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Happy New Year, friends!  On this episode Katie Hunt is sharing the three phases of business that every business goes through - often multiple times.   These three phases include: growth, maintenance and streamlining phase.

Growth is when we're adding new products, services, systems.  We're in building and expansion mode. One misconception about the growth phase is that its reserved for the early years of business.  But, in reality, the growth phase can happen in the beginning, middle and even the end of our business life cycle.

Maintenance is when we take a look at everything we've been building during the growth phase and we realize we need to stop adding 'new' and instead optimize what we've already created.  This could include diving deeper into a specific product category or giving a team member additional responsibilities. Maintaining and optimizing our existing products, services and internal processes is a really important step, but often overlooked.

Streamlining is where we clear the clutter from our business -- products that aren't selling or that no longer fit our brand aesthetic; reassessing our client on boarding process for custom work, or our outreach to wholesale accounts we think we'd be a good fit for.   The streamlining phase can be a really powerful one, in that you're creating white space and removing things that are not pushing your business towards your goals.

Some things to note about these three phases:

  • I believe each company goes through each and everyone phase, likely multiple times.
  • These seasons are not sequential, meaning you won't necessarily go from growth to maintenance, then streamlining.  You may jump from one to the other, then back to the first again.
  • None of these three seasons are "better" than the other -- but they are all necessary for building a healthy business
  • Each season contains its own challenges, rewards and involves its own transitions and discomfort.

Tell us, which season are you in for 2019?   Join our Proof to Product Facebook group and weigh in with what you're working on this year.  We’d love to hear!


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To subscribe on iOS, go to the iTunes page and subscribe to Proof to Product. On Android, you can listen using your favorite podcast app.


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If you'd like to receive more information about our upcoming episodes of Proof to Product including show notes and information about our guests, head over to and sign up for our email list.  


Be sure to share Proof to Product with all of the product based business owners that you know!


Proof to Product is brought to you by Tradeshow Bootcamp and hosted by Katie Hunt. Since 2011, TSBC has worked with hundreds of product based businesses to help them up level, scale, and build profitable sustainable companies. You can find our show notes and additional resources at If you like what you heard today, please head over to Apple Podcast to leave a five star review and subscribe. Thanks so much for listening. We'll be back next week with a new episode!

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