The stages of a business’ life are unique, even as each follows a typical pattern. Frozen yogurt as an industry traces its roots back decades and has distinct challenges associated with the niche it occupies. As it continues to evolve and grow in 2015, frozen yogurt progresses further through the life cycle of a business.
Taking the seeds of an inspiration and cultivating them into a working start-up company is no easy task. Those birthing pains and toddler years are some of the most painful and even fatal—as 25% of businesses don’t make it to their fifth year. But once you do…well, we’ll leave that to you to decide.
Growth: Managing Development
This fruitful stage is characterized by increased revenue and a larger customer base, wherein a company takes the widespread approval it has experienced and can start running with it.
With this stage comes many new opportunities as well as issues; and as profitability increases so does the competition. Yogurtland’s success at this phase was quickly noticed and followed, and it became even more important to continue standing out as a provider of frozen yogurt. It is key to keep from being complacent in the initial success and maintain the right priorities to continue to improve.
As your business grows, so does the demand, and only by effectively passing on skills, training and delegating, can you deliver the same services to a greater number of people. Set up systems, hire more people and invest in professional assistance. Efficient management will be your greatest strength to protect you from fizzling out.
From 2011 to 2013, the frozen yogurt industry saw a staggering growth of 74%, and experienced on average a 22.7% annual growth between 2009 and 2014. Being aware of the industry trend can advise your steps, but don’t let it influence you with a false sense of security, or hold back in any way from pushing your own plans.
Established: Focus and Adjust
The industry increase is expected to continue over the next 5 years, during which businesses will determine their own fates in becoming established members.
Challenges at this stage include uncertainties in the economy, competitors and the potential for changing customer tastes. Continue to keep track of how the industry and your competitors are affecting you, and listen to what the customers have to say.
Since the beginning, Yogurtland has focused on the quality of their ingredients and innovation of their flavor combinations. As the company continued to thrive, quality of flavor became even more of an emphasis, and we were curious how our efforts truly measured up.
In 15 stores across the country, our flavor specialists conducted studies of over 1,000 people. Comparing 9 of our flavors with similar flavors from competitors, we discovered that 7 out of 10 customers preferred the taste of Yogurtland. This small study, along with the strong numbers, is one the way to feel the pulse of a business and assess how to improve.
As the frozen yogurt business becomes even more accepted and esteemed, look to the next phase for how to make the most of an established company.