A Foundation for Business Growth Planning

Business growth is essential for long-term success. Many smaller businesses, as well as many start-ups, assume that business growth planning is more to do with increasing revenue than with anything else – win more sales, introduce new products, increase market penetration, etc. While it is true that growth and revenue are linked, real business success is based on the right foundation.

Begin at the Beginning

Starting with the foundation, then considering the direction the growth will take, and allocating the most appropriate resources will ensure enduring success. Business consultants ask specific questions to enable entrepreneurs to understand enough about the foundation, the direction and the resources. These few questions are a good place for anyone to begin on their own.

Long-term success includes focusing on details. Again, a good way of doing that is to score the answers. Ask the question, write down the answer, and score it from 1 to 10. If you give your answer a score of 7 or less, think of one thing that would improve the score to make it, for example, 8 instead of 7 or 5 instead of 4. At this stage you do not have to decide how you would implement that idea; all you are doing is clarifying your growth foundation.

The 7 Foundation Questions for Business Growth

  1. Thinking about your business, what score would show how clearly you see the next quarter, the next 6 months, the next 12 months, and the next 2 years?
  2. How closely aligned is your business, now, to how you want it to be?
  3. How clear are your team members about the business’s future?
  4. How motivated are your staff to help achieve that future?
  5. How well-financed are your critical processes (marketing, sales, production, delivery, etc) so you can invest in your growth?
  6. How efficiently does each of those processes currently perform?
  7. Other than you, how much does your overall success depend on any one person?

These questions are not the only ones entrepreneurs should ask themselves.  They are simply questions that help to get thoughts, ideas and suggestions in place so the solid foundation is there. After that, everyone can begin to work on the direction and velocity of growth.

Remember, running a business successfully does not need to be complicated.  Keep it simple!

For more information on business analysis, business planning, and ways to grow your small business profitably, please check out our website www.portalcfo.com.

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