Blog | Tips and Advice from 81up

The 7 levels of maturity in a business: which stage are you in?


Our previous blogs spoke about structuring your funnel correctly and bring sustainable profits to your business. But during this whole process, I am constantly looking at 7 different levels. These 7 different levels represent the 7 levels of maturity in business.

Step away from survival

The very first one that you want to run away from is survival. It’s about having really tight cashflow you are unsure whether you are going to make it or not. The business is in a stage where it does not have a strong network, a strong brand or strong systems. The number of clients is low and there is not enough revenue to sustain the business. You want to jump away from survival and have a strong network as quickly as you can.

Start building a strong relationship with strategic partners, then you’ll be able to have leverage on them and stand on their shoulder to offer your product or services to their network. It allows you to leverage your supply chain, gives you the option to scales, or it allows you to get more referrals so you get more work and, of course, revenue goes up.

Become a power brand

Once you move from the solid network, you move to the power brand, so it’s about focusing and honing in on your brand. This means the look and feel, the mission and culture, and it is also about honing in on your unique selling points. In other words, what separates you from the rest of the pack. This allows your clients to easily identify you in a busy market. You are not a nobody. You are you, you’ve got an edge. You appeal to your customer.

As your sales go up, the natural thing to do is to increase your staff. Very quickly you may have found that things are out of control. Customers are unhappy, the quality of service or the product has gone south or there are delays resulting in costs to overrun. There are certainly more issues. This is where it is important to systemise your business so everyone in your team operates from the same page. Standard, policies, processes and procedures bring consistency, repeatability and quality as they guide new and old team members alike on how to achieve spectacular results day in and day out.

Be results focused

This will bring us to the next level, which is to have a result focus. Quite often I’ve gone to a company where, nobody is focused on results, everybody is waiting for the lunch break, coffee break, smoke break. When you come on board, you see people bored and competing with each other, there are conflicts because they’re not happy. They feel stuck in a rut, and they don’t want to come to work. After working with them for a few weeks, this glum changes to excitement. This excitement is drawn after we run our team based workshops which allows your team to create a shared mission, vision, values and strategic goals. This bring everyone together united and have full clarity on the target and knowing the specific results they are working towards.

Your role as the Managing Director is to specify the “What results”, bring in talents that are better than you in their fields and create a working environment that allows your team members to bring the best of them and allows them to collaborate together to get the desired results. We want our people to feel excited about coming to work, doing the best they can to the best of their ability and, most importantly, we want them to take pride in excelling at what they do in the service of the customer.

They’re happy, and – if you have happy employees, it means that you have delighted customers. This comes from having a results-focused environment with the right systems build with the intent to achieve great results for the customer.

Focus on your mission

The next level, level 6, is for you to become mission-focused. When you reach this mission purpose at a company, it’s not about the organisation anymore, it’s not about survival, or partners, or anything. It’s about getting everyone on one mission, starting to give meaning to everyone, so that people want to come. Deep inside, they know it’s not just about the money, it’s not just about getting the results, not just about creating ‘wow’ clients, this is about the business having a higher purpose.

Some of my clients are in construction and the whole reason why they exist is for their customers to say “Wow” as they walk into their home for the first time? This mission resonates across the whole team and everyone goes the extra mile to make it happen.

Integrate your business

The 7th and final level is have an integrated business. You are part of a wider mission where you collaborate together to service one or more different ideal clients.

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