Here’s What to Include in Your Business Growth Plan
Growth planning is an essential exercise for any organization that wants to build a resilient business. In an ever-changing business landscape, it’s always a good idea to strive for growth to ensure the survival of your business. To that end, establishing a clear business growth strategy is vital for the stability and sustainability of any gain that you achieve–and it all starts with your business growth plan.
Why Is It Important to Build a Business Growth Plan?
A business growth plan is your business’s roadmap to greater success. It highlights your organization’s targets and outlines growth strategies that will help you achieve them.
If your target is to double your business in two years, how do you plan to accomplish that goal? Are you going to tap a different market? Market your products aggressively? Diversify and develop new products? By creating a growth plan, you can be strategic about your decisions and align your efforts moving forward so that everything you do contributes to achieving your goal.
How to Write a Business Growth Plan
Understanding how to write a business growth plan doesn’t necessarily need to be a complicated process. However, your approach needs to be structured to identify the key elements that improve your likelihood of success.
Define Your Goals
There is value to be derived from the words of Stoic philosopher Seneca when he wrote: “Let all your efforts be directed to something, let it keep that end in view.” Not having a clear direction of where you want your business to go often derails its growth.
But with a clearly defined target, you gain a deeper understanding of where your decisions will lead and identify strategic plans that lead to more profitable outcomes.
Study the Success of Others
In The Breakthrough Company, former Inc 500 CEO Keith McFarland wrote about using the success of other companies to fuel your business growth strategies. There are many companies out there that have successfully made the transition from startup to a fully thriving enterprise. Look at what those companies have done and gather insight on how to plan a business growth strategy for your company. This enables you to find tactics that minimize risk and effort while maximizing gains.
Develop a Business Growth Strategy
After setting your goals, it’s time to map out the path to reaching them. Building a business growth strategy accomplishes just that. Your growth strategy defines the tactics you employ and how to apply those tactics to achieve your goals in the least amount of time while generating the best results.
In an article on Inc, Darren Dahl shows us how to plan a business growth strategy by sharing examples of business growth strategies from lessons he derived from McFarland’s book. These strategies are grouped as those that involve Intensive Growth, Integrative Growth, and Diversification.
Intensive growth strategies involve tactics that you can apply to generate growth from within the business. Techniques that require such strategies depend on opportunities for the growth presented and the amount of risk involved. These include selling more to current customers, diversifying to other markets, utilizing different channels for marketing, and developing new products.
Integrative growth, meanwhile, is growth through acquisition. Techniques discussed here include acquiring a competitor to expand your market share, acquiring a supplier to lower production time and costs, and acquiring businesses that support your distribution network and control competitor access.
Lastly, diversification is a strategy applied by most conglomerate companies. This involves acquiring businesses that are unrelated to your own and done simply for increased financial performance. However, this involves greater risk and is rarely considered a viable option today.
Evaluate Your Resources
Knowing how to plan a business growth strategy and implementing these business growth strategies are two different things. Generating additional growth by implementing your growth strategy comes with extra costs. Do you have the financial resources available to fund your activities? Does your current team meet the skills and human resources required to accomplish your targets?
Assessing your business’s current resources gives you a clearer picture of where you currently stand. In addition, it gives you an idea of what kind of costs you can incur and whether you need additional funding to implement your growth strategy. Talk to your accountant or financial advisor and seek professional advice to evaluate your financial and staffing situation to see how much additional risk you can take.
Start Compiling Your Business Growth Plan
Considering all the above, it’s time to start piecing everything together and building your growth plan.
Hear From Industry Experts
Read the latest tips, research, best practices, and insights from our community of expert B2B service providers.
What Should Be Included in The Business Growth Plan?
There is no one clear format for what your growth plan should look like. But at the same time, it also helps to know what kind of information you should add to your plan. Here are some recommendations for what it should contain:
- Your marketing aims and objectives
- Operational information that details the ins and outs of your business, e.g., your business address, your customers, suppliers, and current assets.
- The detailed business growth strategy discusses the methods you plan to use to achieve your goals.
- Financial information such as your current cash flow and sales, financial projections for profits and losses.
- Sources of capital funding to fuel your growth plan.
- Key metrics and milestones by which to measure success.
- A summary that outlines targets and deadlines for achieving goals.
Building a Roadmap to Success
Growth is something that all businesses strive to achieve. However, without a clear plan to achieve your growth goals, you will most likely end up grasping at straws or end up doing too much with little results to show for it. By being strategic with your approach, you can set your efforts in the right direction and gain a favorable outcome while facing calculated risks. Begin by learning how to write a business growth plan to create your business’s roadmap to success.