Business Management

Business Life Cycle

Creating a viable value-added agriculture business involves finding an idea or opportunity in the marketplace and then building a viable business to take advantage of the opportunity. This requires going through a process or series of steps. Although this is not a hard and fast process, there are steps that you need to take – and you need to take them in order.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.


The “Investigative” stage or “Idea” stage is often very informal and is when an individual or small group begin to formulate general business ideas or concepts. During this process an entrepreneur will be refining the basic business ideas allowing for a high level evaluation of the business’ pros and cons as well as potential markets. Vetting these ideas and doing – pre feasibility work is done before larger investments of time and money are made to formalize a working business plan and pursuing financing. 

Feasibility & Development

After initial ‘investigative’ assessments are completed the business model is formalized with a detailed business plan that lays out the proposed business structure, target markets and financial projections. Internal and external third party analysis should be ongoing to validate the ‘value proposition’, understanding the market and defining the resources and competencies needed for the business to succeed.

Introduction & Start-up

Once a decision is made that the business idea is worth pursuing the start-up stage will include formalizing the business structure, refining business scenarios, as well as executing financial and marketing plans. During the start-up stage, there will be considerable tweaking of the products or services and the business model.

Growth & Maturity

During the growth stage a business will need to be constantly fine tuning their business plan and implementing proven methodologies for improving efficiencies while dealing with increased sales, competition, market trends and disrupted technologies that could quickly derail all of the previous efforts.

If exiting the business is an option, the management must be strategic in determining the business’ value and how to sell or transition ownership.

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Idea Assessment / Business Development Process provides a slightly different series of five steps and a process for assessing a business idea, deciding if a viable business can be developed from the idea and creating a business if it is deemed viable. After you have a general understanding of the process and the steps you need to go through, Getting from Idea to Implementation provides a more detailed listing of points to consider in the development process.