We like the way Jim Canfield of Renaissance Executive Forums defines the various stages of business growth. They provide a convenient classification that helps us recognize and appreciate the goals and challenges of each level of progression.
Here we apply his staging definitions to the physical consumer product business:
This is the exciting phase when your business concepts are launched. First you must get through the pre-launch by raising enough capital to prove your concept. Then you must design, build, test and hone your product and marketing plan. Then you enter the real market.
Here you discover the misconceptions you had regarding what your customer really wants, and what that means to your product, package and pitch. The speed of this early course correction is critical. You must make many expensive changes at a time when you are racing the clock to achieve a positive cash flow.
Most studies put the start-up success rate at less than one in seven. The goal of the start-up phase is to prove your concept and achieve positive cash flow before running out of funds — or losing control of the company through subsequent rounds of financing.
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Who We Are
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.
Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.
They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.
Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.
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