The concept of growth is synonymous with all human endeavors; especially in business. You either have a growth plan or strategy that helps you grow your business or you leave it to chance and go out of business.
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What Is A Growth Plan?
A well-executed strategic growth plan will set your business on course. More so, your growth plan isn’t just iterating how your revenue will grow. Your growth plan, which is a section of your business plan is about proving to stakeholders that you have a plan for bringing your product to new customers and new markets, and perhaps even introducing new products or services.
Investors are 100% logical, they will only consider your company a hotbed for investment after they’ve gone through your growth plan. Many businesses are tempted to use their growth plans solely for the purpose of raising funds. A good plan should set the course of a business over its lifespan.
More so, a well-drafted growth plan will identify potential growth opportunities and the amount of money you will need to fund the expansion. Also, your plan should have multiple parts, including a marketing strategy that further spread the business tentacles.
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Let’s dig a little deeper into the few things to consider in driving and developing a growth plan for your business:
1.) Business Goals And Vision
As an entrepreneur, your growth plan can never out-do your vision. You only grow as far as you can see, meaning, your growth plan is tied to your business vision and goals.
The first thing that stifles growth is a limiting belief. The mind works like magic and sets itself to the frequency of your thought process and vision of your company. Expand your mind. See beyond your present circumstances and think big without paying rent.
This why your business vision and goals should be well articulated and written down for reference purposes.
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2.) Be Future-Oriented
Yes, I know that the future is now, however, we must be in tandem with how things are unfolding. Writing your business growth plan and strategy with the spectacles of the future will open your mind to the fact that the future is always unpredictable. Therefore, you must study your target market, your competition, and the industry trends which will help you plan for your future expansion.
Also, studying your past achievements and growth will help you keep in mind where you’re coming from and where you’re going.
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3.) The Best Growth Model For You
As an entrepreneur, it’s good to know that not all business models are easy to scale. So, you need to identify the growth strategy that fits your business model. By operating with the right business model, you will discover opportunities for growth which in turn will help you when building your growth plan.
With some homework, you can determine if your expansion opportunities lie in creating new products, adding more services, targeting a new market, opening new locations, or going global, among others.
Clearly, not every business model can be built to scale, some can only accommodate a small level of growth. So, once you’ve identified your best options for growth, include them in your growth plan and work towards your plan.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can expand your business operations:
When a brand has built a brand identity and gives a particular experience, customers have a particular level of expectation. A business can leverage this great brand experience, by building a franchise model around its growth plan. The restaurant industry often uses Franchise model to grow their business. This is feasible option to other industries and can work if applied if the right structures are in place.
b.) New Products
The growth plan of your business can be anchored on the unveiling of new products or up-selling new services. This is an obvious way to grow sales. Your plan for introducing new products or services should be in the short, medium, and long-term depending on the feasibility study.
However, you necessarily don’t have to unveil a completely new product or service. You can just have variations of existing products or services that deliver value to customers.
c.) Multiple Outlets
Business models that require a retail presence can build their growth plan by spreading their tentacles across different locations. However, these should be strategically planned with the right structure, because the success of some brands is tied to its geographical position. Strategic location is key in this type of model.
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4.) Economies of Scale
When drawing out your growth plan, economies of scale is one of the most beautiful things that can happen to your brand. Growth most times have some bottom-line advantages, which leads to a decrease in the cost of production as the volume increases.
Due to buying power, managerial specialization, and industry dominance, economies of scale help you in the reduction of average cost over time. The more business you do, the more you can take advantage of the learning curves and economies of scale.
The advent of technology in recent years has made it easy for businesses to expand beyond borders. Using the web is not mandatory for selling your product or services, however, your growth strategy should include an online element that catalyzes your growth.
How will you use the internet to grow your sales? Will you sell your product on your own corporate website, partner with an existing internet retailer? Will you advertise online to build local brand awareness? Understanding digital marketing and how to implement digital strategies for your business is very key to growth in this digital age.
You can do your digital marketing in-house or outsource the whole process to agencies that will run great online campaigns for your brand.
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6.) Your SWOT Analysis
Define your Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT). This will help you gather, structure, and review the current situation, and future potential of your business.
Your strengths will help you seize opportunities for growth. At every time, you should know your weakness and look for ways to downplay it. Knowing the threats that affect your business will help you prepare and position you for growth.
How do you intend to fund your business growth? Can the business finance the growth plan or do you need to take out bank loans to finance the plan? What other financing options are available to you as a business owner? Growth always requires money. Whichever growth method you choose, you need money to make it happen. Therefore, before you embark on your expansion plans, you must ensure that the finances to make it happen is available.
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A business without a growth plan does not have life. At every stage of your business, you must be looking for new opportunities, new ways to create value, and new ways of generating revenue for your business. It’s the only way to run a sustainable business.
However, you have to understand that there’s no one cap fit all approach to business growth. “Work smarter, not just harder” has never been a more appropriate motto, especially in the business terrain.
The business terrain can be complex, but as an entrepreneur, you don’t have to be overwhelmed. Your job as a business owner is to look for new ways to offer value, enter new markets, and break into new frontiers using a well-articulated and executed growth plan.
What ways have you been growing your business? We will like to hear your thoughts in the comment.
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