Business cycle: what should you focus on at each stage of your business?

Business is always changing. Your company will go through various stages of the business lifecycle. What you focus on today will change and require different approaches to be successful.

Stage 1 – Seed and development

The beginning of the business idea. Get advice from as many sources as possible. Review profitability, the market, competitors and the business structure. A good business plan is vital for success.

Stage 2 – Start up

Make your business a legal entity. Adjust to your customers’ needs and wants. Establish a customer base and concentrate on marketing and profitability. Reviewing the business plan, budgets and cashflows is vital.

Stage 3 – Growth and establishment

Fine tune your business model, sales model, marketing model and operations model. While managing a good team concentrate on sales and marketing. Consider the need for external consulting advice on the business development.

Stage 4 – Expansion

The business has a steady income and flow of customers and the business feels like routine. If deciding to expand your offerings or move into a new market, you must consider the risks; competition, resources required, time required, the effects on current customers and the financing.

Stage 5 – Maturity and/or exit

Your business could still be growing and the current option is to decide to take a step back towards the expansion stage or to think of a possible exit strategy. Is the business financially able to cover an unsuccessful attempt at expansion? Have you planned your exit strategy?

Not all businesses experience every stage of the lifecycle and some experience them in a different order. Every stage of the business lifecycle brings new or re-occurring challenges. Solutions that may have worked for one stage may not work in another stage, which is why you should always adjust and review your business plan and operations.
If you need any help, our friendly team of experts can be your partner through each stage of the business lifecycle. Please contact Lisa Byrne, Audit Manager at Cooney Carey, on 01 677 9000 or by email: 

If this article helped you, please share it with other businesses.

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    Posted on October 2, 2017 by Lisa Byrne

    Congratulations to our MD Tony Carey on Black Belt in Kenpo Jujitsu

    Last Friday our MD Tony Carey was graded to Black Belt in Kenpo Jujitsu and presented with a real Samurai sword in traditional ceremony.

    It’s an impressive achievement, even more so considering the fact that Ireland’ association are the longest group of Kenpo Practitioners in Europe with the least amount of Black Belts as the standard required to achieve black belt is way above the requirements of any other organisation.

    We’re proud of your success, Tony. Congratulations!

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      Posted on September 27, 2017 by Cooney Carey

      6 Keys to Successful Working Capital Implementation

      Companies have an obligation to release cash into a business from the balance sheet to fund growth. Companies should be focused on the implementation and support of a cash culture as appose to a profit focus. Many profitable companies fail due to inefficient management of debtors, creditors and stock positions.

      Where to Start with Working Capital

      A good starting place is for a business to examine its working capital equation. Inventory plus accounts receivable less accounts payable. It is important to note that the balance sheet only represents a fixed moment in time. A business must also be constantly looking at its inventory cycle, receivables cycle and payables cycle.

      What are the Keys to Successful Implementation?

      A successful working capital improvement programme can be comprised of six key elements:

      • Setting clear business objectives – Market leading companies establish a clear plan, forecast, and projections and incorporate their working capital cycle to reflect the same.
      • Calculate key metrics and improve – There are many metrics to measure a company’s working capital cycle: current ratio, quick ratio, receivables period, payables period and inventory period. Once calculated a company should strive to improve on them.
      • Strong Governance – Get the corporate governance structure in place to provide a smooth transition to a new working capital cycle.
      • Incentivize Management – Bonuses linked to working capital are a great way to motivate management to implement new policies.
      • Enable Management – Provide programmes and tools that will support changes in an efficient and sustainable manner.
      • Best Practise – New initiatives and actions should be integrated with a clear action plan and methodology.

      What questions do you have?

      We are happy to help. Please post your comment below or call Jack Gahan from Corporate Finance Team on 01 677 9000. Alternatively, send him an email:

      To keep in touch, connect with our friendly team on LinkedIn.

      If you found this article interesting, please share it with other businesses. 

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        Posted on September 26, 2017 by Jack Gahan

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