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“4 Essentials of the Growth-Oriented Business Plan” by Tim Berry, BPlans.com

 Key components of the business plan for strategic growth include:
      1. Strategy
 Strategy is focus. Strategy is what you are, and are not going to do. Strategy in your business  plan serves as a reminder of what’s most important. The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do. Focus on IMO- identify, market, and offering.              

  • Identify- Every business has a core identity. How are you different from others? What are your strengths and weaknesses?  What is your core competence? What are your goals? What makes you different?
  • Market- What are your target markets? The more tightly identified the better. What part of the market do you identify with? Who are you most comfortable serving?
  • Offering- What services will you be offering? Your choice of offerings will influence your choice of markets.

Is there room in your current strategy to grow the business? Are you looking at a new market? Are you looking at new service offerings?
      2. Tactics
Tactics are the steps and actions you take to execute the strategy. Tactics are the key elements of the marketing and business plan. You can’t do a strategic growth plan without working through the tactics that will execute the strategy. Tactics can be a simple lists of action items and bullet points. Use these action items and bullets as a reminder and checklists for analyzing execution. These need to be constantly reviewed. Make sure there is alignment between strategy and tactics.
      3. Milestones and Metrics
Your goal is execution, and milestones and metrics inform execution. Think of dates, deadlines, and concrete specifics. People like working toward milestones.
      4. Essential Business Numbers
Real planning has to be rooted in specifics- sales, revenue, collections, personnel, etc. These numbers give you a chance to review the performance of the company regularly. Your growth projections lead you gracefully into reviewing your strategic and business plans by focusing on actual results, and looking for course corrections.
“Why Every Small Business Needs a Growth Plan” by bdc
If you’re like many company leaders, you never take the time to sit down and think about your future growth- how to take the company to the next level in a smart, disciplined way. Growth is an issue leaders ignore at their peril, and yet, it may be one of the most important issues facing the company. “If you decide not to grow, you may be paving a path to failure”. Says Patrick Latour, SVP, BDC Capital. “If you don’t grow, your competitors will, putting pressure on you.”
Create a road map for growth-
The road map can help leaders find more growth opportunities and avoid common mistakes, like delegating responsibilities to employees. Start by committing time to outlining a plan for growth:

  •  A clear picture of your business’s current strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities.
  •  A vision for where you want your company to be in the next three to five years.
  •  An action plan to achieve your vision, including who will do what, and by when.

Failing to plan is planning to fail-
“If you are going to grow, you should absolutely have a plan” says Paul Cubbon from the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business. The plan does not have to be pages and pages long- sometimes the simpler, the better. But if you don’t have a planned, discipline approach to growth, you’re probably going to make more mistakes.
Regaining control-
Strategic planning can help with a growth plan and following it with discipline. The plan helps clarify opportunities, risks, and respective roles in the company. The results is a detailed 3 to 5 year plan, including financial forecasts for different scenarios. Meet regularly with employees to see if the plan needs to be tweaked, and check how the plan is being implemented by measuring the benchmarks.
Thought of the Day-
“The price of greatness is responsibility.” Winston Churchill
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