Utilizing Process Through the Three Stages of Business Growth

Have you ever wondered why some businesses seem to grow like wildflowers while others fizzle out?

As part of the EOS Community, you know it has nothing to do with luck or personality but everything to do with the Six Key Components™ and how they’re applied during the different phases of business growth.

We wanted to share how process is a crucial indicator of readiness to scale and how to utilize process to unlock the next level of growth in a business.

We guarantee you’ll be more likely to succeed and more likely to help your clients succeed.


Why Process?

Simply put, the time a business spends onboarding new team hires or micromanaging current team members leads to a lack of focus on growth-oriented tasks.

Putting out fires and working in an unstructured setting costs time and money, decreasing operating efficiency and consistency.

Okay, so we know process is a winning formula!

But not all businesses are in the same stage of growth. This means that how one company applies process may need to differ depending on the stage of growth and scaling.


How to utilize process in the three stages of business growth

Stage 1: Starter 🌱

Team size: Typically 5–25

You’ve got a business idea, and you’ve gone through the phase of winging it to find out what works and what doesn’t.

At this stage of the business, you’re more than a one-person team. You’ve realized that to grow, you need to be more than a one-person wonder, and you’ve gone on to hire your first few team members.

The owner wants to attract new people to elevate the business, which is when documenting process begins to have value.


This phase is characterized by:

✔️Attracting new team members

✔️Sharing learning so new team members can hit the ground running

✔️Laying a foundation for improvement


The challenge for companies and entrepreneurs in the start-up phase?

Most companies either struggle to get tribal knowledge out of their heads and onto paper or find it hard to create and share docs that teams can actually use.


Goal 🎯

The first goal is to help new team members hit the ground running.

And the very first step you need regarding process is to create. The aim is to identify the essential knowledge in your business and kick off your documentation journey using the 20-80 rule.


Stage 2: Growth 🌳

Team size: Typically 25–100

Stage 2 is all about growth and even hyper-growth. You’re looking to amplify your efforts.

You’re no longer hiring one person every quarter, but now you’re hiring two+ people per month!

You’ve made it through the growing pains of trying to find clients and sustainable revenue. You have a healthy business that’s sustaining itself as an independent entity. Your business is growing – and so is the team! You can no longer do everything with just a handful of people and need to hire more people to keep up with demand.

You may be thinking: how will I know when my company has reached this stage?

Well, here are some signs that your company has graduated into Stage 2:

  • You will have plenty of opportunities for new hires, including positions such as sales representatives, marketing experts, and customer service representatives who can provide support for customers as they use your product or service
  • Your company’s revenues will continue to increase


This phase is characterized by:

✔️Rapid hiring of new team members within existing teams so that team sizes grow beyond just one.

✔️The need to onboard new team members concurrently

✔️Bedding down the product and business model


The challenge for companies and entrepreneurs in the earth growth phase?

How do you leverage documentation across your employee’s entire journey with your company and ensure accessibility across the board? It’s not as difficult as you might think, and with just a couple of steps, you’ll be growing in no time!


Goal 🎯

The goal here is to amplify your efforts in the business by growing in team size.

Train your teams and help them access the information they need at the moment they need it to help your teams grow.

At this stage, it’s all about leveraging your documentation to its full potential.


Stage 3: Expansion and scale-up 📈

Team size: Typically 100+

You’re building a large organization and want to make sure no one and nothing falls through the cracks!

You’re probably thinking, “I can’t wait to get there!” Every entrepreneur wants to get to the phase of business where there’s an upward growth curve as a result of funding, expansion into new markets, or the implementation of a business growth strategy that works.

Here, your product or service is growing in popularity, and you’re expanding your customer base, potentially across markets and geographical borders.

Your business is on track to continue its growth well into the future.

But Stage 3 also involves risk management.

While expansion means growth, it also introduces new challenges that require careful planning and attention to detail to successfully overcome them without jeopardizing your company’s financial health or reputation with customers or partners along the way.

And this phase also involves valuation! 💰

If nothing’s been documented, it doesn’t hold value for potential investors or shareholders. And if you’re looking to exit the business at any stage, documentation and process add a higher valuation to the business!


This phase is characterized by:

✔️Market and/or product expansion

✔️Maintaining customer experience through growth

✔️Entrenching analytics into every part of the business


The challenge for companies and entrepreneurs in expansion and scaling up

It’s a great place to be, but how do you instill a culture of continuous improvement and excellence that is consistently maintained throughout the business that allows you to keep scaling?


Goal 🎯

The goal here is to scale into a large organization and ensure consistency and that the business keeps increasing in value.

Managing through systems and processes will help you continually improve and update your company knowledge and empower your employees. It’s all about creating a culture of systemization!

By creating efficient systems and processes, you will ensure that the right company knowledge is kept up to date and that your team is working together toward a common goal.


How to Unlock the Next Level of Growth

  • The first step is to get your mindset right! Process is too hard. Process just takes too much time is something we hear often, but it isn’t true. Lisa Gonzalez shares 3 mindsets that prevent process, and why it matters.
  • The second step is to be aware of your company’s current stage of growth. Take the Readiness to Scale Assessment to see which phase of growth you or your client is in.
  • The third step is to identify the relevant process step to take correlated to the level of growth.

Remember, the best way to prepare for the next stage is by taking action, even if it’s just one small step in the right direction.


Business Growth Is Driven by Process

When businesses are new, things are often done by intuition. This is because the founder is usually figuring out the best way to do something.

At this point, you need clear instructions to take you to the early-growth phase. You need a way to get the entire team in line for the way things will be done so that everyone is executing tasks in the same way.


You need process.

Once process is in play and you’re scaling the team, you’ll need a way to make sure that anyone can step into the business at any time and be trained.


You need process.

Once the team is trained and you’re scaling, you’ll find that there’s a vast amount of intellectual property that you’ll want to harness to create a competitive advantage.


You need process.

Process allows you to:

✔️Focus on growth-oriented tasks

✔️Create a competitive advantage and a higher valuation for your company when you wish to exit

✔️Create work/life balance for you and your teams

✔️Create consistency in the team and in dealing with customers

✔️Allow new team members to step in and ramp up faster with less onboarding time

✔️Limit the number of mistakes, redos, and general churn


Hopefully, this blog post has given you a better idea of where your business is and how to utilize process through the three stages of business growth.

Join our webinar on November 1, 2022, with Lisa Gonzalez and Mike Paton, authors of the book Process!, where we’ll show you the exact steps you need to take to scale your business with process.

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