The Making of a Great Company – Stages in the Life of a Company

The world that we are seeing around us has not been created or built in one day. In the beginning everything was new, fresh, and small in size, simple and fewer in numbers. With constant changes, evolution, improvements and magento development company in usa things around us has become larger in size and more complex. In my career so far, I have worked in start-up companies; new projects; new ventures and new assignments and having been a part of HR Profession, I think it is just appropriate for me to share those experiences. In this article, we will not be talking about everything around us but about the corporate world, its evolution, growth and its analogy with human life cycle.

Types of start-up companies

Every big company around us, be it Microsoft, IBM, Google, GE, Cisco and etc were start-up companies at one stage or another. In the beginning, there were fewer employees, less capital, poor infrastructure and less facilities. Over the period of time with consistent growth and expansion these companies have become giants. So, what do you consider as a start-up company?

A new company that is starting its business from scratch is considered as a start-up company. It all starts with a dream and an idea.

A new subsidiary of an existing company or a new sister concern of an existing company is also considered as a start-up company. In this case, though the new company will be allocated some budget and some basic infrastructure will also be provided by the parent company but yet this will be considered as a separate entity because it’s a new business, new industry, different customer base and etc. It is like having your 2nd or 3rd child.

A new expansion branch or an office of an existing company in a new country and jurisdiction is also considered as a start-up company.

For the purpose of this article, we will be considering only those companies that begin from scratch.

The life-cycle of a company is very much similar to the life-cycle of a human being. It all begins with an idea and need proper research, preparation and planning to actually get into it. Just like human begins, even companies need proper care, guidance and motivation to prosper and grow. Even companies pass through different phases and stages. They too have family, parents, siblings, cousins and friends. Even their relations also evolve over the period of time. They also suffer from heart-breaks. They also make mistakes, errors and blunders. In fact, as per the company law of various countries, companies are considered as an individual.

Let’s discuss it further – Understanding the Analogy

Planning for a new child – first step to create a multi-billion dollar company

In the last two decades or so, most of the basic things that are required to live a comfortable life, such as health care, education, food, house and etc has become very expensive. Hence, it is very important to plan the birth of your child. Not all the parents are willing to take-up this responsibility. In a same way, we are living in a competitive market and it is the survival of the fittest; hence, it is important to do a proper research, market analysis, demand and supply analysis of your product or service, cash flow analysis and etc before taking that first step to create your own company. It has been found that those companies that are formed without proper research, analysis and planning are either forced to go for an abortion or they die soon. There is also a possibility of a miscarriage. Even if they are let to born they find it difficult to grow as a normal company.

Hence, just the way you plan for your first child; you are also required to plan for your company. It is a thrill. There is anxiety. There are fears. There is risk. Yet, it is very important to plan. Plans are not foolproof, yet there is a scope of improvement because you know where you are going wrong and what needs to be changed rather then doing something unplanned. That is suicidal.

Conceived – research and analysis is completed

Once you decide to add a new member in your family and you conceive, you are ought to feel differently. There will be health and medical issues. You might not feel alright. You might feel as if something is growing within you and that you are actually not prepared for it. Then suddenly you might find yourself surrounded by many friends, family members and relatives, giving you some advices and etc. These types of feelings are very common in those families that are expecting their first child.

Starting a new company is no different as it involves money, time and other resources and at times it might scare you. You might find yourself surrounded by many friends and family members giving you last minute advice sometimes even to the extent of asking you to change your product or service line. They give less comfort and motivation but install more fear of failure or uncertain future.

These are the external fears. Apart from fighting with your family and friends and convincing them about your choice and decision; you also need to think about and concentrate upon many other issues to ensure a simple delivery without any operation or last minute hiccups. At this stage of the business the main focus is on matching the business opportunity with your skills, experience and passions. Other focal points include: deciding on a business ownership structure, finding professional advisors, and business planning. Most companies at this stage will have to overcome the challenge of market acceptance and pursue one niche opportunity. Do not spread money and time resources too thin.

Time of Delivery, Growing as a Baby and Moving towards your adolescent – incorporation of your company, beginning of the journey and first five years of your survival.

…and then the day comes when you become a parent. There is a smile on your face. Your happiness grew many folds. That day you were able to hold your baby, feel it, kiss and hug. You were finding it very difficult to express your feelings in words. But you were aware that this is just a beginning and there are many challenges that lie ahead for you to give a comfortable, secure and happy childhood to your baby. Suddenly you become very protective. You do things to ensure that your baby gets all the comfort and live a healthy life. Your baby is just a toddler and cannot differentiate between good and bad and cannot take decisions. Not strong enough to fight with the world. Hence, on behalf of your child you decide;

– Which type of school your kid should go to?
– What type of education can ensure that your kid can lead a successful and respectful life?
– What type of people or peers he should interact with, just to ensure that he should not fall prey to bad company?
– What type of habits and behavior your kid should cultivate to lead a healthy life?

There is a possibility that in future your kid might say that you have not done much for him but at present only you can take right decisions for him.

On the other side your company that has begin to take small steps to become the No. 1 company in the industry needs to be protected and cared for. You should decide what type of people should work in your company. You should decide what a right deal is for your company. More than anybody or anything else you should be worrying about your investors and banks that has lend you the money to do your business.

It is very important for you to get the right type of people in your company. Not an army of people but the experts in their field. There is a possibility that many seasoned and experienced people might refuse to work with your company because you are new and not one among the top 25 companies in the world, just don’t worry and ignore them.

Your employees, your vendors might not feel happy or comfortable with some of your decisions and policies; try to convince them if you can or ignore them, you know what is right for the company in order to make it the best company in the world. Today, they might say that your company is not good; they might even curse your company but tomorrow when you will be there at the top, these very people will admire your company and will feel proud to have got associated with the company.

You should rather concentrate on challenges and issues that you need to solve and address for the growth of your company. At this stage every decision need to be made carefully.

Adult age, Higher Studies and career – Growth Phase, Profitability

So now your child has reached the stage where he can take care of himself. He no longer needs to hold your finger to cross the road. You should not bother about him. Give him space to grow. Let him take a few decisions in his life. Give options and give advises but do not force your decision. Be there to hold him incase he falls; boost-up his confidence; motivate him but do not discourage him. You have done your job and now let him decide what he wants in his life. What type of career he wants to make? What type of profession he wants to enter in? You just sit and observe. When their kid begins to grow professionally and personally and when their kid becomes popular and respectable in the society, some parents take the back stage and they just feel happy with the every achievement of their kid. Someone who till few years ago was not able to walk on his own today has become so successful. Today, he is not walking but running.

In the same way, once your company starts making the profit, you should feel that half the job is done. Now, your target should be to make profit every year and every new profit should be higher then the profit of previous year. Now, you should think about expansions; more clients; more offices; more manpower and more profit. Keep on expanding and growing from one office in a city to many offices in the city to every city in the country to many countries across the world. It becomes very easy to get best of the talent in the world to work with you. Everyone out there will be interested to get associated with your company, in whatever way. Getting loans from the banks becomes a bit easier. Some companies decide to go to the public and become public limited company. Just remember that just the way it takes 20-25 years for a kid to grow completely; even companies take time at least 5-10 years to establish themselves in the industry and for a company to reach the type of growth that we have mentioned in this paragraph, it takes 20-30 years.

At this stage some owners quietly exist from the company and let their child for which they have slogged and struggled so much reach new heights and make new records. They feel proud with a thought that they have created a world class organization.

Old Age – Declining phase

Once their child begins to grow, some parents move on from the life of their kid and let him prosper. Some parents stay back and they look for alliances for their child. They expand their family; from a family of just parents and child they become larger when they add spouse of their child and the in-laws. The family becomes huge once their toddler becomes parent…and they keep on growing.

Similarly, once the company begins to make profits, grow and expand, some owners of the companies make an exit and start something new but many stay back. They like to enjoy the fruit of their tree. They also look for new alliances – mergers and acquisitions. They begin to enter into new related businesses by starting the subsidiaries and sister concerns. They grow with their company.

…and then when they die, their company continues to grow.

Conclusion

Just like human life, the life-cycle of a company also consists of different stages. The start-up phase is the most difficult one as it involves many challenges. In any journey, the most difficult phase is the starting phase because the direction is not clear and you are not aware of challenges that lie ahead. This article is a first in this series. In the following articles we will discuss about the challenges of a start-up company; other issues and complication.

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