Maybe the growth has already started, or you are thinking about taking your business to the next level? Expansion, targeting new markets, diversifying your service offering and ultimately enhancing your profitability – the prospect of growth is exciting, but it can also feel overwhelming.
A sustainable and strategic plan will help you prioritize issues and spot new opportunities. What’s the best way to achieve success? Here are five questions to get you started.
What’s my ideal growth objective?
We often think of growth as a means to generate additional revenue, but is that really all that growth can help you accomplish? Growth can be economic, social, organic, it can be about survival or about opportunities, improving your company’s value, positioning your brand, increasing your market share – the objectives are varied. Therefore, defining your growth objective is essential and will help you make sense of all the available paths before you. The key? Start with a strategic vision: build a business strategy that encompasses KPIs, objectives, and a realistic timeframe. A solid plan will help you manage your growth strategically, take advantage of opportunities and keep your team on track.
Is my team ready?
There is no denying the importance of strategic vision, but do you have the right talent in place to get the plan in motion? If not, it may be time to start thinking about an executive search. Ensuring that the right people are part of the strategy from the get-go plays a big part in how your growth will evolve. This may not just involve internal people; external parties are just as important to keep on your radar. Your stakeholders, your vendors, your community, and any external contacts could be helpful during the key stages of your growth plan – don’t forget about them in the planning process.
Do I have a solid financing plan?
It’s one thing to make money, it’s another to make money strategically. A financial plan is an overview of a company’s financial situation, risk tolerance, and its strategy to attain goals. Your financial plan should also include how you intend to fund your growth: venture capital, crowd funding, private investors, or even a traditional lending method with a bank. Working with a financial advisor will make this process easier, as they have the expertise to build a financial plan that gives an accurate picture of your company’s situation and highlights your goals and your cash needs in a strategic manner.
What’s the best pace for my company’s growth?
It's no secret that growth can be disruptive to your operations if not properly planned and executed. Planning how the growth will impact your teams can help you avoid negative impacts on service levels or performance quality. Whether your growth is rapid or more controlled, sustainability should be top of mind.
What’s my next step?
There are many factors to consider and questions that come up when planning a growth strategy. Whether the growth is sudden or gradual, a solid plan that includes financial projections with sensitivity analysis scenarios is essential to anticipate problems and leverage opportunities. It will be challenging, and it may even push you out of your comfort zone to think strategically about your company’s growth (especially in times of transition or uncertainty!) but the time spent investing in a proper plan will ensure you’re prepared, no matter how fast you grow or how challenging your growth objective is to obtain. Working with an independent business advisor is important in ensuring that you consider the right questions so you can reach your goals and grow your business sustainably.