In my last post titled 4 Owner Objectives to Achieve the Self-Sustainability Stage of Business Growth we explored self-sustainability stage.  I talked about the 4 areas that an entrepreneur/owner needed to focus in the following 4 areas for the business to achieve the self-sustainability stage:

  • Owner Goals
  • Operational Skills
  • Managerial Abilities
  • Strategic Thinking

Of these 4 the Owner’s Goals is the most critical as it provides the constraints on which the business plan is built.  The choice here is whether the owner wants to grow the business or just develop the business to sustain its current level of profitability.  You can see this decision has a major impact on the steps that follow.  It is frequently indecision causes stagnation for many businesses at this point in the growth life-cycle.

4 Management Objectives Impact the Self-Sustainability Stage:

Management Factors:

Financial Assets
  • Cash flow mgmt & profitability key concerns to finance growth or retirement.
  • To grow use retained earnings & cash flow, leverage to finance
Personnel Resources
  • Hire supervisory staff and give them decision making training and authority
  • Hire new employees
  • Create scalable systems for coming growth or to disengage from business
  • Better accounting and management systems
Business Assets
  • Growth requires the owner’s deep involvement (verses disengagement)
  • Strong operational & strategic planning
  • Stability: using business assets to create on-going passive cash flow.

Theses are the same 4 factors from the previous stages.  Notice everything is focused on the business functioning on its own.  It is all about removing the owner/entrepreneur from the operation and day-to-day business so that the company continues to produce cash flow and profit at its current levels and beyond.

If the word REMOVE makes you feel uneasy, don’t fret.  This is the biggest obstacle I face when consulting with small business owners.  Because they have allowed themselves to be defined by their business “letting go” is the hardest thing they’ve probably faced besides starting their business.  Unfortunately, at this stage they’ve become so comfortable with life and their business that they are unwilling to let themselves get uncomfortable so the business can enter the self-sustainability stage of the growth cycle.  So the business stagnates and the owner finds him/herself caught in “Nowhere Land.” They become dissatisfied with their life and business and are not sure why.

I have seen owners fight this change to the point of putting their business into bankruptcy or even working it to die a slow painful death. In the process they hurt their family and the families of the people they employed.  Are you this stubborn that you would do this?

If you find yourself caught in this quagmire, then you have some real soul searching to do!  Contact me at  I will be happy to share how I have helped entrepreneurs navigate this rocky shoreline and may be able to assist you too.

Another way to get through this dilemma is to share with others that have already made this transition themselves.  If you have been able to successfully make this transition yourself tell your story here.  It is helpful when someone is struggling to see that others have shared this struggle too and have successfully come out the other side!  We’re waiting to hear from you…