5 Stages of Business

5 Stages of Business

I was in an interesting training this week about the stages of business. As an entrepreneur, I found the statistics interesting. Of the Fortune 500 companies in 1955, only 55 are still in business today. The trainer discussed the evolution that every business goes through and why the business thrives, survives or expires. Here are the 5 stages of business.

  • Initializationthis is idea stage, my personal favorite. Finding an idea to solve a common problem that will generate revenue.


  • Investigationtaking the idea and researching and proving the concept. Usually this is the stage for patents, logos and trademarks.


  • Implementation-this is where the work really begins. Manufacturing, marketing, distribution, accounting, sales, employment, etc. This is the stage where the business either thrives, survives or dies. Execution is critical.


  • Innovation-this is the stage where the business continues to survive. This stage caused the death of 445 Fortune 500 companies since 1955. The fatal quote of this stage is when a company states “we have always done it this way”. This statement is the prelude to a eulogy.


  • Expiration-failing any of the first 4 stages of business results in the death of the business. A company must execute stages 1-4 flawlessly to avoid joining the scrap heap of failed businesses.


I know a lot of great entrepreneurs, they are all very aware of these 5 stages and will work tirelessly to avoid stage 5. If you are considering a great business idea and are in stage 1, please find those individuals that are so crucial to your success to help execute the remaining 3 stages or else you will have created a nice hobby for yourself. Here’s to your success!

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”-Winston Churchill

Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net


Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, grandfather of 2, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, employee benefit specialist, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger, author and team leader with over 31 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.

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