When a business becomes operational and begins to generate revenue, many owners become habitual to day-to-day activities. They keep themselves busy handling customer demands and managing business operations. Although these activities are crucial to keep the business operational, it is also important to consider long-term business growth. This is where the business growth plan comes into action, as it provides a structured timeline for the next 1-2 years on how to expand business operations and revenue.
Since business growth strategy is vital for long-term business sustainability, this article thoroughly explores the importance of a business growth plan. Afterward, the article lists the key steps to creating a business growth plan, including an instant way of writing a well-crafted plan using free and customizable templates of UPDF.
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Part 1. What Is a Business Growth Plan and Why Is It Important?
No matter the size and type of business, a business growth plan is essential to maximize the potential and secure future success. So, let's now dive deep into the basics of the business growth plan.
1.1 What Is a Business Growth Plan?
A business growth plan is a strategic outline that reflects where the business sees itself after 1 or 2 years. It details the strategies and steps a business will undertake gradually to accomplish its growth targets.
A business growth plan reflects:
- The present business state, including its strengths, challenges, and opportunities.
- Where it wants to see itself in the next 1-2 years.
- The strategic action plan to achieve the growth goals.
The growth plan should be evaluated quarterly to review progress and make necessary adjustments according to new market dynamics. Overall, the business growth plan is a framework for setting measurable goals, defining strategies, and aligning with market trends to have a promising future.
1.2 Why Is It Important?
Many reasons reflect the necessity of creating a company growth plan. But first, let's highlight what Bureau of Labor Statistics data says about small businesses' failure rate.
According to the data, 30% of small businesses fail within the first two years of opening, while half are out of the market within five years. One major reason for their failure is the lack of evaluating the market trends and planning the growth accordingly. This alone reflects how crucial it is to consider a business growth strategy. The other key reasons that reflect the importance of a business growth plan are as follows:
- More Market Share Control: If you maintain constant market shares in the existing inflationary economy, your business may struggle to maintain profit figures. So, a business growth plan helps to set strategic growth goals by analyzing market trends, which leads to attracting new customers while retaining existing ones.
- Take Advantage of New Opportunities: Every industrial sector is constantly evolving with emerging markets, technological advancements, and changing consumer demands. So, a business growth strategy helps to identify and take advantage of new opportunities effectively.
- Overcome Initial Losses: It is common for businesses to face significant losses at the start of the business. So, a business growth plan can help to increase revenue and overcome losses in less time.
- Expand Offerings: Even stable businesses need new products/services to engage existing customers and attract new ones. So, a company growth plan is an excellent way to set new revenue targets and then explore and develop additional offerings to expand the portfolio.
- Attract Investors: A company with a strategic growth plan that outlines the strategies, milestones, and financial projections can attract more investors.
In short, a business without a strategic growth plan is like a ship without a captain, drifting aimlessly in turbulent waters.
1.3 Types of Business Growth Plans
There are many types of business growth plans, varying from business to business. However, the four major types of business growth strategies are as follows:
This strategy focuses on increasing your existing market hold by planning how to penetrate more using your existing products/services. For instance, launching a new marketing campaign, adjusting the pricing, etc. However, note that this strategy does not involve venturing into new markets or developing new products/services.
This strategy focuses on exploring new markets where you can sell your existing products/services. For instance, targeting to sell products in a different geographical area.
This strategy focuses on launching new products/services in the existing market. It considers the demands of existing customers and develops new products/services to fulfill their needs. For instance, launching a new line of accessories for your clothing brand.
This strategy focuses on exploring new markets and launching new products/services. Basically, it is about selling a completely different line of products to a completely different market. For instance, a small business working in the tech sector may plan to launch new electronic gadgets for the healthcare industry.
Part 2. How to Write a Business Growth Plan
Now that we know the necessity of developing a business growth plan, let's shift our focus to how to write a comprehensive business growth strategic plan.
2.1 What to Include in a Business Growth Plan
A business growth plan reflects the roadmap for achieving the business objectives. Therefore, it should outline all the strategies and paths the business will take to achieve its growth targets. Some of the key elements to include in a business growth plan are as follows:
- Details of possible expansion opportunities.
- Targets for revenue, product expansion, market share, customer acquisition, and more, broken into quarterly and yearly measurable milestones.
- Strategic plan to achieve the growth objectives.
- Financial plan to reflect what capital to use for growth.
- Risks and challenges that can hinder the growth plans.
- Roles and responsibilities of teams or employees involved in executing the growth plan.
In short, the emphasis should be on formulating a comprehensive business growth plan that serves as a single source of truth to know your business growth's direction, strategies, and goals.
1.2 Steps to Write a Business Growth Plan
To write a business growth plan, you should think from a broader mindset, looking at the existing trends and forecasting what the future holds for your industry and target market. Below are the nine key steps to craft a perfect business growth plan:
#1 Evaluate Others Plans
The first step you should take is to explore and review other successful companies' growth plans. It is not necessary that they should be working in the same market. Regardless of the industrial sector, any company can provide valuable insights for your growth plan.
#2 Set a Futuristic Mindset
Before evaluating your existing infrastructure and exploring the growth opportunities, you should set a futuristic mindset that allows you to envision your business's long-term potential and possibilities. For that, you should look into the new industry trends, market dynamics, technological advancements, and existing/future customer needs.
#3 Evaluate the Capabilities of Your Business Infrastructure
Business growth is highly linked with the capabilities of the existing infrastructure. So, the last step before exploring growth opportunities is to note down the strengths and weaknesses of your existing infrastructure. For that, you should analyze current operations, assess technological capabilities, examine organization structure, financial capacity, and more.
#4 Explore Growth Opportunities
Now explore what are the prime growth opportunities available for your business. You have to do extensive research and analysis to identify whether your growth potential is in launching new products/services, opening new locations, targeting new markets, etc. Note all the growth opportunities and list them out properly.
#5 Explore the Ways to Find the Capital
No business growth is possible without arranging the necessary capital. So, assess your existing financial position and ways to arrange the capital to undergo expansion projects.
#6 Marketing Efforts
Outline what new or improved marketing efforts you need to achieve the growth outcomes you have outlined so far. This could be testing new marketing strategies, refining your messaging, targeting new audience segments, etc.
#7 Seek Valuable Input from Others
Get in touch with other business owners in your circle who have successfully implemented growth plans in the past and get valuable input from them.
#8 Set up Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Set up metrics and KPIs to monitor the progress toward achieving growth objectives. The metrics should be quarterly-based to review progress quarterly and make necessary adjustments timely according to new conditions.
#9 Begin Writing
Once you have done all the homework and noted the key points and strategies for your business growth plan, it's time to start writing. You can start writing the growth plan from scratch or customize any existing template.
That's it! All the above steps can gradually lead you toward creating a well-structured and effective growth plan that will guide your company's future success.
Part 3. Bonus Tips for Business Growth Plan
Creating a business strategic growth plan can take time, but it provides an excellent opportunity to keep growth efforts on track and expand the business in an organized way. To further enhance the effectiveness of your growth plan, consider the following two bonus tips:
Free & Customizable Templates for Business Growth Plan
If you want to develop a well-crafted business growth plan without struggling with all the above steps, then professionally-designed and customizable templates of UPDF come to your rescue.
UPDF offers many free and customizable templates for business growth plans to streamline the planning process. These templates serve as valuable starting points and offer the flexibility to tailor the plan for your specific needs, mainly by editing sections and adding/removing elements to incorporate your unique strategies.
Besides business growth plans, UPDF also offers other templates for various purposes, such as daily planning, invoicing, and more. All these templates are readily available to download and edit using the UPDF intuitive platform.
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The business growth plan is a perfect strategic document that can streamline the company's growth plan. It helps to evaluate the current position of the business, its growth projections, and the upcoming challenges to tackle. This article explored all the potential aspects of a business growth strategy and listed the main steps to craft a perfect strategic plan. To sum up, it is highly recommended that you develop a business growth plan for your company as soon as possible. However, if you find it challenging, you can rely on free and customizable templates of UPDF and its powerful PDF management capabilities to streamline the whole process.