The key to your company’s success is sales growth. You can plan to grow but a solid growth strategy is much more than developing and implementing a marketing plan.
In essence, it’s important to implement marketing strategies and internal controls for quality.
Certainly, you can desire to grow your business by investing in acquiring new customers or broadening your product line.
However, along the way you need to strategize how to protect your turf en route to dominating your industry and knowing how to target the right market influences.
So develop a strategic plan with all the available options – from keeping your customers happy, getting referrals and attracting new customers – to selling your products online using multiple platforms.
No matter what your industry is, acquiring new customers must play a salient role.
Develop a guideline
To successfully grow, you must develop a guide or template for your growth strategy, to identify your best opportunities, do your industry and market research, develop specific goals, plan what and how you’ll accomplish it and when you’ll do it, know your growth tools and requirements, execution, continuously evaluate your progress, and fine-tune your approach whenever necessary.
Start by protecting your turf and evaluate your defensive strategies that will keep your customers happy. Then look for opportunities to seek referral business from them.
Decide how and where you want to grow. Be specific in your analysis.
For example, determine if you’ll need more employees, expand your current space, whether to change or add new locations, how to grow into new markets or regions, add to your product line, or grow your vendor list – all to expand your customer base and increase sales.
Anticipate possible crises
For example, most companies have been in a crisis mode from the COVID-19 pandemic. So, do a SWOT analysis of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Then, communicate, communicate, communicate.
While we can’t forecast the effects of a new wave of the virus, it’s vital to promote trust in and out of your business with stakeholders and customers.
Your employees are counting on your leadership. Take steps to insure your company’s sustainability and provide training whenever necessary. You’ll find preparation for a crises will be very beneficial.
Once you’ve decided how and where to grow, create a balance sheet to justify your efforts. Don’t make the mistake by a lot of entrepreneurs who don’t even determine whether growth is possible.
Research your industry to determine why and where growth is feasible. You can survey your existing customers or prospective customers to learn their desires and needs.
In this way, what you learn will help understand expectations and your goals for growth because you’ll also need to develop a timeline, budget and endmost goals.
Next, decide how much growth you forecast after you’ve decided what and why you’re growing. This should all be based on your vision for your company’s future, as well as being achievable and pragmatic.
Quantify your strategy by using a proven strategy of setting SMART goals.
SMART is an acronym for the following:
Specific – You should well define your goals. For success, you don’t want to be too vague or open-ended.
Measurable – With specificity, you should be able to easily measure achievements.
Attainable – Set goals you’re convinced can be achieved.
Realistic and Relevant – Your goal should be realistic, as a followup to Attainable. Any goals should be relevant for your situation.
Timely – Set a timeline with a deadline. In this way, you’ll be better able to measure your progress and to evaluate whether you’re on schedule and acting realistically as you get close to the finish line.
Develop an outline or vision of how you’ll be successful in your growth strategy. This important to discuss with all your employees.
Include backup plans with agility because marketplace conditions do not always go as projected. Brainstorm with your team to have a plan in place.
Yes, keep your employees in mind. As you plan, show your appreciation to your team. Cut them some slack when feasible.
As valuable assets, your employees – your human capital – need to be considered. Consider how your goals prioritize them as assets, not just their work, and how they will affect your bottom-line.
Your action plan should specify the actions to be taken, the deadlines, who is responsible for the actions and what resources you’ll need to use.
Determine what you’ll need in the way of resources.
For example, decide if you need to change your budget priorities or find more capital, acquire new equipment or software, or get the help of outside participants such as a consultant or designer.
Now that you’ve done all the planning, resourcing and setting of goals, execute your plan.
Execution must include communication with your employees and other stakeholders, and evaluate results of your projections to ascertain whether your plan is achievable and whether you need to do any fine-tuning.
From the Coach’s Corner, additional resources:
Clues You Need a Vision Plan for Growth – How to Write It — If you don’t have a written vision for fast growth, the reality is that you’re losing out on potential business. A written business plan is best. But if you don’t have the time and resources to write it, go to plan B – a vision plan.
5 Best Reasons for a Strategic Plan and its 6 Key Elements — Success in business is much like competing in chess. It requires strategic planning. In fact, there are five reasons to create strategic plan, which has at least six components.
Marketing Plan Fundamentals For Best Results — If you haven’t completed a strong marketing plan to complement your business plan, you’re missing some salient benefits. An effective marketing plan generates revenue and alleviates uncertainty for your business.
Best Financial Strategies for Your Business Plan — When updating your business plan as an established company or writing it as a startup, be sure to intensely focus on the financial section. Here’s how.
How Leaders Inspire Employees to Follow Vision for Growth — When a company’s vision is not implemented, the organization suffers dire consequences. Leaders also know the situation is preventable.
“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman – not the attitude of the prospect.”
-W. Clement Stone