Running your own business can be gratifying, but also stressful. It can consume every ounce of energy and time you have if you let it. And with a to-do list that’s longer than War and Peace, many entrepreneurs skip the important step of creating a growth strategy.
If you think you don’t have time to create a small business growth strategy, consider this: A few hours of strategic planning now could save you hundreds of hours of wasted time in the months and years to come.
Strategic planning will get you focused on the right things, and it helps your business to grow and become profitable much more quickly. Then, you can hire people to help you with that to-do list instead of slowly drowning under it by yourself. Here are 5 things to consider when you are planning for small business growth:
Goal for growth. Saying you want to grow is not enough. You need a target growth rate. A 15% growth rate might double a company in 5 years. However, a 20 - 30% growth rate might be a better goal to ensure your small business survives any pitfalls in the way.
Strategy for growth. There are numerous proven strategies for growth. Look at your target market, and decide what avenues would be best to gain their trust and business. Maybe you want to focus on a mobile strategy, email marketing, blogging, video or social media best practices. Building a strategy takes time, but it is well worth the effort.
Timeline for growth. Building a timeline for your growth. The goals you set earlier should have the basic SMART formula (SMART formula stands for Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic and Timely.) Be sure you hold yourself accountable for achieving those goals in a realistic time frame.
Measure your growth. You can't manage what you don't measure. It's the only way you can know for sure what's working or what's not. Employ Google Analytics and monitor the sources from where your traffic is coming.
Budget. Here you will need to think about how you finance your cash needs: working capital? Equity? Debt? If you need to raise finance, be sure to add this to your timeline of ‘things you need to do’.
If you struggle with this bit, Jones & Company, CPAs P.A. can help.
Turning a small business into a bigger one is never an easy task. If you have questions about planning for your small business growth, contact Jones and Company CPAs, P.A. at 727-845-4166.