By: Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!


If your project doesn't work, look for the part you didn't think was important. ~ Biondi's Law

Business Development: Stage-by-Stage Guide Gestation Stage Start-Up Stage Prototype Stage Roll Out Stage Rapid Growth Stage Expansion Stage Maturity Stage

Managing the Five Risks you face at all stages of your business development:

  1. growth risk

  2. technology & production risk

  3. marketability & competing risk

  4. financial risk

  5. team & management risk

Turn Risks into Opportunities!



Prototype Stage

product development continues, significant expenses are incurred, but no product revenues generated


Organization: Informal

Management:  Entrepreneurial

Technology: Prototype

Funding Stage: Seed






Growth Risk:

  • Company expansion requires professional business experience,  expertise and skills

  • Bringing project into a new environment

  • Meeting milestones and keeping in mind clear target dates

  • Work is proceeding according to plan

  • Changes in the company necessary for production and field testing of your product prototype




Technology Risk:

  • Bringing technology into a new environment from prototype to the pilot stage

  • Not developing meaningful, unique product attributes

  • Translating the product functional specifications to the internal workings (design specifications)

  • Going for a simple, not perfect solution. The main objective is to get market feedback and adjust your business plan accordingly


Marketability Risk:

  • Lack of identity and brand awareness

  • Market response to the product is below expectations

  • Competitors respond more fiercely than expected

Selling is not about content. It is about finding a "fit". Revise both your product values and your marketing strategy.



Financial Risk:

No product revenue generated yet though significant expenses incurred and more cash required for working prototype development 




To raise venture capital you need:


Team & Management Risk:

  • Over-response to opportunities can lead to fragmentation and burn-out

  • Difficult to find a substitution in case one of venture leaders leaves the company

  • Resisting development of structure, processes and controls

  • Continuous evaluation

  • Delegating to gain control

  • Change from reactive to proactive style

  • Development of an effective motivation system for the entrepreneurial team