Chapter 2

The Five Levels of Business Success

Walt Disney’s hit movie and Broadway show The Lion King features a wonderful song called “The Circle of Life,” which reminds us that we are all born, grow up, get older, and eventually pass away. But it isn’t only living things that go through a life cycle—businesses do the same. Just like human beings, new businesses start, grow, achieve success, maintain that success, and eventually come to an end. This business life cycle is not always apparent, but it does exist, and it’s going on around us every day and everywhere. And it’s very important for business owners to understand this life cycle, because it gives them parameters or structure, which in turn forces them to focus not only on what is important but also on when it’s important.

Trying to manage a successful business without taking this concept into account is like playing a baseball game without knowing what inning you are in, if you are winning or losing, where you rank in relationship to other teams, or how far into the season you are. But if you understand the business life cycle, you are able to look at your company and determine where you are, how far you have to go, and what you have to do to get there. Having this understanding also helps you define what success means to you, determine appropriate objectives and goals, plan and strategize to achieve those goals, measure your efforts, and make adjustments and improvements as necessary. Finally, it makes it possible for ...

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