Follow These 3 Stages to Succeed In The First 15 Years of Your Business

Do you wonder how companies go from a start-up to one of the industry’s leading businesses?

The secret?

You need to learn how to start right and do it correctly in the process.

Greg Alexander, founder of Collective54, shares about the Boutique Framework (or Life Cycle Framework) designed to help firms to start their business right and be scalable. 

This framework outlines the three stages you need to go through to lay the foundation, achieve scalability, and position your business as an attractive investment.

Are you excited about these stages? Let’s start going through them.

Stage 1. Growth Stage

The growth stage is the first 5 years of your business. You need to identify your services offered, target market, ideal client profile, revenue model, and establish a go-to market strategy during this stage. This phase is crucial for proving your business model’s viability, satisfying clients and employees, and ensuring the firm’s sustainability.

In other words, the growth stage will define your business. Greg notes that most businesses during this phase often fall into the lifestyle business model. This means that a business is completely dependent on the founder to be successful.

Stage 2. Scale Stage

Then, your business transitions to the scale stage. The scale stage, as Greg describes, is the evolution from practice to firm. During the scale stage, you need to build robust systems, methodologies, tools, and processes to reduce dependency on the founders’ expertise.

Why can’t you just rely on the founder?

Because the goal of every business is to be scalable and you can’t scale when you rely on one person only and you depend on high-skilled labor.

So, how do you do it?

Build a leadership team who will help you manage the business. Then, you productize your services by making them repeatable and scalable. And, leverage technology by automating systems, reduce dependence on manual labor and improve profit margins.

Stage 3. Exit Stage

This final, Exit Stage, prepares your business as an attractive asset to potential buyers. However, this is going to be a challenge,


Because you need to learn how to do it.

It’s not as easy as telling everyone your business is for sale, right?

People need to know why they should buy your firm. So, you’ll need to enhance revenue predictability, optimize EBITDA margins, and minimize the risks of client and revenue concentration. This is how you strategically position your business for acquisition. Curious about making your business Buyable? Uncover the full strategy by reading my book. 


Creating a scalable and investment-ready business might not be easy, but it’s possible. Just keep in mind the three steps: grow, scale, and exit. As you go through these stages, envision a business that stands not only as a testament to your vision, but as a compelling investment opportunity.

Your journey to creating a scalable and investment-ready business starts now. Do it with passion and purpose and you’ll do great.