here? The five stages of business growth
Your real estate agency may feel very different to the one next door or the big-name brand down the street, but chances are you all have a fair bit in common.
In the push to get established, become known and take on staff, each business is working through what Harvard Business Review calls the five stages of business growth.
So what exactly are those phases and how do you go about successfully navigating each?
Chances are if you’re up and running, you are either in or have just completed the ‘existence’ phase. This is the stage of business where an operation begins, usually with a driven entrepreneur (in this case an agent or couple) at the helm, doing most of the work by themselves.
The focus at this stage is clients – where to find them and how to secure them. In real estate, this phase is defined by prospecting, listing, and sales, and/or rent roll building as you establish your reputation and brand.
Survival is the next stage of business, and it’s a place where many real estate agencies remain. This is a time of intense energy for the business owner as you work to meet break-even points and prove ongoing viability.
At this point the business will take one of two paths – it will begin to become profitable or languish at or just above break-even with the owner still doing much of the heavy lifting.
Survival is one of the toughest stages of business where systems, procedures, planning and consistent superior customer service see an agency stall or step up to a whole new level.
Success comes with the reward of decent profits and a level of comfort. Many business owners achieve success and happily remain here, with this phase offering the opportunity to balance lifestyle and business while reaping decent rewards.
As HBR notes, success comes with a series of choices to be made. At this stage, the owner is likely to be running the business with the assistance of multiple staff. They may have the chance to step back when they need to, remain actively at the helm or alternatively sell the agency at a profit.
Meanwhile, there is also a greater choice to consider. Once you attain success, will you remain a single agency or will you consolidate your business and grow?
If you choose to use success to grow further, the focus becomes cash flow and delegation. The business will require an increased structure, likely encompassing managers and departments. Systems and procedures will be paramount.
While the owner may still remain at the helm, their role is unlikely to see them involved in the day-to-day operations of the enterprise. Instead they are overseeing it or working with an experienced team to implement key decisions and strategies.
A mature business is one with a proven track record and stability. It has a reputation for achievement, values associated with its brand, and is widely known for what it does.
Still, there are challenges to embrace. Mature businesses need to find ways to remain relevant and fresh in a market that consistently changes.
In real estate mature agencies may require constant revisions of technology, marketing, market insight and branding in order to remain relevant to a rapidly evolving customer.
Where are you now?
Regardless of where you are in the five stages of business, Eview can help you reach the next level.
With a growing team of agencies and skilled support staff behind the scenes, we can help guide you to the next level of agency success while you steer the ship of your own brand.
We have a team of dedicated support staff handling administration areas like accounts, bookkeeping, reception, and technology, while you focus on the core business of selling or growing a rent roll.
We utilise state-of-the art technology which we draw upon as a group. We’re available to assist with any questions you may have or issues you face, but we’re also here to give you freedom to run your business your way and achieve the career and lifestyle you want.