You don’t want to finish your growth plan, ever!
If your plan is done, your business will run out of steam – eventually.
As the saying goes Even if you fall flat on your face, you’re still moving forward.
What does this mean in the context of growth? As a business owner, you need to keep moving forward, aspiring to grow, whilst tapping into new ideas, at all times.
A business that does not move forward is by definition going backwards. Why? It is like taking it easy and playing it safe for a few laps whilst being in the lead in a long distance race.
The natural law of market forces means that competition will overtake you as you fail to put in that extra effort earlier to maintain or grow the gap. When you spot the competition, it may be too late – leading to risking your existing customers who will eventually be targeted and lured by competitors.
How to make a start?
Here are six tips to gain momentum and help kick-start your plan to grow the business:
- Developing a growth plan is iterative: the actions should be complementary to achieve your goals (i.e., coherent) and reviewed regularly; change your assumptions as often as you need to.
- Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good: make a start to the plan. You can always add any missing elements in your next iteration.
- Use the 9-steps method to guide your thinking: take a considered position. Expect it to be wrong, and plan to revise it.
- Keep it simple and brief: the plan is for internal use. It provides a map for you and your key managers. You don’t need to go into as much detail as you would, if for example; you were presenting this plan to external parties such as prospective Business Partners or seeking funding from a Bank.
- Use facts and evidence: now is the opportunity to take a step back and re-test your business value proposition. What makes customers buy, and stay with you? Your planning should deal with your real market, customer demographics, their needs, and what tipped them into buying from you, over your competitor.
- Get to execution quickly: your growth plan will only start delivering when customers see value in your actions. Good planning is nine parts implementation for every one part strategy.
It is better to keep moving forward with your plan for growth rather than hoping things will correct itself. Don’t play it safe, instead be bold. Remember, You don’t want to finish your growth plan, ever!
Notes (1) “Even if you fall flat on your face, you’re still moving forward” as stated by American businessman Victor Kiam.