Writing a growth plan is very similar to writing a business plan. However, a growth plan focuses specifically on expansion and how you're going to achieve it. Creating a useful plan takes time, but the effort can pay off substantially by keeping your growth efforts on track. A growth plan includes:
- A description of expansion opportunities.
- Financial goals broken down quarterly and yearly.
- A marketing plan of how you will achieve growth.
- A financial plan to determine what capital is accessible during growth.
- A breakdown of your company's staffing needs and responsibilities.
Think aheadThe future is always unpredictable, but if you study your target market, your competition and the past growth of your company, you can plan for future expansion.
Small Business Administration (SBA) features a comprehensive guide to writing a business plan for growth. View an online growth strategies workshop from the In Business Network.
Study other growth plansBefore you start writing, review models from some successful companies.
Discover opportunities for growthWith some homework, you can determine if your expansion opportunities lie in creating new products, adding more services, targeting a new market, opening new locations or going global, among others. Once you've identified your best options for growth, include them in your plan.
Evaluate your teamYour plan should include an assessment of your employees and a look at staffing requirements to meet your growth objectives. By assessing your own skills and those of your employees, you can determine how much growth can be accomplished with your present team. In addition, you'll know when to start hiring additional people and what skill sets to look for in those new hires.
Find the capitalInclude detailed information on how you will fund expansion.
Get the word outGrowing your business requires a targeted marketing effort. Be sure to outline how you will effectively market your business to encourage growth and how your marketing efforts will evolve as you grow.
advertising & marketing advice at Business.gov.
Ask for helpGetting help from other business owners who have had success in growing a business can be the ultimate tool in writing your growth plan.
Small Business Development Centers.
Start writingBusiness plan software has streamlined the growth plan process. Most software programs are geared to business plans, but you can modify them to create a plan that focuses on growth.
- Review and revise your growth plan often.
- Share your growth plan with key employees as a motivator. When employees see opportunity for increased responsibility and corresponding compensation, they're more likely to stay.
- Your growth plan should also include an assessment of your operating systems and computer networks to determine if they can accommodate growth.