A concrete business growth strategy is essential for the sustained success of any organization.
Without identifiable business objectives and a plan to meet them, your company will lack the focus needed to propel itself forward. More than half of global business leaders identified growth as one of their top priorities in the 2021 Gartner CEO Survey. Developing long-term business growth and productivity plans is the key to achieving this goal.
Develop a Successful Growth Plan
To map out your growth, start by identifying and analyzing opportunities within your market. Business growth plans typically go beyond your business and marketing plans, which detail how you’re going to meet specific targets. Growth plans keep both leaders and employees focused and aligned, and they compel you to think long-term. Far too many companies don’t strike enough of a balance between short-term strategic execution and long-term strategic planning.
A strong business growth strategy enables companies to expand their business by focusing on and investing in areas such as customer acquisition, product line expansion, or employee hiring. As with anything in the startup world, some of the specifics of your plan may change. But even creating big hairy audacious goals such as “become the leader in our market” will get you on the right track, because you can establish micro-goals that will show whether you’re on pace to hitting your larger goal.
Developing a growth strategy demands coordination and transparency among a cross-functional group of stakeholders. It can’t be just a siloed effort. All involved should understand what they’re working towards and why, as well as what they’re expected to contribute to the process.
Growth Success Factors
For your strategy to succeed, you need to consider certain factors that can significantly affect your business growth. Let’s take a look at a few:
Market and Competitive Research
Conducting market and competitive research is the best way to determine your growth potential. How big is your market? How many other companies are (or could be) targeting the same customers? Smaller research projects, such as surveys and focus groups, coupled with ongoing, data-driven intelligence gathering, can help shape your expectations and growth goals.
For a company to expand, it needs to increase its reach with existing target customers and acquire new ones. To do so, the company must design a value proposition that clearly states what it does and why customers need it. Then it must develop a growth strategy that lays out the steps for the company to go to market with a realistic chance of obtaining market share.
A company’s ability to compound growth year-over-year is an aspiration to work towards. Starting with a strong revenue foundation is arguably the best way to grow. Growth is about revenue consistency and diversity, coming from a healthy mix across products, segments, verticals, and channels.
Companies that grow too fast may fail because they eventually can’t keep up. The last thing you want to do is overextend yourself to secure short-term gains that will eventually put too much strain on your business and your team. A growth strategy will help you develop at the right pace.
Get your operating model set up for sustainable growth. Develop clear charters for growth platforms that combine your financial and business model objectives with key operating requirements. Maintain momentum and measure progress often and transparently, because you can’t change what you don’t track.
Align with Growth Objectives
If you’re truly optimizing your company for everlasting viability, sustainability and impact, you must strategically align your growth plans with these principles in mind. A lack of objectives means your company does not have a clear vision for growth.
A business growth strategy is important because it keeps your company working towards goals that go beyond what’s happening in the market today.
For help creating or refining your growth strategy, check out York IE’s advisory services for startups.