How To Create A Business Growth Plan
Let’s start with Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, ‘If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.’
This is why a business growth plan is so essential. By identifying your business growth strategies, you are not only providing a clear assessment of your small business but implementing ways to achieve your growth goals.
A small business growth plan takes into consideration the various tools that can support your goals and targets, helping you stay on track and monitor progress.
Want to know how to write a business growth plan that will help your company succeed? This guide will provide everything you need to get started.
What Is A Business Growth Plan?
Your small business growth plan is a projection of where you see your business in the next one to two years. A business growth plan is a systematic framework of business growth that outlines your objectives, goals, targets, and clear strategies to grow and succeed.
Essentially, a business growth plan acts as your roadmap to reaching your growth targets.
Why Should You Have A Business Growth Plan?
Why are business growth plans important? Creating a business growth plan not only identifies the current state of your business but the steps and activities that are needed to achieve your objectives.
Without a business growth plan, your business direction and success can be blurred or stop aligning with your overall vision and goals. Constructing a clear plan that is tailored to your business is vital for longevity and success. Navigating growth during the business growth stage of your life cycle is based on continuously boosting brand awareness and your consumer base.
At this stage in your business journey, it’s important to consider implementing your business growth plan to retain customer engagement and attract new prospects.
Thinking of creating a business growth plan? Here are the benefits:
Prioritise key areas of growth and expansion
Improved clarity helping to identify where to focus your efforts in the future
Set clear goals for growth targets
Improve internal accountability and evaluate your team
Manage cash flow
Identify financial projections
Plan for success and support funding
What Things Can Influence Business Growth?
Business growth can be influenced by various factors and variables. Whether it’s variation in finances, demand, or audience, many factors are likely to affect growth opportunities.
That’s why it’s important to identify and recognise the factors that can influence the expansion of your small business.
Key factors that can influence business growth:
Poor online presence
Innovation and openness to new ideas
Budgeting and finances
What Are The Key Components Of A Business Growth Plan?
Inception, growth, and success depend on the effectiveness of your business growth plan. Creating a business plan to highlight clear strategies to expand and what the future looks like for your business, is vital for monitoring your business performance.
It’s vital to establish growth milestones and goals.
Using SMART goals can help define the parameters you need to set attainable objectives in a realistic time frame. Using SMART goals as a tool and starting point for your business goals is a great way to strategically plan and achieve goals without the need for overcomplication.
SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Identifying key metrics for success is also vital when monitoring your business growth. It’s important to remember that establishing how you measure success depends on your specific business growth plan, as a marketing strategy and product strategy will have different metrics.
Here are the most common metrics to understand whether your business is succeeding:
Net income ratio
Monthly recurring revenue
Leads, conversion, and bounce rate
The five stages of the business growth life cycle help to determine a timeline for your business plan. Whether you’re trying to get your business off the ground or aiming to retain customers, understanding which stages your business is currently in can help maintain momentum and morale.
Stage 1: Existence
Stage 2: Survival
Stage 3: Success
Stage 4: Take-off
Stage 5: Resource Maturity
Stage 1 - Existence identifies your small business among customers in your desired market.
Transitioning into stage 2 - The need to survive, cover costs, and break-even.
Stage 3 - A pivotal stage for financial health.
Which leads on to stage 4 - Take-off encapsulates your growth plans and goals.
Finally, stage 5 - Resource maturity is your wealth of financial resources to engage in detailed operational and strategic planning for continued growth and success.
The business growth life cycle illuminates the progression of your business in phases to illuminate early losses, minimise future risks and fuel market share and penetration.
Setting a timeline for your growth improves accountability and encourages your team to work towards a set deadline. Short-term timelines not only help you monitor success but stay on track towards your goals.
The Four Key Growth Strategies Explained
Employing growth strategies in your small business works to strategically increase demand and remove unprofitable outputs from your operations. Consolidating and managing financial gains is crucial for rapid growth and expansion, a goal that growth strategies clearly outline.
Consider these key growth strategies when creating your growth plan:
Market Strategy: Fuelling awareness for your product or service is a direct result of your market strategy. Generating and converting leads into paying consumers is vital for growth, increasing your market share and maintaining customer engagement. This growth strategy is vital to outperform competitors.
Market Development: Have you introduced your product or service to new markets? Without a clear plan on how to successfully capitalise on diversifying your market share, you may limit your expected growth. Recognising and enhancing sales opportunities for your existing products is key to continued growth.
Product Strategy: Concisely defining what exactly your product or service’s main goals are and how you plan to achieve them is key to your small business growth. Whether it’s improving customer satisfaction or sustaining product features, understanding what you want to accomplish with your product will help you effectively communicate both internally and externally.
Diversification: The best way to increase exposure and reduce volatility is by diversifying your supply chain. Introducing a new product or service or entering new markets expands your market share, increasing profits and growing your business.
What To Write In Your Growth Plan
Unsure where to start with creating your business plan?
Here are our essential components to include to ensure your plan is effective and worthwhile:
- Executive summary
- Business description
- Market analysis
- An overview of the business marketing strategy
- Competitive analysis
- Management and ownership details
- Product and services description
- Operating plan
- Financial details, forecasts, and projections
- Staffing and recruitment needs
Using this as a checklist will make the process less complex, breaking down each stage and building your credibility.
It’s important to remember that business growth plans are not only used by employees and leadership but also by potential investors. Accurately presenting how you plan to use capital and fuel growth in your plan is key to securing future success.
Top Tips For Implementing Your Plan
Creating a plan that is actionable and effective for your business growth goals is half of the battle. Implementation is key to reaping the benefits of your plan and delivering results, as a successful business plan incorporates all elements of your small business.
Here’s how you can implement your business growth plan:
Start by introducing your internal team to the SMART growth goals
Consider the tools and resources on offer to support your goals and strategies
Analyse your results, making adaptations and improvements
Continuously optimise your growth strategies, making new growth plans
Consider and review competitors’ growth plans
Encourage employee input by ensuring your team is effectively using their skills and expertise
Don’t forget about marketing - involve marketers in your growth planning
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