To be effective with a strategic business plan and project forward for growth starts with strategic thinking. In order to project forward business owners need to analyze several areas of their business and think of how each area could affect one another.
A miss judgement in any one area could result in the all too common “growing pains” expanding businesses find themselves in. The following areas are great starting points when planning and preparing for growth. Human Resources, Marketing, Accounting, Operations, IT and Customer Service.
Human Resources – Want to roll out a new product or take on more clients? How many additional staff do you need to do that? How will you train them? How much will you pay them?
Marketing – What venues or channels do you plan on using to get your marketing material out there? Calculating a ROI on marketing can be difficult but is necessary none the less.
Accounting – Putting a quantitative figure on all business activities will help you keep in line. Meaning that it will help you from over spending and help you know if you are being successful in your efforts or not.
Operations – If you are rolling out a new product do you have the machinery to make it or do you have the sourcing connections to import it? This area also connects with the other areas because you may have to hire and train direct labor and use accounting to figure out profits margins.
IT – Do you need different technology to pull off what you are trying to accomplish? Often times technology is not compatible with different or other pieces of technology.
Customer Service – Asking yourself if what you are doing will improve customer service or hurt it is sometimes over looked. But if you expand, get busy, and start experiencing growing pains then customer service is often one of the first areas that get affected.
So before you try to take on the world and expand. Ask yourself are you ready? And come up with a strategic game plan to get you there.
Questions? Do not hesitate to ask.