Statistics suggest that a majority of new small businesses will fail. For a company to be successful, a solid growth plan is needed.
Many small business owners don’t have much knowledge or experience in preparing a long-range plan. Fortunately, professional training is available to help guide the process of planning for future stability and success.
Entrepreneurs who can afford to do so should tap the expertise of consultants who have worked with various companies to develop sustainable business plans that will cover the following five important aspects.
Target a niche
Many new businesses try too hard to reach an extended market. They exhaust their marketing budget striving to reach a target customer base that may not be interested in their products. A more viable marketing approach is to target a select market niche.
For example, technology gear is useful for people of all ages, but youthful consumers between the ages of 15 and 25 have more disposable income these days that they love to spend on new high-tech devices. That demographic perhaps should be the technology marketing focus. After identifying a specific consumer base, gamification examples, marketing and advertising materials can be oriented to that group.
Although success and profit are the ultimate goals of any enterprise, specific action steps to accomplish objectives will help a company meet its goals. Many successful businesses develop both short-range and long-range goals.
For example, more immediate goals should be reachable within a year or two, such as getting the company’s accounts out of the red and into the black by eliminating debt. Future goals might include expanding production by twenty-five percent within five years. Specific, reasonable goals will move a company forward in measurable steps.
Develop a training program
As your company starts to hire employees and grows its workforce, a training program may be necessary. Although employees can be hired with a proven background in certain job skills, external training consultants can help to orient employees to follow a company’s mission and goals as well as provide tailored training in job skills like accounting, human resources, or sales. It’s very difficult for an owner to provide scalable training while running their company. If possible, outsourcing the training program will ensure team members continue to demonstrate professional competence.
In creating a company growth plan, it’s important to analyze your internal budgets and look for shortfalls as well as wastage. Line items can be added or eliminated to make the budget more functional so that operations are cost effective. Preparing to meet long-range goals will impact budget considerations. This is the time to start planning cuts and increases to maximize efficiency.
Maximize marketing resources
Many business analysts claim that marketing is the most important part of a company. You can sell the best product or service in the world, but if no one knows about it, sales will be minimal. A proactive marketing plan is critical to establish a marketplace presence.
Your brand, a logo, slogan, brand identity (i.e., fonts, colors, images, etc.) and promotions are the lifeblood of a business. Professional graphic designers and marketing specialists can be hired or contracted externally.
Online resources like social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and a host of others), along with a company website, are essential for building buzz in the online space. More and more companies are orchestrating most of their sales in cyberspace rather than in storefront physical space, although both are important.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Brigg Patten writes in the business and tech spaces. He’s a fan of podcasts, bokeh and smooth jazz. His time is mostly spent learning the piano and watching his Golden Retriever Julian chase a stick. Connect with @briggpatten on Twitter.
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