In the words of soccer player Steve Howard, progress is less about speed and more about direction. As a business owner, when you have a clear strategic growth plan, you have set yourself up for success. Whether your plan’s timeline is one month or one year is not important – what’s important is how you will achieve your goals.
If you implement the strategy at an early stage, you create a stable foundation on which your business can grow. Here are the five essential questions to ask when creating your strategic growth plan.
1. What Are Your Objectives?
It is essential to see the end from the beginning. Objectives are specific goals you wish to achieve. For example, you can have the objective of increasing profits by 30 percent in five years. Two things govern each objective: the time frame and the goal. Be specific about your objectives. It’s in the clarity that you’ll gain confidence in your pursuit.
2. What Is Your Mission?
You knew why you wanted to start your business. The why is your mission. It is the philosophy that gives meaning to your business. When you’re creating a growth plan, ensure that the mission statement captures the dynamic of your business.
3. What Are Your Opportunities?
You got into your business because you identified an opportunity. Opportunities can be found in areas such as your key customers, your market, and your product demand. Narrow down these opportunities and write them down. If they’re found in your customers, who are they? What is their demographic (age, gender, income, wealth)?
Understand your market. Know its history, have a projection of its growth, analyze its past performance, and realize its size. As for product demand, get your figures right and know your competition.
4. How Will You Execute Your Plan?
Executing is putting a plan into action. You can create the right plan but execute it wrong, and your business will end up failing. Every action should be intentional. When you’re creating an execution plan, factor in the channel you will use, the type of message you will create based on whom your customers are, and your product.
5. What Are Your Core Values?
Everyone has a value system they live by. These values need to be reflected in the business too. Core values not only govern how you do your business but give your staff principles to work with. When we at ForwardLine created our core values, we made sure that each and every one of them spoke to our mission and how we distinguish ourselves within the industry. When you create your core values, think about what matters to you, and think about your customers and the services you offer. The values you come up with will help both your business and your employees act accordingly.
A successful strategic growth plan is intentional. As you are the vision bearer for your business, every action you and your business take should be part of a growth plan. Your direction determines your destination.
For more tips and advice, visit our small business resource center.