Creating Your Business Growth Plan

Create business growth plan video


In the last four blogs (see links below), our focus has been on “growing your small business,” and all this entails. We have covered the following:

  • The Why
  • Your Perfect Customer
  • Profit picture
  • Asset Strengths
  • Business Weakness
  • Hidden Opportunities
  • Threats to Business
  • Your Marketing Potential
  • Team Development
  • Tools and Processes

Now it is time to bring it all together and write your plan outlining the changes you want to make, the strategies for growth and tactics you plan to introduce, along with the costs and risks you need to consider.

Business Growth Plan Ingredients

Your 12-month plan should include the following ingredients:

  • Vision and Mission Statements – A look at your business “Why.”
  • Customer Avatar – A picture of your ideal customer and target market.
  • Business Goals – Get specific about the next 12-month period.
  • Marketing – The strategies and tactics you’ll put in place for marketing.
  • Team Evaluations – Your needs from a people perspective. Do you hire or outsource?
  • Tools and Systems – The new processes and tools you will be implementing to improve effectiveness.
  • Financial Forecasts – Your projected costs, revenue, and profit.
  • Targets and deadlines – The milestones and deadlines for each project.
  • Key Performance Indicators – The measures you will use to monitor progress

Developing Your Plan

Earlier in this series, we discussed your “Why” factor that describes your reasons for being a business owner, and identified your ideal customer. We have also done other series on the importance of your ‘why’ and ‘ideal customer profile.’

So, let’s move on to the other ingredients for your growth strategies.

Your Business Goals

The reasons you began the business and why you want to grow it are essential considerations when setting your goals, as you do not want to set goals that are either unachievable or too modest. You also need to consider your personal objectives, as your lifestyle will be affected as you grow your business.

Remember that goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

For example, if your goal relates to increasing customers, be specific about the number of new customers you want to attract during the time frame you have set.

Look at short-term goals that will give you quick wins and long-term goals, such as introducing new products or services.

Marketing Strategy

In our post on uncovering your growth potential, we reviewed what is working with your current marketing and potential new opportunities.

Use this to determine what changes you will make to your current tactics and new initiatives to introduce, along with the expected impacts on your business.

You must have a good handle on your metrics here.

Here is a personal example:

  • The marketing team in my software business was testing a Facebook advertising campaign for our desktop program (before the days when everything went subscription-based.) They were delighted with the results because of the increase in sales.
  • However, the numbers showed another story. When we analyzed the cost of the advertising, the number of clicks, and the number of conversions, we calculated that the cost per sale significantly outweighed the profit per sale.
  • Now that might be OK if it is getting you a new customer and you know that the lifetime value of a customer greatly exceeds the cost. But the point is: you must know your metrics.

Your Team

In “Business Growth: Your Team and Tools,” we discussed the need for a team to grow your business. One of the main factors in developing a team approach is the funding required in the expansion process.

Accordingly, you will need to make decisions based on your needs and available funding. Resources need to be allocated in such a way to reflect your vision for new business growth but will need to be prioritized to ensure they can be funded.

In his book “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It,” Michael Gerber discusses drawing an organization chart based on functions. You might start with your name in many roles, with the goal of replacing yourself as the business grows.

By the way, although this book was published more than 20 years ago, it is still essential reading for anyone wanting to grow their business.

Look at all the responsibilities, the current and future costs of personnel, and what future funding you will need to access.

Tools and Systems

It is vital to decide upon what changes you will need to make to your business processes and the tools required to make those changes. Do these changes require additional funding, will there be cost savings, and how will they impact the achievement of your goals?

Financial Forecast

This is where you get down to the real nitty gritty. You need to be able to meet the extra expenses you will incur until the growth provides the income and cash flow to fund itself. Consequently, detailed cash flow forecasts are vital.

You need to keep the core business running while you roll out all the new changes you want to make, and in my experience, things usually take longer than you expect, so ensure you have a surplus built in for such contingencies.

There is nothing more stressful in business than cash flow problems, so getting professional assistance with your financial forecasts is essential.

Targets and Deadlines

When we discussed your goals earlier, we identified they should be timely. This is where deadlines come in. You must set deadlines to achieve your targets. Use deadlines for each project, as these will help you achieve your 12-month goal plan.

However, changes often take longer than projected, so be patient. If you monitor your progress, you can massage the deadlines.

Focus on small achievable goals in the beginning. You don’t want to get burnout by having too much on your plate.

These dates will also assist you as they will be the milestones or stepping stones to your success.

Making Your Plan Work

Knowing exactly where you stand as your business grows requires regular monitoring to track your progress and meet your growth targets.

Here are some of the important metrics to follow:

  • Revenue
  • Profit
  • Conversion rates
  • Number of customers
  • Number of sales

Monitor this data and use it to make adjustments as you implement your plan.


In conclusion, review the other four articles in this series. Start by doing your analysis and research. Find out what other businesses in your industry are doing and see what’s working for them. Then, come up with a plan that will work for your business. Be sure to set realistic goals and timelines, and don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. Finally, always keep track of your progress and adjust your plan as needed.

Other articles in this series:
How To Successfully Grow Your Small Business
Preparing to Grow Your Small Business
Uncover Your Business Growth Potential
Business Growth: Your Team and Tools

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