When you’re running a business, it’s tempting to live one day at a time and focus only on what’s in front of you. To be truly successful, though, you need to be planning your long-term growth. The best method of doing that is to write a business growth plan that provides a general timeline for the next one or two years.
The best way to think about a business growth plan is as a framework for where you see your business in the future. For best results, you should format it for each quarter. At the end of the quarter, you can review which goals you met and which ones you missed. Here’s what you need to know about implementing a business growth plan.
Why Is a Business Growth Plan Important?
A business growth plan doesn’t need to follow a set template, but it should mostly focus on revenue. It needs to provide a concrete plan for how your business plans to make money each quarter. This outline helps the company as a whole, but it’s particularly useful for investors.
If you have a young business, a business growth plan can help you recoup early losses. Most new companies lose much more money than they earn early on, so it’s important to grow your company to the point where it can pay off its debts. For established companies, the main benefit of a growth plan lies in making sales more efficient and minimizing future risks.
The Four Pillars of a Business Growth Plan
A modern business growth plan should be based on four key principles:
• Agility: Since every business growth plan functions as a framework, it’s best to take a nimble approach. By developing your growth plan around rapid development, you can figure out what strategies work long before you need to put real money into them.
• Efficiency: Creating a growth plan involves detailing your workflows. Building a plan with efficiency in mind ensures you won’t get bottlenecked by the same processes you created.
• Focus: A growth plan gives you overarching goals you need to reach, and getting there will require focus. Even when your plans change, your primary goals will show you how to adjust your path and get back on course.
• Insight: Data and insights play a key role in planning for growth and making decisions. They help you measure the success of your business plan and make necessary changes.
Writing a Business Growth Plan
As we mentioned, there’s no set template for writing a business growth plan. That said, we recommend including the following key areas:
• Executive summary: This includes your business objectives, what you’re selling, and where the company is today.
• Operational information: These are the details about your business location, size of your staff, business equipment, supply chain, inventory, and so on.
• Financial details: These should include your cash flow, sales forecasts, current and predicted profit & loss, and audited account information.
• Marketing plan and strategy: This is a roadmap for how you plan to use new sales to fuel your growth. Talk about what your target audience is and how you plan to reach it.