How to Develop A Strategic Growth Plan
In order to grow your company, you need a strategic growth plan.
A strategic growth plan is focused on the long-term, and it’s an essential piece of any business plan. However, developing one can be a daunting task. You’ll need to consider where you want to take your business in the future and how you’re going to get there.
Here is an overview and set of guidelines that will help you to develop a strategic growth plan and how you can maximize it in order to establish sustainable growth for your business.
What is a Strategic Growth Plan?
A strategic growth plan is a road map for your business that sets out how you will grow over the next 3-5 years. It defines the goals, strategies and tactics you will use to achieve your company’s vision.
Strategic growth plans are a key part of any business plan. These help you to:
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses as a business
Analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a business can help determine strategies that should address its shortcomings while exploiting opportunities. The process of identifying strengths and weaknesses is known as SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats).
- Understand what drives customer demand for your products or services
Understanding what drives customer demand for your products or services will help you identify ways to increase sales. For example, if price is one of the key drivers of demand, then lowering costs and increasing margins may be a viable strategy.
- Analyze the market and identify profitable opportunities to pursue
The market is made up of customers, competitors and suppliers. It is important to understand how they interact with each other and how that influences the demand for your products or services. Identifying opportunities means identifying areas where you can gain a competitive advantage over others in the marketplace.
A strategic growth plan should be created with all stakeholders in mind including management, partners, employees, customers and investors. This is to establish a solid foundation and a plan that is necessary for the needs of business growth.
A strategic growth plan should be achievable and realistic to maximize growth. To do this, here are the steps in developing a strategic growth plan.
Define your goals.
What are the long-term goals of your company? What is its mission and vision? How does it fit in with the overall economy, industry trends, and changes in technology?
Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve is essential before starting on your plan. A good way to do this is to define the problem, which will help you identify exactly what needs to be fixed.
When organizations create strategic plans, they are frequently unaware of their current situation and end up creating unrealistic goals that can only be met by ignoring existing challenges or taking shortcuts that may not be sustainable in the long run.
For example, a company may have an ambitious goal to increase sales by 25% over the next year. If their market share is already high and there are few competitors, this may be feasible. But if the company has only 5% of the market share and is surrounded by heavy competition, it will be hard for them to achieve this goal without taking drastic measures.
Focus on the customer.
How do you know if your business is growing? Growth means being able to meet the needs and wants of your customers, as well as being able to predict their needs and desires.
To help you with this, here are some key questions you can ask yourself:
- What are the current pain points of our customers?
- How does our product or service help solve their problems?
- How long does it take them to make a decision)?
- Are they aware that we exist and if not, how could we get them to become aware of us?
For example, if you’re a fitness trainer, you might want to find out how many of your clients come in with a specific goal in mind. If most of your high-value clients are looking to lose weight for an upcoming occasion, then you’d want to offer workout and nutrition plans specific to that goal.
Once you have a better understanding of what’s going on in your market and how potential customers might respond to it all, then it will be easier for you to create a plan for growth.
Identify resources and timeframes.
Once you’ve determined your goals and considered how it fits with customer needs, consider the resources required and the time required to achieve them. How much money do you require? Who can assist you? What additional help will you require from your team to make this happen? Your responses should be based on a realistic assessment of what is possible for your company at this time.Be honest with yourself. Don’t underestimate the resources needed to achieve your goals, and don’t overestimate what’s possible in a given timeframe. If you can’t afford it right now, wait until you have more money or until you can get help from someone else.
For example, if you want to hire a marketing assistant, but don’t have the money to pay them, consider offering them equity instead. If your goal is to get more sales leads for your business, make sure that you’re tracking and following up on every one of those leads yourself before hiring someone else to do it for you.
Create a plan of action.
Put your strategy into action by creating a plan of action. This includes identifying the resources needed, creating a timeline, defining the tasks, defining goals and objectives, defining roles and responsibilities and defining metrics to measure success.
For example, you might create a timeline that includes steps like this:
- Schedule an initial meeting with your team to discuss the strategy.
This will help them get on board and understand their role in helping you achieve it.
- Create a draft of your growth plan and share it with key stakeholders
This will help to finalize the draft by gathering feedback from stakeholders before releasing the final version.
- Present your growth plan to senior leadership.
This will be an opportunity for them to provide additional insights and feedback, which will help you refine the document.
- Share the finalized plan with your team so that they understand what’s expected of them.
It’s important to communicate the plan to employees at all levels of the organization. This will ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of what’s expected and how they can contribute.
- Begin executing on the plan.
This is where you’ll start seeing results!
Align your strategy with your vision.
Once you have a strategy growth plan in place, it’s important to ensure that it aligns with your vision for the business. If you want to grow the company into something much larger than it currently is, then this will require some serious planning. For example, you may need to hire more employees or bring on outside help, which could mean making some major changes in how your business operates.
Track the results and adjust accordingly.
Monitoring your progress is one of the most important steps in developing a strategic growth plan. This can be accomplished through metrics, which are quantitative measurements that allow you to track the performance of your business and make necessary adjustments. For example, if you want to increase sales by 20% over the next year, you could use last year’s sales figures to determine what kind of growth rate is realistic for this time period.
As time passes and more information about how well your strategic plans are working becomes available, be prepared to adjust them as needed.
Strategic planning is the key to sustainable growth. It allows you to see what your company looks like in five years, and then create a plan of action that will take it there. The benefits of this process include increased profits, better customer retention rates and higher employee morale. With the help of these steps, you can develop a solid foundation of a strategic plan for your business.
If you need help with developing your strategic growth plan, check out our growth solutions!