6 Steps to Creating a Growth Strategy that Works
Updated: Mar 14, 2022
A growth strategy is a plan of action that businesses use to grow their revenues and profits. There are many different growth strategies, but all of them share a common goal: to increase the size of the business.
When it comes to creating a growth strategy, there are a few key things to consider. Below are six steps to help you create a growth strategy that actually works.
1. Have a vision/purpose.
Your growth strategy should be based on your company's vision and purpose.
What is your company trying to achieve?
How will you change the world?
Without a defined purpose and plan, it isn't easy to know where you're going or what you need to do to get there. A successful business starts with a strong foundation, and that foundation is built on a clear vision.
A vision gives your business direction and helps you stay focused when things get tough. It provides a roadmap for growth and allows you to measure your progress along the way. When you have a clear vision, it's easier to make decisions that will benefit your business in the long run.
Defining this upfront will help you create a roadmap and stay on track.
2. Define the opportunity
One of the most important steps in creating a successful business plan is defining the business opportunity. This may seem like an obvious task, but it's surprising how many entrepreneurs fail to take the time to thoroughly examine and define their business concept. Without a clear understanding of the business opportunity, it will be difficult to develop strategies for growth and profitability.
There are several things you need to consider when defining the business opportunity. The first is what needs or problems your product or service solves for your customers.
What are they struggling with that you can help them overcome?
What are their goals and objectives, and;
how can you help them achieve them?
3. Know Your target market
Continuing from the previous point, you also need to understand your target market. Which industries, sectors are you competing in and what are the unique dynamics of those sectors?
Is their any seasonality (e.g. Will customers buy during summer holidays)?
How long is the sales lifecycle?
Know your customer
A key part of your target market is knowing who the customer is and what needs and wants they have.
What are their demographics?
What is their job?
What are their interests and hobbies?
Knowing this inside and out will help you tailor your products and services to meet their needs and wants, it will inform your go to market strategy, all of which will help you grow your business.
4. Research the competition
Another crucial element of developing your growth plan is understanding your competitors. To make your business thrive, you need to be aware of what they're doing and how they're impacting your industry.
Competition is healthy for any market; it drives innovation and motivates businesses to offer the best products and services possible. However, if you don't understand who your competitors are and what they're doing, you may not be able to keep up.
Some key questions to ask about your competition include:
Are there areas where they are better than you?
What do you do better than them?
What are their strengths and weaknesses?
What is their market share?
How are they impacting your industry?
What can you do to differentiate yourself from them?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you develop a plan to stay ahead. In addition, understanding what your competitors are doing will help you differentiate your business.
5. Set realistic goals and measure performance
It's essential to set realistic goals for your growth strategy. You don't want to set yourself up for failure by unrealistic expectations. Instead, start small and gradually increase your goals as you see results.
Creating a growth strategy takes time and patience. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so take the time to customize a plan that works for your business.
Remember, a strategy is a guide and not a rule. You don't want to wake up each morning and redefine your strategy, but don't be scared to adjust as needed. The business landscape can change quickly so you'll want to be agile and able to adapt.
6. Keep it simple
Finally, please keep it simple. Don't write pages and pages.
Instead, aim to have a strategy on a page with some additional pages that provide supporting detail.
Long plans are created once, put in a draw and never visited again. Concise plans can be reviewed regularly, quickly tweaked and easily shared across the business so all stakeholders can be part of your successful growth.
These six steps will help you create a growth strategy that works for your business. Remember that it takes time and patience, so be prepared to put in the effort and see results over time. Good luck!