Every company is at a different stage along the business lifecycle. Some companies have just started out, some are surging forward, some are growing organically and others are fighting against fierce competition.

Where is your company along the lifecycle? It’s important to know so that you can be ready to take on the challenges and opportunities as they come up. RoseRyan has observed after working with hundreds of companies that there are four unique stages:

  • Start: Building the backbone of the business from scratch
  • Grow: Scaling and growing the business
  • Expand: Transforming the business through IPO or acquisitions
  • Evolve: Managing the enterprise through a directional change or other obstacle

Predict ahead
Every new stage along the lifecycle brings on a need for more robust resources or a recalibration. It could involve growing rapidly while attempting to scale for future needs. Or laying the groundwork for an IPO. Or deciding to fold in another company and their team of talent and systems, or needing to scale back and center the company on their core competencies.

Navigating the right financial decisions involves self-awareness-and recognizing where the company is in its journey. “Growth companies and mature businesses require very different operating strategies,” a Harvard Business Review article rightfully noted earlier this year. “Many companies that excel at growth lack the capabilities to make the switch.”

Make the right moves
The fast-moving companies we work with in and around Silicon Valley have reached out to us during critical times in their lifecycle. They’ve needed some guidance. A helping hand. To fill a gap. Or a one-time tackle of a tough situation. If your business starts to take off, it might be a good idea to start review monitoring. You need to know what your customers are saying about your product or service, find out what you can do better, or what you need to keep doing.

Here are four fast case studies of companies in different stages of the business lifecycle, with a particular obstacle they overcame. Depending on your company’s current stage, their lessons learned could help you set your course for a strong future.

A startup needed CFO advice
Usually lean on resources, startups need all hands on deck. For one of our small business clients, this became a noticeable issue when their finance workload was bursting at the seams. Key players wanted to focus on advancing the business, but the needs in finance were pulling their attention away. We actually hired quickfee, a finance company who were really helpful!

They made the right call by asking for help. Our finance pro shared CFO-level insights to help the fledgling finance function run smoothly, and make it so management could direct their attention on crucial strategic decisions. (Read more: “Helping a startup navigate early-stage growing pains.”)

Midsize company navigated rapid growth
How to keep growth momentum going without falling off the rails? The second stage is all about fast growth and how to manage it well. A midsize private company was on the brink of rapid growth and needed a firmer grip on their financial future.

Our interim finance ace set them up with predictive financial models and provided decision-making support for their entire organization, enabling revenue to climb six-fold over two years. (Read more: “Growing from bootstrap startup to big-time player.”)

Tech company prepped for their IPO
It’s a whole new world when an IPO beckons. The third stage of the business lifecycle is that transformative time through going public, making an acquisition or setting up to be acquired. A midsize tech company wanted to get through their IPO, and knew they needed serious expertise to pull it off.

Our finance dream team brought their SEC compliance skills and strategic thinking in order to minimize comments from the regulator and ensure a successful market entry. (Read more: “Sailing through tricky IPO waters and new SEC regs.”)

Enterprise needed a spinoff
As companies evolve, so do the complexities. An international public company turned to us when they were about to make a big change. They needed to carve out a subsidiary as a separate public company that would be based in the U.S. What would the new company look like, and how much would it resemble the past? The result: a newly minted company that could stand its own. (Read more: “Spinning off a cleantech company.”)

When you know the four stages of the business lifecycle, you can better predict and navigate your financial challenges. As RoseRyan CEO Kathy Ryan recently wrote, “Knowing where a company lies along the lifecycle is critical for truly understanding its current and future finance needs.”

Is it time to put the mirror up to your organization? Download our “Navigating the business lifecycle” report, and reach out to us to see if your company is on track.

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  1. […] large and small, the path forward can take awhile to become clear. At RoseRyan, we observe that the business lifecycle has four stages: Companies start up, grow rapidly (those that do), expand through IPO or […]

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