Say you created a business plan years ago and you haven’t looked at it since. You are running low on funds or you’re just starting out and it all looks bleak.
Why would you want to spend hours of time on a 25-page document to grow your business?
Here’s the point, you don’t.
You need to write a similar version of your business plan down, but with a focused attitude. Namely, focus on the key parts of growing your business and your strategy. Take what you would expect to see in a full business plan and condense it into its key parts. You need to know specific aspects like your turnover and ideal customer, but you also need to have the support to push your business growth plan forward.
Here are 5 reasons why your business growth plans fail:
You Turnover Isn’t Planned
Like you have in the end of your business plan, your expected financial summary should figure out what your financial forecast looks like. This doesn’t have to be a crazy amount of excel sheets, but a simple plan outlining how many enquiries and sales you need. What are your goals to grow your revenue?
You Aren’t Targeting Your Ideal Customer
You plan to grow your business, but you are still chasing the pain-in-the-ass clients. On the other hand, you are trying to be everything to everyone and ending up with no sales. No sales means that you can’t grow, so you need a strategy to convert your enquiries into paying clients.
You Are Treating Your Plan As a One Time Event
You might as well have not written a plan at all if you don’t keep it updated. Instead of treating it like a long-winded task, spend time mulling over your plan regularly. This doesn’t have to be everyday, but as a rule-of-thumb, if something changes write it down! Some people review their plans and goals yearly or even monthly. How are you going to reach your revenue target if you aren’t reviewing your steps to get there in enquires and sales?
This point starts with the leadership and, if it is done incorrectly, seeps down through the team. Once you have a plan for growth, don’t keep it in a locked drawer. Get it out in front of your team and make sure the culture is on track with your vision. This way, your team will be able to help you grow the business in the direction you need. If you are an established business or a start-up, it is crucial to ask a friend or mentor to help you keep on track.
Unrealistic Goals or Avoiding the Weaknesses
A business plan should include a SWOT analysis, which will look at your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. You will stunt your growth as a company if you focus on the strengths and ignore the weaknesses you can improve on. (The same goes for focusing on the weaknesses over the strengths, but most companies ignore the problems.) Maybe it is a marketing problem over a social channel. You need to iron out these problems to push your company forward.
Overall, business growth plans fail due to the lack of a strategy and direction. Think about writing a ‘living’ business plan and build a growth plan from it. You need to think strategically about who your customer is and what your financial turnover will be.
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