Whether your company is big or small, knowing the phases of business development can help you create an effective business plan. There are four stages of business development: start up, growth, maturity, and decline.
The start up phase is where decisions are made about how the business will be set up and run. Sources of capital are established and plans are made for maintaining cash flow. Legal matters are attended to and a location is chosen for the business. Finally, goods and services are purchased.
Next, the growth phase is marked by expanding your customer base, sparking demand for your product or service, and increasing profit.
Maturity is reached when your brand is well known, you have a stable customer base, and your cash flow stabilizes.
Lastly, many businesses eventually will decline. If your business is unable to meet the current needs of the market, you may need to examine your operations and reinvent your business.