Cheetahs, gazelles, economic powerhouses—there’s no lack of metaphors for second-stage entrepreneurs and the companies they’ve guided beyond the startup phase and into million-dollar revenues.
Their impact on local economies is undeniable. According to the Edward Lowe Foundation (see www.youreconomy.org) most of the new jobs are currently being created in these firms.
“Second-stagers are powerhouses when it comes to job creation,” says Penny Lewandowski, director of entrepreneurship development at the Edward Lowe Foundation in the foundation’s four-page report Pumping Up Entrepreneurial Culture, which tackles the impact and struggles second stage companies.
“[S]econd-stagers often have national or global markets that bring outside dollars into their communities. They attract new investors to a region. And they recruit talented employees, which boosts a community’s human capital.”
What Is a Second Stage Company?
Focused on growing and expanding their businesses, second-stage firms generally have between 10 to 99 employees and/or $750,000 to $50 million in revenue—and because of where they are in the business cycle, they have drastically different needs than startups—and need different resources.
While the startup phase is focused on developing products and finding those first customers, second-stagers struggle with other issues.
For these second-stagers, business plans have morphed into strategic marketing plans. Finding a location is replaced by funding an expansion. Defining a market niche transforms into market diversification. And finding a team to launch the business becomes a quest to realize new operational efficiencies and the search to find, or train, the people who can take the business to the next level.
Resources for Second-Stagers
With 200+ resource partners in the KCSourceLink network, navigating the wide expanse of business-building resources can be daunting.
Second-stage entrepreneurs often find the help they need to grow through:
KCSourceLink’s Resource Navigator helps these growing businesses find just the right resource for their size, stage and challenge.
- Professional Service Providers, e.g., banks, accountants, management consultants, attorneys, insurance agents
- Economic Development Corporations
- Chambers of Commerce
- Revolving Loan Fund Programs
- Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTAC)
- Manufacturing Extension Programs
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs and SBTDCs)
- Trade Adjustment Assistance Centers
- Export programs
- Market Research
- SBA Lenders
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Flickr photo by wwarby.