Business Growth Planning to Start the Year Off Right

Business growth planning is something that often falls between the cracks, but it is absolutely critical to not only growing a business, but also to keeping it in the black.  In the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions, starting the year with a new plan and focus is the key to getting your workforce moving in the right direction.  Here’s how to do it:

Step 1:  Analyze the past – Look over the past year, but also evaluate the few years before it.  What trends are emerging?  Was last year better or worse than average?  What happened in your local area or industry that could have an outside influence?

Step 2: Celebrate Successes – This is a step that is often skipped, but it is crucial for employee morale.  Make a note of any area of improvement, no matter how small, and make sure to thank that employee.  The more personal and public this is, the bigger of an effect it will have on morale. Employee turnover will be lower and the plans that you create will be met with much more positive acceptance.

Step 3: Plan Realistically – Goals are crucial, even stretch goals. However, make sure that at least some of the goals are achievable.  If sales increased an average of 6% the last 3 years, a goal of 12% is going to seem impossible.  On the other hand, a goal of 7% would be fairly achievable for most managers and is easy to build on further in the year.  Make those long term agendas as bite-sized as possible for your team.

While this is somewhat oversimplifying what should be a fairly involved process, it should serve as a framework that your  managers can use within their own teams.  Their plans can then be reworked as needed by upper management to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals and growth objectives.

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

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