Anyone building a business wants it to grow, and having a well-written action plan will help them succeed. This document is a formal outline of the company’s goals, and it provides details on how it can achieve its objectives. When creating an action plan, you need to think big-picture. Here are things to keep in mind, so nothing slips through the cracks.
Take Your Time with Goal-Setting
Clarify your overarching goals before you start. Sit with crucial company members and figure out where you are and where you want the company to go. Context-setting is important, and asking “where are we now?” and “where do we want to be?” helps the company assess their current versus the desired position. Defining your context will help you anticipate the effects of various issues. Instead of being reactive, you’ll know how to respond to whatever comes your way.
Quantify Your Goals
Don’t just say you want your business to “ramp up” or that you want to learn how to get more sales. What does that mean, exactly—do you want to double sales, open a new location, gain 15 new subscribers per month, or do something else? After specifying, you need to drill down. For example, if your goal is to gain 15 new subscribers a month, you have to evaluate how capable your marketing funnel generates leads.
Can your infrastructure accommodate the demands of these new subscribers? Does your general manager have the skills to get your employees at a level of productivity that matches that growth rate? Asking questions like a skeptic would keep you aware of loopholes in your plans and prevents you from being too optimistic about your chances of success.
To meet your goals, you have to do more than work hard or optimize your procedures. You have to ensure that all the equipment and systems can support your growth. For example, suppose your sales team meets its target number of deals for the month. While that’s a good thing, it will be terrible for your reputation if your production staff cannot fulfill the projects.
Prepare a Written Plan
After ensuring that your infrastructure can handle your anticipated influx of job orders, you must prepare a written marketing plan. This does not need to be about cold calling and lead generation—your plan could focus on retargeting or upselling current customers, especially ones with a higher lifetime value.
Besides getting your marketing plan on paper, you must also hold annual reviews of your key accounts. Doing so improves your rapport and gives you an avenue to introduce your other offerings. Here’s how you can conduct your meetings with key accounts:
- Generate a list of customers who represent 80 percent of your sales and arrange them in descending order of volume.
- Meet with these clients and discuss your product selection, services, and other areas.
- Ask them what is good and what needs improvement about how you do business.
- Determine what other products or services they would like you to offer and ask them what it would take to raise product purchases. You could also ask them about their company’s outlook and their forecast for business in the next year.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a sales call. You shouldn’t enter the conversation with the mindset that you’ll close them on an offering. Instead, it’s genuinely for outreach—your goal is to figure out how to serve this account better. If you keep existing customers satisfied, you will more efficiently reach your goals.
Starting your own business is hard but fulfilling work, and you need a growth action plan to keep you on track. This plan details how you want your business to expand over a given period. To make it effective, you need to specify your goals and the steps you must take to reach them—if you are unsure where to begin, you can enroll in an entrepreneurship training program.
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With over 12 years of experience in the Digital & IT space, Matthew has helped more than 300 businesses get off the ground through websites, IT/systems such as emails, phone systems, project management and more.
His expertise across all things digital & IT is conveyed through our new business kit, providing clear context and insights into the business areas you need to know.