A Business Growth Plan And Why You Need One.
Summary: Imagine that you’ve unexpectedly grown your business, like a lot, maybe as much as 250%. You’re excited because growth is needed and you’ve worked so hard for it. You start dreaming of all the things you can now take care of because you're growing and you're ready to take it to the next level. Congratulations!
But with any big leap comes risk - if you're not careful, your business could quickly become out of control and unsustainable.
Follow these five essential steps to creating a rock-solid foundation for your successful growth.
Imagine your business is growing fast, and you’re excited because you've worked hard for your business to do this. Now you start to think about all the things you can take care of once the cash starts coming in. Maybe you need to hire support, purchase a piece of technology that would make life in your business much easier, or finally feel secure enough to pay yourself?
There’s just ONE problem.
One critical thing isn't happening that needs to happen to make all of those things possible.
Your business is running out of cash as fast as it's going in, and you’re stumped as to why?
This scenario is more common than you think. Jim Collins, a famous author, says it’s not uncommon for a business to have its best year ever and then file for bankruptcy 18 months later. What's happening in the business, and what could they have done to avoid that dramatic and stressful fate?I’m here to tell you it’s as simple as creating a simple growth plan.
What is a business growth plan?
A business growth plan is a simple system that’s flexible enough to allow you to change as you learn. Many people abandon plans because they feel too rigid or difficult to follow.
When we take on clients and look at their business, five key elements drive growth. They are the indicators that help you know whether or not you’re on the right track. Imagine knowing why you are doing something, what you should be doing, how you're going to do it, what a good job looks like, and what to do next. That’s the highlight of a good business growth plan.
Five Elements of A Business Growth Plan
1. Compelling Vision
A compelling business vision gives purpose to profits and the growth you’re going through. A dreaming exercise of what your business and life will look like in 3 years. Your vision is where you define your why, your purpose, and how you will impact your community, family, friends, clients, team, and yourself.
Yes, YOU have to be part of this equation.
This is your source of motivation and inspiration. You will burn out if you are only in it for the money. When the vision has a purpose that excites you, you can make it happen.
2. Simple Dashboard
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are a few metrics in your business that matter to you. When we help clients figure out their KPIs, I start with a specific seven because these are growth ingredients.
Keep your KPIs simple, meaningful, and context with them. When you can show context with your KPI, then your employees know how they impact that KPI. If your dream team in the future is to have them be as engaged in the growth of the business as you are, then this is the common language to making it happen. It’s where we start because we need to know where you are so we know what needs to get done to get you where you need to go. These metrics are the early warning system that tells you if you’re succeeding or falling short.
3. Growth Forecast
For the next 12 months, you need a growth forecast. You take your KPIs and look at what growth would look like. If you take the main four of the seven that you concentrate on and have 1% growth in those top four KPIs, you have a 14% growth.
Those 4 KPIs compound each other. That’s how you get exponential growth and achieve it easily. Sometimes people fear growth because it means more clients, more work, and work longer and harder, and you simply don’t have that in you anymore.
While more clients can be a part of your growth forecast, often, you need fewer new clients than you think you do if you pay attention to the other numbers. We can find the pitfalls and know what it is we need to be prepared for to handle the growth coming through the door. This is how you cut off 80% of the problems by taking this step that nobody takes.
4. Profit Plan
Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, and cash is queen.
When our growth is focused on revenue, but there’s not enough coming through to cash, we get in trouble. A profit plan puts more attention on profit and cash. Revenue is a component because you need enough to produce enough profit and produce enough cash. A profit plan gives intention to that cash. The minute it enters the door, a profit plan tells the money what to do.
This is the tool that changes the nature of money in your business.
5. 90-Day Implementation Plan
This is a strategic action plan. You can't do all of it at once, even if you have a team. It's just not possible, so we have to choose. We have to know where the priorities are and measure what we do daily to work on our business to get the growth and the profits that we desire to make the vision possible.
A 90-day action plan is super simple. It doesn't have to be more than three goals as long as it’s scalable. Here is why I love 90 days! It’s long enough to get a result but short enough to hold your intention so you can focus. It also allows you to pivot to take your learnings and incorporate them to either maximize the results you're getting or minimize the downside you didn't plan on encountering, change opportunities or stay the course.
It has a beautiful way of balancing risk and returns so that you’re building in greater stability and not waiting 18 or 24 months for a return or some results. Instead, you’re starting to see things sooner, which means you move things faster and make exponential growth possible.
When we bring on a new client, we ALWAYS start them here. Starting with these five key elements changes the whole relationship in their business. A year after practicing and using these tools, our clients will say they never thought it was possible and that it was easier to accomplish than they ever imagined! Their business has become fun again, but it’s also profitable and sustainable. That is what we want for you as an entrepreneur. We want you to find joy in what you do again. You can get that ambitious growth you are after and finally be able to re-invest your profits into future growth for yourself and your team.
Starting here will put you on the path to enjoying so many more of those freedoms that come with being a business owner.
If you are looking to create more predictable profits so you can grow and scale without burnout, let’s chat. Feel free to send me a DM or find time on my calendar so that we can make it happen.
Leslie Hassler is a dynamic author, speaker, and business strategist guiding businesses into more profits, cash flow, and success. Business owners come to Leslie seeking a way to strategically scale their businesses richly, stop the money leaks, and get back in control with confidence.
Using her more than 12 years of experience in business, finance, mindset, and more, Leslie takes multiple 6 and 7 figure businesses from cash-strapped and struggling to profitable and thriving with her unique Profitable Growth Incubator program.
Her genius has also been featured on stages around the United States, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, and in publications such as Entrepreneur.com.
Leslie is a mother of two high school boys, an avid traveler, a Past President of NAWBO DFW and an alumni of the Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business program.