As you start planning for the year ahead, you may be thinking about how you can start growing your business. It’s a good idea to start with a solid plan and clear steps to take before you push ahead towards your goal.
Developing your own plan will ensure your goals are realistic and achievable, address the stages you need to go through and help to keep you focussed on this journey. It’s highly unlikely you growth is going to happen overnight – and a growth plan is a great tool to keep referring back to, to make sure you’re on track.
Identify opportunities for growth
If your growth opportunities are organically showing themselves or already obvious to you, that’s great! But if not, it’s a good idea to sit down and think about the areas on the business that are going well or new things that you could do.
This could include adding new products and services, selling more of your products, opening a new location, or targeting a different or additional market.
Review your staff and processes
As your business starts to grow, you’re likely to need more staff. This is something you’ll need to factor into costs. You can also consider that skills of your current employees and whether these staff can help you with your growth plans – you might be able to fill a new position with your existing team.
What’s your budget?
It could cost money to start making more money. Although your plan may involve growing turnover and profit in the long run, to start with you might need to rent more retail space, develop a new website, hire new staff or other costs that will help you achieve your goal.
Start by looking at your budget and be realistic about what you can afford – and what other potential routes you might need to use to finance the additional elements your business will need.
Get business support
There’s so much free business support available, both on and offline depending on your preference. Whether that’s workshops, one-to-one mentoring or advice guides. The guidance on offer is at your fingertips so make sure you take advantage of it!
Consider your technology needs
As you start to grow, managing various elements of your business could become overwhelming if you don’t have the right tools in place to support you. Think about the elements of your business that could be automated or hand over to digital platforms to free up your time, save money or simplify processes.
This could be something like a Customer Relationship Management system, tools to help you manage your finances or something as simple as a social media management platform. Lightening just one task from your workload could give you invaluable time to focus on your growth project.
Do a SWOT analysis
This is important as you address your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
It’s a great chance to think about the details of the opportunities your business is facing, how you can make the most of your strengths, how to protect against potential threats and how you can improve on your weaknesses
Carrying out this step will not only help to keep your growth plans realistic and achievable, but it will also make sure that you’re taking steps to protect the business that you’ve already created. Your growth should be manageable and practical to keep it sustainable.
Now is the time to really assess and critically think about your business, your staff and all the different factors that could play into your growth, before you commit to big changes.
Set out a time plan
Of course, this can be flexible but you should have a rough guide or outline as to whether this growth plan is short or long term. Whilst being realistic, set out when you’d like to have taken key steps towards your growth goal whether that’s over 6 months, 1 year or 5 years.
These tips should help you on your first steps to developing your business growth plan!
Find out how Superfast Business Wales can create a tailored digital action plan for your business – all free of charge. Register now!