Navigating the life cycle of business

From startup to expansion, building a successful business takes more than just long hours of hard work: It takes deep expertise and an eye for detail.

There are plenty of challenges along the way. According to Bloomberg, 80 percent of new businesses fail within the first 18 months. The right accounting firm can help overcome those odds from the outset.

At Alban & Company CPAs, more than 70 years of combined experience means clients can enjoy specialized attention through the four different stages of business development.

During the startup phase, there are organizational choices to be made, tax and financial decisions that will impact your business for years to come. Business owners must maneuver through changing tax and regulatory requirements.

Throughout the rapid growth period, Alban and Company’s team of professionals can help clients manage cash flow and debt for working capital and long-term sustainability. Navigating this second phase calls for the right balance of financial insight, risk assessment and communication.

Next comes the stabilization phase of the business when cash flow becomes more consistent and adequate to fund current operations and repay debt over time.

Some businesses stop here but many go on to provide additional services or goods to their existing and new customers. The business model may be one that you can replicate in other geographical areas or locations. This phase requires similar but unique strategies.Financial management and accounting savvy can mean the difference between success and steep losses, whether a business needs to restructure or put together a financial forecast for growth.

As the business matures, it is prudent for a business owner to contemplate an exit strategy whether it is to sell outright, involve the next generation or groom you successor from within. We have helped a number of Alaska businesses through this process.

Throughout every stage, experience is vital. So is a thorough understanding of an organization’s needs and goals. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the life cycle of business.

“Each industry is unique in itself,” she says. “You have to understand the industry, what they do, their process and how things work.” Even the four stages of the business life cycle can be unique. According to the Harvard Business Review, companies can experience more than one phase at a time, and new technologies or markets can push companies through those phases nonsequentially. It’s a shifting cycle unique to every business.