Are you looking for a way to grow your business the way you want to?
One of the best ways to ensure business growth is to start with a solid plan. It’s important to have goals in place with actionable steps so that you can be on the up and up in the corporate world.
A business growth plan includes more than just future goals and hopes for financial success.
Read on for your ultimate advice in creating the perfect growth plan that will produce the results you need to stay competitive in your industry.
1. Pick Out Potential
The first thing to do when you are crafting any business growth plan is to stake out the playing field. Identify what growth opportunities currently exist.
Growth opportunities can take many different forms. They can involve market, finances, employee size, and customer base.
If you aren’t sure what to start with, begin with your product or service. Do you want to add new products or services? Could you change the ones you provide now? Introduce a new series or technology?
After assessing product potential, think about if you want to change up your market. Do you want to cater more toward a new demographic? Maybe there’s a new market opening up you want to take advantage of.
Pick out your potential with product or service growth, and also think about your market. From there, you’ll be able to identify opportunities for growth in sales, locations of your business, departments, and scale.
2. Get Your Data
After you’ve assessed your opportunities, you’ll need to get lots of data. The key to a successful business growth plan is one that’s built on data.
As much as possible, try to avoid abstract plans or goals. Data can help with that.
If you want to work on product growth, gather your data on current product demand, sales, and inventory. Get numbers on current customers or clients. Make sure you also have data and research to back up your evidence for growth opportunities.
Other important data to have include financial: total sales, marketing costs, profit margins, and more. This will be essential for any business growth plan.
If you are looking to expand your company itself, identify your staffing needs. Calculate costs required to expand to a new location. Aquire data on going global.
3. Categorize, Categorize, Categorize
It can be overwhelming bringing in the right data for a growth plan. Poor growth plans lose the sight of a clear plan because they are drowning in numbers.
It’s important to be as concise as possible when writing up your business growth plan. Separate different categories of growth from each other.
It can be helpful to have different growth plans for different sectors. For example, you may want to start with a Product & Services Plan, a Financial Plan, and a Market Plan.
Or you can separate these categories distinctly under an overarching business growth plan.
Whatever you do, make it easy on yourself by breaking your plan into clear, bite-sized pieces.
4. Write Up A SWOT Analysis
This is a helpful tip no matter where you are at in your drafting of your growth plan. A SWOT analysis means identifying your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Your business strengths are anywhere you’re doing well. In crafting your growth plan, you’ll want to find ways to keep these strengths going.
Your weaknesses are anything that may be holding you back as a business. You’ll want to identify these so you can choose to work on them or somehow eliminate them.
You may have already identified opportunities for growth. These could also be taken from your “weaknesses” category.
Threats involve anything that isn’t really in your control but could undermine your business. This could mean an unstable economy. Threats could also be in the form of neighbourhood competition or dwindling demand for your products.
You’ll want to address all of these categories in your business growth plan.
You can essentially draft a growth plan out of a SWOT analysis: building on your strengths, working with threats and weaknesses, and harnessing opportunities.
5. Know Your Steps
In general, a successful growth plan thinks five years ahead. This is a good chunk of time that can let you take the steps you need for growth.
Within those five years, it’s important to have clear and actionable steps to meet growth goals. By “actionable” we mean something that can be tangibly done.
An example of a clear step is introducing a new product line in November of 2018. Others could be launching a digital platform by the end of the first quarter, or leasing a new commercial building in the spring for a new location.
Avoid vague or abstract steps. Examples of vague steps include “create a sense of community in the workplace” or “stay competitive in a niche market.”
6. Choose Measurable Goals
The best business growth plans are built off of a SWOT analysis, healthy data, and actionable steps. They also include specific and measurable goals.
Make your goals as specific as possible, and set them up at key stages in your growth plan. Show how each step can help you meet a certain goal.
Make sure that your goals are measurable. This means that you can actually prove you’ve met a goal by showing data. This is along the same lines as an “actionable” step.
7. Be Realistic
Your perfect growth plan is the one that is tailored to your company and yours alone. It is also realistic.
By realistic we mean a plan that can adapt to the changes in the industry. It is flexible and realistic about what lies ahead. The best growth plans work small, taking deliberate steps to a clear future.
Crafting Your Business Growth Plan
As a business owner, you have important goals you want to meet. The best way to get there is to create a solid growth plan.
The best plan will thoroughly consider all growth opportunities, company strengths and weaknesses, and existing threats. It will have actionable steps and specific goals. A growth plan should typically span five years in the future and be data-driven.
At the end of the day, corporate consulting can go a long way in helping you come up with the plan you need. At Charles Walton, expert advice on investments and growth is just around the corner.