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The Alternative Board Blog

How to Develop a Business Growth Plan

Nov. 14, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
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Does your business have a strategy for getting from (a) where it is now to (b) where you want the business to be?

Generally, strategies for business growth are wrapped into a broader, more detailed document called a business plan.

But, within that context, business growth strategy is “just for you, and it’s entirely focused on how you plan to grow,” according to the learning site Envato, which suggests asking these questions:

  • Where will your new customers come from?
  • How will expanding into new markets occur?
  • Will you offer customers new products or services?

Part of the challenge is determining which avenue to follow in pursuit of business growth. There are numerous growth strategies to choose from, including:

Sell in greater quantity to existing customers.

Survey your current customers to learn what challenges they face, and how your business can help. This approach lessens what might be significant costs relating to new customer acquisition.

Broaden the range of potential customers.

Reach out to prospective customers via your business website, promotional efforts, social media and other avenues. Devise incentives to attract these new customers, while also providing “sweeteners” to current customers who refer others to your business.

Unveil a new product or service.

What other offerings can you make available to existing and prospective customers? Conduct a market analysis to identify problems your customers need to be solved and/or gaps in the marketplace. Consider upgrading or refining what you presently offer to customers.

Want additional insight? Read 4 Step Guide to Strategic Planning now to learn more

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Explore new market opportunities.

If your business is primarily local, what about expanding into a broader geographical region? There may be opportunities to sell your products or services internationally, as well. Or you can open a second business venue.

Explore new distribution channels.

A brick-and-mortar business can expand into a vibrant online presence. Alternatively, an online company can consider distribution of products into a brick-and-mortar retail outlet. Other options include selling your goods on another firm’s website, or through a franchise or affiliate.

As part of the development plan process, make sure your document covers these fundamental points:

  • An objective assessment of your company’s strong points and challenges
  • A clear vision of how you see your business developing within 3-5 years
  • A plan that contains action steps to make the vision a reality (with individuals and responsibilities clearly delineated)

This growth plan “could be anything from a rough, informal sketch to a full-blown, highly detailed strategic plan,” notes Business Development Bank of Canada. Most important is “getting the key players in your company on the same page,” where the future of the business is concerned.

Planning for growth should never happen on the fly. Too many variables are involved, and the stakes are too high for improvised planning. That’s why crafting a business growth plan is so important. The planning and deliberation necessary helps focus attention on research and analysis that paints a clear portrait of where your business is now, as well as an objective view of where your growth efforts might be falling short.

No CEO or business leader should take on the chore of drafting a business growth plan on their own. A strong business growth plan will benefit from a wide range of input, and from others in your company who are knowledgeable about operations and your target audience.

To learn more about how crafting the right business growth plan can change everything, check out our free TAB BOSS Webinar, “Creating a Business Plan.”

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

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Written by The Alternative Board Worldwide