Starting a small business is undoubtedly rewarding. It creates a sense of accomplishment and the potential for financial freedom and gives you, the business owner, a certain autonomy. But just having your business up and running isn’t enough. Other companies out there are going to be vying for market share, and without growth and being willing to evolve with the changing times and market, it can be hard to maintain a competitive advantage.
As your business grows, you can scale, drop prices, and constrict competitor growth. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), an estimated 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years, 45% within the first five years, and 65% throughout the first ten years. This leaves only about 25% of small businesses surviving for 15 years or longer.
What is a business growth plan?
A business growth plan examines where a business is now and where it sees itself in the near future in terms of increasing revenue, employee and customer satisfaction, and expansion. Generally, a business plan gets reviewed each quarter to evaluate areas that could benefit from a revision of the plan or the creation of new strategies.
Writing a business growth plan
Start by reviewing your business operations, finances, and employee structure and determine where you can grow. It will take time and research because the world is continuously changing while creating your plan.
Here are several factors to consider including in your plan:
1. Make a list of your short- and long-term financial goals
Compiling a list of goals can help keep your actions aligned with your plans, including:
- Staying focused
- Measuring your progress
- Helping to enhance productivity
- Organizing priorities
- Establishing accountability
2. Explore opportunities for development and expansion
Developing and expanding your business can help you work toward being a leader in your industry, acquiring new customers and staff, and increasing your revenue.
3. Create a budget
With an understanding of your business’s needs, crunch the numbers and create a budget to manage your spending, uncover needs for modification of business operations, track company performance, and measure KPIs.
4. Examine funding opportunities
Growing and expanding requires certain costs. If you find you need capital to grow, there are a few ways to raise needed funds, including:
- Connect with a small business lender to secure a small business loan.
- Propose your growth plans with a venture capital firm.
- Apply to Small Business Administration (SBA) investment programs.
- Get funding through the generosity of family and friends.
- Fund yourself, for example, with a second mortgage if you can afford it without putting yourself in a financial hole.
5. Revise your marketing and sales plans
Review, and if necessary, revise your marketing and sales plan to ensure the effectiveness of your campaigns, whether the money is working to create lead generation and brand enhancement, and what changes can be made.
6. Get the help you need
Writing a small business growth plan is complex, with many moving parts, and each decision you make can potentially impact one or more of your business operations. Consulting a financial professional while creating your business growth plan can help you with several factors, including profit and loss analysis, tax implications, and cash flow management and budgeting, while hopefully giving you the confidence to move forward with your business and financial goals. Take the time today to schedule that appointment and start making big moves with your small business.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified tax advisor.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
This article was prepared by LPL Marketing Solutions
LPL Tracking # 511321