The journey many entrepreneurs take in launching their startup business is often non-linear and filled with unexpected turns. At each stage of the business entrepreneurs are reacting to market conditions and making decisions that impact short and long-term success. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs move through this process unaware that there is a systematic way to grow scale and exit their business.
The BOSS Startup Maturity Model® provides five critical levels that each business must cross to grow, scale and exit. Each level provides new activities, initiatives and benchmarks that should be leveraged by entrepreneurs. When combined with the BOSS Framework and Methodology®, The BOSS Startup Maturity Model® provides entrepreneurs with the tools systematically work through each maturity level while preparing for an exit.
Let’s take a look at each level:
Level 1 – Survival, a corporate strategy and functional strategies do not exist. The corporate strategy is a dependency of the functional strategies (product, marketing, sales & support). Without the corporate strategy documented and circulated to the functional leaders the functional strategies will be incomplete and destined for failure. Start-ups at level 1 Ad-hoc are very reactive and lack consistency which causes poor market alignment and decreased brand equity with buyers. This leads to the misuse of budgets, time and resources. As a result, customer acquisition costs are high and customer lifetime value decreases with high customer churn rates.
Level 2 – Documented, corporate and functional strategies are documented, however they are not aligned. Due to the lack of alignment, the strategies are rarely aligned and many of the same symptoms of level 1 – Ad-hoc are still felt. In level 2 many of the initiatives and execution tactics are based on historical achievements, putting the strategy at risk of misalignment with the constant change of buyer behaviors. Despite the risks of level 2 – Documented, companies often experience a slight improvement of customer acquisition costs and customer lifetime vale. Additionally, because the ICP is documented sales teams often experience less friction in targeting and converting customers.
Level 3 – Aligned, corporate and functional strategies are documented and aligned. Functional leaders are now able to leverage repeatable processes improving the proper use of budget, people and time. As a result, companies experience a decrease in customer acquisition costs and an increase in customer lifetime value. Functional leaders can up-level themselves from working in the business to working on the business by hiring the next layer of management to manage strategy execution. This results in the implementation of integrated and collaborative technology solutions to assist with repeatable processes and automated controls, improving the company's ability to scale and handle a higher volume of customers.
Level 4 – Market Leading, corporate strategies are aligned with functional strategies allowing functional teams to leverage emerging best practices. The business model is now creating real-time insights for cross-functional and collaborative decision making. A significant decrease in customer acquisition costs and increase in customer lifetime value is experienced. Many of the processes are now automated providing a significant improvement in prospect conversion and customer onboarding/support. As a result, the volume of customers is improved, and additional sales reps are added to manage the increased demand from the expansion of the companies ICP.
Level 5 – Predictable, the internal corporate and functional strategies and fully aligned with the market and ICP. Companies who can reach this stage have optimized and automated all processes allowing for significant growth and scale. A significant increase in functional team resources is required to manage the high volume of customer conversion, onboarding and support. This is funded through the double-digit decrease in customer acquisition costs and increase in customer lifetime value allowing companies to further invest in all functional areas. Entrepreneurs who reach this stage are among the top 4% in the world and can experience growth and scale rarely seen in SaaS companies.
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