Your growth plan is essentially your game plan to reaching your growth targets and is an important step in growing your business. A growth plan clearly states your objectives and the steps and activities you plan on implementing to achieve these objectives.
Similar to your business plan, a growth plan can include:
- Your company’s mission.
- Your long-term vision and strategic goals
- The methods you plan to use to attain your goals, including how you plant to fund your goals
However, your growth plan should be different in content and purpose than the plan you created for your start-up business and should address the following questions:
- How will you reproduce your previous successes?
- What financial standards, operating standards and policies and procedures need to be in place in order for your business to grow?
- What are your plans for rollout and expansion?
- What competitors exist? This is particularly important if you are expanding into a new market
- What are your staffing requirements for growth?
- What are your actual financial results and how will these change as you grow your business? These include actual expenses, details on how many prospects turn into customers, receivables aging, etc.
- What capital is required to grow your business? Cash flow is critical during the growth stage.
- What have you learned to date about your business, customers, competitors and your market?
When creating your company’s growth plan, it is critical to closely evaluate your company operations including marketing, human resources and financials. Prior to implementing your growth plans, it is important to review your current business practices to ensure your operations are running effectively and if there are opportunities to realize efficiencies and cut costs. In addition, conducting this internal evaluation first can you help you determine if your company will be able to meet the demands of the growth plan.
Finally, share your growth plan with advisors, mentors and staff. Sharing your growth plan with your employees can be inspirational for the company as a whole, and can help ensure that everyone is working together to reach your growth goals.