With 20% of small businesses failing in their first year of business, 30% in their second, and 50% after 5 years, it's no secret that growth is fundamental to keeping a business running for many years.
A growth strategy is more than a marketing strategy, it's a crucial piece of the puzzle in creating a successful business plan. Your growth strategy is not a marketing plan, it is the big-picture roadmap you’ve created to get your business from where it is now to where it wants to be in the future.
It is a high-level strategy, which outlines everything you need to make your business grow. So, let's jump into our steps to shaping a growth strategy that works for your business.
Set realistic goals
Start by writing out your goals for your business, how you would like it to look in the upcoming 1, 3, 5 years. The bottom line is, it’s easier to envision where you want your business to be and work backward from there, than the other way around. By working backward, you’re making it much easier to set realistic targets and objectives of where you want your business to be once you hit your first, third, and fifth year in business.
If you are unsure of where to start, consider utilising the SMART goal method, which is a simple way to set goals that are specific to your business. The SMART theory allows you and your team to understand specific areas of responsibility. It also shows them exactly how their goals fit into the bigger picture of your overall business goals.
Identify your key performance indicators
More commonly known as KPIs, the next step in shaping a growth strategy is to determine your key performance indicators. For every target that you set, it’s a good idea to identify key metrics and results that will help you gauge whether you’re on your way to hitting your goals.
You can also create a list of objective key results (OKRs). What’s an ORK? It’s a specific metric in which you can track the influence11 of your goals. The AARRR pirate metrics is really popular in some business startups amongst new business owners. The AARRR pirate metrics framework is very simply put, an acronym for a set of five user-behavior metrics that should aid in product-led growth.
It can be easy to become distracted by keeping up appearances for new businesses, especially online. However, following this metric is going to help you keep your core goals in line with your business growth.
Foster workplace accountability
Every team member should be aware of the work they’re doing and how that work ties back to your business goals. Workplace accountability means that all employees are aware and accountable for their acts, attitudes, results, and decisions.
The first step to fostering workplace accountability is you can lead by example and hold yourself accountable first. If, as a business owner, you own up to your mistakes, are punctual, and meet deadlines, your staff will follow your example.
As uncomfortable as it could potentially be, it's important to also communicate and discuss poor or failing performance before it becomes out of hand. Brushing under-performance under the rug will result in more significant issues.
Team meetings are a great way to ensure that your whole team is on the same page. Discuss strategies and processes which are working well along with the processes which are not. Communicating these things as a team is going to encourage your team to share what they think is working for them, and encouraging them to produce results. It will also force the whole team to work together to brainstorm how to rework processes that are not working.
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