There are several different ways to approach strategic growth in your organization. COVID-19 has altered consumer behavior irreparably, so for many businesses, the time to grow is now. Some approaches that companies use when they’re planning to expand is one (or more) of the following:
- Increasing market share (adding advertising, acquisition of competitors, etc. to increase the percentage of voice)
- Adding new locations or franchising (moving into a new market or increasing the number of sites or offices you have)
- Expanding product lines (adding additional products or services)
- Improving or adding sales channels (adding e-commerce to a website or carry out options)
- Partnering with other organizations or businesses (acquisition, buy out, sales of a percentage of the company, or strategic partnership)
Now that you know that you want to grow your business, let’s focus on the steps you have to take to proceed. By following these steps, you ensure that you are strategic in your growth, minimizing and anticipating potential pitfalls before they become more significant issues.
1. Conduct market research.
Understanding your current and your future or potential market is crucial in preparing for growth. Why do you want to grow in this area? Is it feasible? How long will it take to see measurable results? There are several ways to approach market research – surveys, focus groups, or talking to existing or potential customers directly. You must use market research to determine if your value proposition still makes sense for this new expansion.
2. Measure your goals.
You know what you’re planning to grow and why, so now you need to know how much. Set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Based). Don’t set a goal of “I want to grow my business.” A SMART goal is “I want to grow this particular product line by 25% in the next six months.” Measurement is so important in demonstrating long-term growth; sometimes, seeing the forest for the trees is incredibly challenging. Accurate measurements ensure your goals are relevant and focused on the long-term.
3. Plan your course of action.
To get started, you have to have a plan. What are your action items? What are the requirements, tools, or resources needed for growth? Do you need additional funding for your growth goals? It’s important to grow at a pace that you can still execute, so what are the assignments and due dates needed to make these SMART goals happen?
Now it’s time to execute your plans. You’ve established the what, the why, the how much, and the how. Now you have to act. Put all those plans in place. Many businesses struggle the most at this step. It’s easy to make plans, but it’s considerably harder to follow through with them—set timetables and deadlines to keep yourself and your team accountable and on track.
5. Measure again.
How are your goals progressing? Is it time to revise, edit, or change some of those goals? Don’t see it as a failure if you do – very few businesses manage to work without any missteps. This is why measurement is critical; it keeps you on track and heading in the right direction toward your goals. So now you repeat the process – research, set goals, plan, execute, and measure – over and over again to keep your business and your growth from becoming stagnant.
Developing a strategy for growth is important. But more important than the strategy is the execution. Use actionable steps, measure everything, and keep track of your progress, making adjustments along the way. If you need help making these goals a reality, ABCO Group is here for you. We partner with you to provide the business expertise and resources needed to reduce the day-to-day stress of running a business, giving you the freedom to do what you do best. Let us know if we can help you grow your business.