A business plan is typically the starting line for a business venture. Once the business is up and running and the business model is working well, it often gets filed away permanently. Financial metrics like cash flow, revenue targets, and margin analysis dominate the focus of planning. But these perfectly fine operational targets fall short of fueling new levels of growth. To really propel your entity to the next level, you must dust off your business plan, renew it with a new strategic focus, and prepare to share it.
Here are three ways to use your updated plan to achieve a new level of business growth.
You have a great team, and you love what they bring to your business, but you know they can do more to help you grow if they are all focused on a common goal. Your regular team meetings are great for problem-solving, but they fail to stimulate growth plans.
Even when you bring on new talent to shake things up and inspire your team, within a few months, they also fail to stimulate new ideas.
It's time to step up your leadership game and guide your growth planning. Organize an extended planning retreat to share your thinking as a team and build out a multi-year growth plan. Engage all your talent and experience to ignite new energy and excitement. You will spark just the fuel in all of you to drive new levels of performance.
You are doing well, but you see others creating new partnerships to expand. You can't help ask, could we do that?
Absolutely, but not with your current plan! Update your plan, then share it with a few select advisors to get their input. Use their input to set criteria for ideal partners, make a business development presentation from your plan, and start the process of reaching out to your list of potential partnering companies. Use your business plan to make a winning case for consideration and drive a new joint venture to spur growth for you both. Your new business plan will help guide how to set your criteria and clarify how to build a compelling win/win scenario for your partnering pitch. A well-thought-out plan will position you as a leader and set the tone for a positive partnership.
At times, an infusion of cash is what's needed to take things to the next level. Usually, the investment needed to take an existing business to a new level is very different than the case made with your initial business plan. So, once again, updating your business plan is your GO-TO for getting started.
It doesn't matter if it is making a decision to use your own assets for this investment or if you need to win an investment decision from an investment firm. You will need to do the thinking (and the math) to make your case. Take a more sophisticated approach and do your research.
Make sure your plan has a mix of funding strategies and demonstrates that, with the right combination of funding sources, there will be a compelling return on investment. Your business plan is the tool to pull all this great new thinking together.
Need some help determining what your next steps should be?