By Paul Sleath, CEO at PEO Worldwide
What’s the key to successful business growth? Planning.
The future is always unpredictable, but if you’re considering global expansion, having a solid plan in place will ensure the process runs more smoothly.
Business growth plans are short-term outlines for where you see yourself going in the next one to two years. A strong plan will play a key role in allocating resources appropriately to ensure you’re putting your money where it really matters and, perhaps most importantly, will help to attract new funds from potential investors (or the bank!).
What’s your business growth strategy?
Before you put pen to paper and start mapping out your plan, it’s important to have a clear vision. Why do you think it’s time to expand and what exactly are you hoping to achieve from your business growth?
There are countless growth strategies for businesses but only four major types: product, market, development and diversification. The approach you choose will help you determine the best plan of action for driving your business forward.
If you’re just starting out, chances are you’ll want to focus on a product strategy (or product development as it’s often known). Rather than venturing into new markets, this approach looks at what new products or services you can introduce to target your current market. To grow, you need to give customers what they’re asking for!
Alternatively, you could look at a market strategy to leverage your existing offerings and help build relationships with target customers. For example, could you adjust your pricing? Or launch a social media campaign targeting specific demographics? There are plenty of marketing options available — you just need to find the best tactics for your overall growth strategy.
However, if you’ve exhausted your current market, it might be time to look elsewhere for growth opportunities. If you can’t achieve the growth you desire in your existing market, your business growth plan could focus on breaking into new markets in overseas territories. There are many reasons why you might choose to expand globally; however, a key one is to get out of an oversaturated market and gain a first-mover advantage over competitors who don’t yet operate in that country or region.
A diversification strategy involves expanding both your products and tapping into new target markets. Many see diversification as an opportunity to stabilise their revenue stream and protect their business from volatile markets.
With a bit of homework and research into your target market, competition and past growth, you can determine where your growth opportunities lie and start planning for future expansion.
What should you include in your plan?
Once you’ve identified your best options for growth, it’s time to include them in your plan. Writing a growth plan is very similar to writing a business plan. However, a growth plan focuses more specifically on expansion and how you’re going to achieve it.
Creating a solid plan takes time, careful consideration and lots of calculations — particularly if you’re looking to expand globally. But the effort will be well worth it when it comes to keeping your expansion journey on track.
Your plan should include a description of your expansion opportunities (looking at which strategy you have chosen and why this is the best option for your business) as well as a marketing plan of how you will achieve growth.
It’s also essential to assess how much growth can be accomplished with your present team. Do they have the skills needed or capacity to take on additional work? Do they speak the local language where you’re looking to expand into? The plan should include a breakdown of staffing requirements to meet your growth objectives, as well as details around how you will hire new employees (especially overseas).
Remember: the main purpose is to write your plan with investors in mind. Potential investors will want to know how you plan to drive revenue before they consider funding your expansion. So, it’s crucial to include your financial goals as well as a detailed outline of your available capital during growth.
Your plan should also be formatted by quarter. This way, you can review goals at the end of each quarter and adjust the plan accordingly — rather than at the end of the year when you’ve already put a lot of time and money into it. Your business isn’t static, so don’t make the mistake of thinking your growth plan has to be!
Need help crafting the business growth plan for your expansion journey? Through our consulting services, we can advise you on every aspect of your business’ needs to help you hire globally and expand seamlessly. Get in touch today to find out more.