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Small Business Growth Stages and Maturity Milestones


June 25, 2019 / fbcadmin

Kerrie Sheaves
Foundational Business Consulting

What stage is your customer up to in the business maturity cycle?

Why is it important to understand the Small Business stages of growth and the maturity milestones for a business owner?

As a business owner begins and develops their business, they pass along many different stages of growth and maturity.

These growth stages are not so much a numbers thing, but rather a change in the way they think and act.

Where you are, in the business maturity cycle, determines how you spend money, how you use your time, the clients/customers you focus your energy on winning and delivering to, and the roles you and others play in your business.


Small Business Growth Stages and Milestones – Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash

What is a ‘Small Business’?

Small business, as defined by government, is traditionally less than $30 million/p.a. turnover and less than 25 staff. That’s a pretty broad field of businesses. It includes every kind of business from people just considering a new venture, to 30-year old businesses with international reach.

If you target “small businesses”, it’s very important that you can define that target group clearly. A a small business in it’s first couple of years of operation won’t spend $1,000/month on your services. But, a small business with 20 people and $10m turnover looking to grow, may do so.

Over the years, we’ve defined small business by classifying them into 5 stages of business growth and maturity.  This helps our customers pinpoint where they are in the small business maturity cycle and who their ideal customers really are.


You can use our small business maturity stages infographic as a general guide to help inform your own processes of targeting and tailoring your products and services.

Once you understand the characteristics of small businesses as they move through the small business growth stages and milestones, it’s far easier to develop niche services that speak clearly to the right audiences; and to ignore the groups who aren’t ready for your offerings or can’t afford it yet.

You can use the cycle to help identify potential referral partners who work with similar target customer types. A Win-Win-Win!

When customers are served by the right service/product at the right time in their growth journey it’s a win for the service/product provider and the customer. When the right types of customers use you it’s a value match, where the customer feels well served at a price they believe is reasonable for the product/services/expertise provided. An extra Win comes when a referral partner is able to bring more value to their customer by introducing another trusted expert. This can further cement the your value as a go-to resource for that customer. It also means you can confidently niche your offering, and everybody wins and grows as a result.

Not sure who your business should be focusing its products/services towards 2020?


Need help to grow your small business to the next growth stage and milestone?

Get in touch with us on 1300 765 249 to sharpen your business planning processes.

Call us to find out more today!


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