Your business has a lifecycle and understanding that lifecycle might be one of the most important steps you take in your career as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs often don’t realize this until it is too late and disaster has struck.

On the other hand if you know where you are, you might be able to position yourself to take advantage of resources that you might not have been aware of, had you not analyzed what business stage you are in.

We are going to look at seven business stages; however you may find yourself categorizing your business in between stages. The important point is that you are aware of your position. The seven business stages are seed stage, start-up stage, growth stage, managed stage, expansion stage, declining stage and exit stage.

In some cases, entrepreneurs fear finding out where they are at because they might not know what to do once they figure it out. Don’t let fear take control, it is best to have a firm grip even if you are facing a tough road ahead. You might find that you are totally missing an opportunity, or you may need to close the business. Either way, the more time you have to prepare the better the outcome will be.

The type of investors that you can attract will vary according to where your business is at. For example, you are not likely to get investment capital from a mergers and acquisitions firm in the start-up stage and you aren’t going to be able to get Angel Investors to invest when you are in the exit stage looking to merge or sell your business.

I will go into each stage in more detail in the following posts. Think about your business and what you need to leverage to put yourself in the best possible position going forward.