Monday, 14 April 2014

Billy's Twenty-Second Law: Businesses follow a seven year cycle

Many of you have heard of the ‘seven year itch’.  Seven year cycles are common in many areas in life.  The idea of the ‘seven year itch’ is that after seven years relationships become predicable and…well boring.  This leads to dissatisfaction and sometimes divorce.
Some believe that the entire human body ‘replaces’ itself every seven years.  The cells within the human body die and are replaced in seven years, meaning that we are literally not the same people we were seven years ago.
Deuteronomy 15:1 says: “At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts.” There is also the notion of the “year of Jubilee” which is the end of seven, seven-year cycles.  There are seven days in a week, and seven is the highest, single digit prime number.  There are seven-year economic cycles, from boom through bust to boom again in seven years.
What of business cycles?  In my years of working with entrepreneurs I have noticed similar cycles.  These cycles are consistent no matter when in the economic cycle the business was founded.  These cycles are:
1.       Start-up
2.       Development
3.       Stability
4.       Transition
5.       Managerial
6.       Mastery
7.       Renewal

Over the next few weeks, I will examine each of these and look at the potential impacts that the founder / entrepreneur may face as they strive to grow and develop their businesses.   I must say at the outset, that I have no empirical evidence for this cycling, however; many of the experienced entrepreneurs with whom I have shared this agree.  Businesses are cyclic as our lives and even our society is cyclic. 
So as you read though the next three weeks (two per week plus today) see if the descriptions resonate with you and if you might be better able to anticipate the path your business may travel.

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