How to Create a Growth Plan That Really Works
How do I create a growth plan that really works for my business? Where do I start and how do I continue? There are a lot of courses and information on the Internet on the subject. How do I know what to focus on?
They are the questions that haunt your head when you have already laid the foundations of your business and have your client portfolio more or less established. You have the feeling of achievement and at the same time the fear that if you do not continue to grow, this is bad (for all that if you do not advance, it is that you’re stuck, the things that “sell” us today).
I want to tell you that not growing is not the same as losing customers and, therefore, lowering your profitability. What’s more, there are ways that you continue to grow in income without growing in the number of customers or sales. That’s what a growth plan is based on – knowing where your business is going.
The two bases of a growth plan
And it is that easy and challenging at the same time. The point is that you should base your growth plan on these two points:
1. A goal.
2. A way to measure the results.
When you define a goal, think that the most important thing is that it is your goal. Many writers and influencers will tell you what to “do” and “what to focus on” to grow your business. But think that only you know your business, only you know what human team you have, what time to execute your purposes, and what resources you can designate for it.
Growth is not a sprint, it is a marathon.
It’s okay to set a 6-month growth goal of 80%, but is it achievable? It’s so much easier and less stressful to set yourself a 30% growth goal, and if it reaches 45%, wow! Now you can celebrate and be more positive in your next purpose!
The second part of the growth plan is that if you do not have a way to measure results, everything is left only to set goals. So you cannot be sure that they have been met and to what extent to make the appropriate decisions. Therefore, it is crucial to use metrics.
What could be the metrics to measure your growth strategy? Well, for example, how many clients ask you for a quote, and how many finally accept it? How long does it take to convince a client? It is not the same to spend several hours in conversations as a single specific email to get you a client.
Based on the metrics you monitor, you can make the necessary changes to make your business run better. You already know if your clients have the same doubts regarding your services or products, it might be a good idea to invest time and/or resources in creating a brochure, an explanatory page on your website, a webinar, or any other information that can help them to understand better what you offer and at the same time not spend so much time in preliminary meetings before hiring your services.
Let’s see the 4 steps that can help you create your growth plan and works for your business:
1. Select the metrics you want to track
Ask yourself the question: What metrics show the growth of my business? And I give you some examples:
– For an e-commerce business, one metric is the increase in individual purchase transactions on the web.
– For a service-based business, it may be to double the lead conversion rate. That is, contacts who are interested in your services and ask you for a quote.
Not everything has to be a growth in the number of clients. You can base a growth plan on lowering the amount of money invested in advertising. Think that increasing the number of clients and projects is great, but if you spend more than half on advertising to get these clients, you are cutting your profits in half.
Ideally, when you are clear about what metrics you want to track, make a spreadsheet to compile them. Thus, you can write down the evolution on the same sheet, and you will see more easily how each metric changes from month to month. In a column, you can write down what changes you are introducing to compare the results and see what has made your strategy work better or worse.
2. Evaluate your current state
Before you can plan for the future, you must look at the present. Now that you know the metrics you want to improve, you should take a look at the state of those metrics right now. That means that you will not only look at the numbers, but you will try to understand what leads you to those numbers: investment of time, resources, stress, etc.
If your monthly income is € 1000, how many hours of conversations did it take to get these clients? How many clients are there, and if any of them can return? If any of them proposed a more extended project to you, but it means more time investment to get it and not enough “monthly” money, think about it if you are interested.
I also recommend adding your emotional side to all of this. A client may suppose you more time invested for a project for one year. If this means that you will be “calm” about having your job for a year, because it is what you need, go ahead!
That’s what I mean when I tell you that the growth plan should depend on your goals, not what they tell you. Only you know how you tolerate the stress of constantly searching for clients or, conversely, the “boredom” of working for the same client for a long time.
3. Set your growth goal
To do that, you will need to figure out a couple of things:
– How much do you want to grow?
– The specific metrics you want to focus on growing further.
Just remember to be realistic. Even Amazon started in a garage before it became the mogul it is today.
To climb a ladder, you need to climb step after step. The smaller the steps, the slower you will climb, but the lower the risk will be if you were to fall.
4. Achieve your goals and look to the future
The last and longest step is to just keep going. With a way to track growth and a goal in mind, you can try new strategies to achieve it.
And yes, it isn’t very easy, because there is not a single thing that works. There are no right or wrong answers, but you have to try and see what happens. It is different for every business, every industry, every country, even a city in the world. What works in India may not work here.
That is why knowing how your business currently works is so important when starting this process. It teaches you what you can do if you change absolutely nothing. Later, when you make changes, you can see how your numbers change. Not happy with the results? Go back to point one and try something else. Go writing down and analyzing.
At the very least, I recommend doing this process at the beginning of each year. Setting an annual goal can help you stay focused, motivated, and productive. And, once you get the hang of the process, you can put the fear of stagnation behind you. You just have to worry about figuring out what growth goal you are going to achieve next.
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