Your life, career and business is always moving in cycles. These cycles can be described by the Sigmoid Curve. As a business coach, I often come across business owners, who have various problems in creating the business they want. One such issue might be that they find themselves in various stages of the Sigmoid curve and don’t know how to deal with it.
The Sigmoid curve in business
The Sigmoid curve is implemented around the world and used by Fortune 500 companies, governments, political parties, etc.
• New business ventures start with a sense of determination. The curve initially declines during the learning phase, whilst we are getting the business going. The business owner may very optimistic, enthusiastic, busy and excited. They may be finance poor and learning through their mistakes, working long hours.
• Then when the business is up and running and business starts to come in, the curve rises in a period of growth and prosperity. Here the business owner has high moral, energy, seeing results and growth in the business. They may have financial and emotional return of investment.
• The product or service then reaches a point of maturity and maybe becomes out dated.
• This leads to the decline phase. Here the business owner may be in their comfort zone. “We have always done it this way.” They may become dissatisfied as profits are decreasing. Have low motivation and energy as their goals don’t excite them anymore. The client may have a feeling of “what is the point?”
How to avoid the Sigmoid curve
The key to sustaining a healthy business is to transform to a new curve before the current one is too far in decline. When there is the time and resources to get to the new growth curve through the initial learning phase. You may still experience a period of decline as the business goes through the new learning phase to the growth phase. The factors to success during the new growth phase will be different to the factors that lead to the previous growth phase.
“You cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created the problem.” – Albert Einstein.
This curve is a natural progression and it is important to consider how to stay the market leader, before changes happen and the business goes into the decline phase. The challenge is to know when to start the new curve. Many organisations will ride the growth phase, oblivious of what might happen in the future. They do not change until they get scared in the decline phase. It is important to constantly “reinvent” your offering. The best time to do this is when things are going well.
What it means to coaches
Understanding the Sigmoid curve is very useful as a coach, as you can use it to assist the client in becoming self-aware of where they are on the curve. Using powerful questioning techniques, you can assist the client in moving through their current stuck state and help them to develop action steps they need to take to move forward. Understanding this phenomena can also assist in helping the client to stay ahead of the curve. As such helping the client to avoid the potential hurt of a failing, out of date product.
I hope you found this useful and see how you might be able to use it in your own business, or helping with your clients.
If you have any issues in your business and would like to work with a business coach, then don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you believe it, you can achieve it.