5 Stages of Entrepreneurship

DSM Digital School of Marketing - entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a process in which there are certain steps that need to be followed. It doesn’t take place overnight. Even after the entrepreneur is cautious, you are destined to take a few missteps and possibly even fall. Failure, of some kind or another, is inevitable in entrepreneurship. This being said, the speed with which you rise after a fall describes the kind of entrepreneur you are. A smart businessman doesn’t simply aspire to build products, he strives to deliver value.

From the moment that you make the decision to set up a company, you’re in the “business life cycle”. This will see you go from idea to start-up and, if successful, through to the growth as well as the maturity phases.

Although it’s fair to say that business is never not tough, an in-depth look at each of the stages of the business life cycle highlights a distinctive set of obstacles that the entrepreneur needs to deal with as well as overcome. It will be necessary for you to be flexible in your thinking in addition to adapting your strategy as you move along. Indeed, a number of different approaches are required for market penetration versus, for example, what may be necessary to achieve growth or retain market share.

DSM Digital School of Marketing - entrepreneurship

What are the phases of entrepreneurship

The five phases of entrepreneurship are as follows:

  • Idea,
  • Decision,
  • Proof,
  • Growth, in addition to
  • Long-term plan.

What each phase looks like is contingent on the industry, kind of company, style of entrepreneurship (ie. Risk-averse vs. Risk taker), as well as your decisions along the way. Not each and every entrepreneur successfully passes through the five phases of entrepreneurship. It’s a tough journey which will test your resilience many times over. However this is an easy trade-off for entrepreneurs who like to take risks (whether big or small) as it allows them to take control over their own career. You just have to survive in order to make it.


On the business side of development, it is necessary for you to map out how your organisation will take shape. You should create a business plan which outlines your key milestones as well as objectives, a comprehensive analysis of who your audience is, how your product/service could develop over time, risks or setbacks that you may encounter in addition to potential solutions, and your financial plan. Your financial plan should encompass forecasting at least three years into the future, your strategy for finding investors (if that’s the route you want to take) as well as how your financing options might alter at each milestone in your business’ growth.


This phase of entrepreneurship is all about making strategic decisions as well as executing the launch. You’ll either be quitting your day job to work towards your dream, or you could launch your business as a side business if you are a bit reluctant to give up a steady paycheck. If you make the choice of the latter option, you won’t be able to dedicate as much time to your growth. Either way, look at the bigger picture of your long-term strategy.


Make sure that you are flexible as you are working with your first group of customers because they will give you important feedback in order to assist you with improving or focusing on the right things. Word of mouth is one of your most valuable assets in terms of getting new customers so you need to treat them like royalty.


At this stage, cash flow is fairly stable, however you are still likely rearranging your budget while waiting for your expansion to spike upwards. Hire the people who have complementary skill sets to your own in order to make sure you that you are investing in the correct people in the beginning growth stages. You will still wear a lot of hats as the owner however your growing team will gradually take those off your head. The concept is to focus your investment in crucial hiring to off-load tasks where you aren’t as strong, or those which are extremely time-consuming.

Long-term plan

Careful planning along the way in addition to scalability of processes are your best friend. If you plan your expansion, it is possible to ensure that you have the infrastructure as well as internal processes in place to support more business. While viral growth may seem like it would be amazing, not being able to manage to fill orders because of manufacturing, distribution, or a lack of staff to process orders can be very stressful.

Get in touch with the Digital School of Marketing

If you’re in the media industry and want to open your own business then you should really enrol in our Entrepreneurship Course For Media.

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