Building a business growth strategy takes more than crafting a vision for your company and planning the execution. It actually begins with determining gaps in your current marketing efforts and establishing your own unique business goals that close those gaps.
After the business assessment, you need to research your competitors and your entire industry. First, find out your ideal customers and then use a data-driven approach to effectively measure your results and then position your business ahead of your competitors. In this guide, we’ll go over the fundamentals of how to plan a business growth strategy.
Why Start with a Business Growth Strategy
Studies show that only 50 percent of startup companies make it past the five-year mark in operations. Of that number, only half make it to 10 years in operations. The secret behind the survival of a resilient business and its eventual success is by following a business growth plan.
Business growth strategies are concrete plans based on actual data about your enterprise. There should be no room for guesswork. Your course of action is based on your current performance, strengths, weaknesses, and the performance of your competitors.
Envisioning the long-term success of your business won’t cut it. If that’s all you’re doing, then you’re in the 50 percent of companies that won’t be around five years from now.
It Begins with an Awareness of Your Current State of Affairs
Some entrepreneurs begin by setting up SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound). But here’s a solid piece of advice—don’t start with that. Establishing goals without understanding where your business is at, is like propping a ladder against a subjectively selected wall.
What’s wrong with that? Well, sure you’re progressing up to your ladder but you may be climbing up the wrong wall.
The first step in writing a business growth plan is to deliberately analyze what’s working for you in your digital marketing. After that, determine where you’re lacking. Next, establish your unique value proposition and identify your ideal customers. Finally, determine what sets you apart from the competition and which specific customers subscribe to your offerings.
Establish Business Goals and Other Essentials
After determining your business standing within the sales marketing spectrum, you can establish both your long-term and short-term goals. Speaking from experience, in this regard, you can classify companies into three categories:
- Businesses that have no clearly defined goals
- Businesses whose digital marketing efforts miss their goals
- Businesses with too many goals that exceed their marketing budget
In each of these cases, a thorough web audit will be necessary. Doing so will help you define your goals, key performance indicators (KPIs), where you stand against your competitors and how you’re positioned in your market sector.
Develop Data-Driven Strategies
The next step on how to write a business growth plan is to develop data-driven strategies that support your business goals. Apply conversion rate optimization (CRO) tactics and conduct A/B testing on your different campaigns to find out which solutions are helping you achieve your goals.
Depending on where you are in the digital marketing spectrum, you need to monitor other KPIs to find out how you should fine-tune your business growth strategies. Here are some of them to consider:
- Conversion Rate (CVR): the number of conversions divided by the total number of people who visit your website.
- Impressions Served: the number of times your ads have been served to an online user.
- Cost Per Action (CPA): the amount of money you pay for certain actions like newsletter signup, ad click and completed sales.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): amount of money you pay each time your ad gets clicked.
- Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS): revenue you make for each dollar you spent on advertising.
Remember that there are hundreds of KPIs out there and some will be more relevant to your business than others. It all depends on where you are in the business development lifecycle. For example, new companies will have to focus on growing brand awareness, increasing site traffic, and establishing their online presence. On the other hand, an established enterprise with a sustainable online following should focus on nurturing customer relationships, getting more repeat business, and better ROAS.
Go For a Multichannel Approach
The next step on how to plan a business growth strategy is to create a holistic multichannel approach to marketing. Again, depending on your audit results earlier, you will need to determine the marketing mix that is unique to your business.
The goal is to address every area of your brand marketing. Implement a variety of marketing strategies in your overall business growth strategy. These include but aren’t limited to social media, paid search marketing, content marketing, eCommerce marketing, email marketing, and SEO.
As you develop this multifaceted marketing approach to your business growth strategies, you need to identify the actual revenue streams. You will eventually introduce new products or services and match marketing strategies that fit them. Determine which ones are sustainable in the long run and stick with them.
An integral part of any multi-channel marketing plan is to analyze your competition. More likely than not, your competitors are excelling at something that you’re having trouble with. Analyze your competitors and find out what strategies they’re using that may also work well for you.
Of course, not everyone has the tools for competitor analysis, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Hiring a seasoned digital marketing agency can benefit you on how to write a business growth plan. They can also help you with competitor analysis and digital marketing strategy development. You can learn more about digital marketing strategy development here.
Evaluate the Results and Fine Tune Everything
The best growth strategy is one that is continuously evolving as your business grows. At each phase of your enterprise development, your business needs and goals will change. Evaluation and fine-tuning is an integral part of the process.
As you evaluate your progress, ask yourself and your team the following questions:
- How has our organization evolved?
- Are we happy at where we are now? Are we satisfied with our profits and business growth?
- Have we created a cohesive team as we developed our business model?
- Are we invested in our team’s talent? What more can we do for them?
- Have we created not just a loyal customer base but long-term brand advocates?
How to plan a business growth strategy? It begins with understanding where your enterprise is now. You follow through by determining where you want to go (goals) and selecting a unique mix of digital marketing strategies that best fit your business. You need to fine-tune your growth strategy as you rediscover how far your enterprise has grown.