Establishing a small business and running it successfully is challenging. However, once the business is successful with good profit and a steady revenue stream, it is time to grow. Before putting a small business on the growth trajectory, the creation of a growth plan is of paramount importance.
It will give you an idea on how to go about the deed, with a clear plan of action. So, if you are thinking of expanding your business and achieving your vision, here are the points you need to consider before creating the framework that you will follow in the future.
Lay Down Different Growth Paths
To grow, first you’ll need to understand the direction in which you want to grow. The path that you choose will entirely depend on the size of your company and the size of the market you are in. On a broad scale, here are the most plausible options available to you, as a business owner, to grow.
1. Get more customers
This is the most common path. If this is chosen, then you will continue to stay in your current market, and future focus will be more on marketing and advertising.
2. Get more business from existing customers
This is easier said than done, but with proper research, more business can be achieved. You will have to think of ways to bring more value to your existing clientele and try to convert them into your regular customers.
3. Come out with new products
Bringing new products will bring in a lot of new customers to your brand. It is imperative that the product is not launched in a hurry. If proper study of market trends, customer preferences and high quality of the product is not executed properly, it can lead to failure; leading to a loss of time and money.
Do A Self-Assessment
Before knowing where to go, it is important to know where you stand. Find out your strengths and weaknesses by sitting down with your employees and stakeholders. Examine the competition and the situation in the market. Try to find out if there are any disruptive technologies on the way in your industry, which may threaten your business model.
Review the amount of funds available to you. This will help you in choosing the pace of growth by either growing organically or inorganically, and whether you need a business loan.
Where Do You Want To Go?
As a business owner, your opinions and actions will set the course of the company. If you value growth and prefer taking risks, you can follow that path. If you are the cool and calculated personality and want your firm to grow slowly but steadily, then so be it. Similarly, external factors will also affect your judgement. If your company specialises in a field and the market is diminishing, then you will have to diversify by offering new products. Or if there is scope, then you can invest in further specialisation.
Choose The Path
After taking everything into account, you’ll have to settle on a path for growth. However, there is no restriction in settling on only one. The amount of funds you have also plays an important role here. If your business model is under threat, then you need to start developing new products to reach new customers.
If you have the money, want to grow aggressively, and don’t really value your company’s culture much, then acquiring a competitor (inorganic) growth is the path you should take. This happens as the acquired company will bring in its own values, which will dilute your culture to some extent.
Make A Detailed Plan
Once you’ve finalised the path you’ll take, it’s time to go into the details. List out the actions to be taken, along with the deadlines they are expected to be achieved in. If new products are what you’ve set your sights upon, then delve deeper into what those products will be. Try to answer questions like: how long will it take to develop? How long will it take to hit the market? What will be your advertising plan? Where can you get a business loan from?
Now break these points down further and give them realistic deadlines. Plan in such a way that these don’t hamper your day-to-day activities, but retain your focus on the activities that will yield long-term growth.
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