Most entrepreneurs develop business plans when starting their businesses. They do so to better understand the business opportunity, set their action plan, and to present to investors and lenders to raise money.
However, most entrepreneurs stop there. This is a shame, since the right plan can catapult a company’s success. Below are three keys to a business plan to grow your company’s revenues and profits:
1. Use it to Identify the Right Opportunities to Pursue: Most entrepreneurs can quickly identify several growth opportunities such as targeting new markets or developing new products and services. Importantly, each opportunity must be assessed with regards to the company’s current strengths; since you are much more likely to succeed performing functions you already have expertise in, versus trying completely new things.
2. Use it to Set Goals & Action Plans: Setting annual, quarterly and monthly goals is critical to business growth. Importantly, for each goal, you need a corresponding action plan. For example, setting a goal that you will increase sales by 25% can only materialize if you plan out how it will happen. Will you try new promotional methods? Will you improve your sales scripts? Create your goals, and plan out how you will achieve them.
3. Use it to Set Your KPIs: KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are the metrics that judge your business’ performance. Examples of KPIs include: sales, new customers, website visitors, COGS, etc.
By establishing and tracking your KPIs periodically (e.g., weekly, monthly), you will see in real-time how you are progressing towards achieving your goals. And, as needed, you can modify your plan before it’s too late.