Connect with us


‘Tale Means Business: 5 Reasons Why a Business Would Remain in Startup Stage

Tale Alimi



'Tale AlimiI had a meeting with a potential client recently and she explained how her business was still a small startup. When I hear start up, what comes to mind is a newly formed business that is still proving their self in the market and trying to find a workable business model as well as build credibility. I have a soft spot for startups, because as a business coach, I have been a ‘midwife’ to a few startups where I help the business owners to fine tune their ideas and launch it like I would be doing at the Side gig Master class. However, this was a different scenario; she had been in business for 10 years and she was still a start up!  If you are not sure of your business state, take the free business health check quiz HERE

Her business was still in startup stage because like a couple of businesses I have encountered, she had not been able to go beyond the launch stage and build the right team, structures and systems or even establish a sustainable flow of revenue without her continuous effort in the business. If you are still in startup stage after a significant amount of time or know a business that is still stuck in startup stage, these are some reasons why:

Inability to generate continuous revenues
One quote I like by Paul Freet is: ‘A business is a repeatable process that earns money; every other thing is a hobby’. Some businesses have not been able to crack their revenue generating potential so they continuously deal with cash flow challenges which prevents them from growing. In business, cash is king! Because you need cash to pay your vendors, staff and run the over heads. You need to find a workable ‘revenue generating’ business model if you want to move to the next stage in business.

Lack of clear vision
Vision is the life blood of a business. It is what determines how far a business would go to maximize their potential. One of the questions I always ask a new client is: what is your business vision? I find that the ones with clearer visions tend to go further faster. A vision is what drives you to reach for more and go further. It would be difficult to attain what you don’t see through the eyes of vision. So when a business does not have a clearly defined vision, it might just be on the path to nowhere. This is why it might stay in startup stage for a long time.

No growth plan
Your growth plan breaks your vision into actionable steps with milestones and timelines. I like to say: you dream your vision and work your plan. Your plan documents how you would get from where you are to where you want to be. Planning should be broken down into the minutest details of daily, weekly, and monthly steps that the business needs to take to get to where it needs to. I am a big picture thinker and I like to dream big, but I have learned that a dream without a plan is only wishful thinking. Any business that wants to move beyond start up stage should have a plan.

Poor business structure
Your business structure is the framework that drives the way your business would be run. Your business structure is like the structure that holds a building together, without the proper structure, the building might become lopsided or even collapse. When a growing business begins to experience challenges, it is usually due to structural deficits. If you want your business to grow beyond the startup stage, you need to invest in the right structures.

Lack of qualified human resources
Without the right people in place, a business cannot grow. There is a limit to what one person alone can do. You need the right team of people whether full time, part time or outsourced that would help you accomplish your vision. One question I always get from small business owners is: how can I find the right people? My answer is: what is your recruitment process? And what is your strategy to attract, compensate, motivate and retain the right people?

If your business needs to grow beyond the startup stage and go to the next level, then Accelerate boot camp is for you. Check it out HERE.

'Tale Alimi is the Co-founder and current CEO of Owoafara, a fund matching and business support platform for African MSME's. She is also the Lead strategist of Tale Alimi Global; a strategy consulting boutique focused on working with visionary and forward thinking SME's to take their business from small to scale. She is the author of Uplevel and her latest book Small to Scale. She has a Masters in Business Administration from Lagos business school, a certificate in personal coaching from the coaching academy UK. She is a social innovation fellow with the startingbloc institute in the United States. When she is not thinking about innovative business models, she is an avid fitness enthusiast. Learn more about her new startup Owoafara:( Get daily business inspiration when you follow her on twitter ( and get an insight into her life on Instagram (


  1. tinu

    March 25, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    I always look forward to your article.

  2. Caroline

    March 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you for the insight on how to grow my business to becoming sustainable

  3. Chu

    March 26, 2016 at 7:45 am

    So Bella did not post my comment cos it was constructive criticism? I’ve heard about it before, first time I’m experiencing it. I’m positive I didn’t use any swear word or abused anyone. Anyway kontinu.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Star Features