The one-page business growth plan that has the power to transform your business 

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Creating a business growth plan 

In this blog I will provide a simple and straightforward method of translating this vision into a business growth plan that can be easily and effectively communicated to all levels of an organisation and other interested parties. 
 
Before I start, have you ever had to create, read or been asked to read a 50+ page business plan with headings like: Executive Summary, Market Analysis, Funding Requirements and Financial Projections? 
 
Do you think these documents inspire growth, drive change or encourage regular reviews of performance? No, I don’t think so either. In fact, I know these bulky documents, usually written for the benefit of third parties, often find themselves gathering dust in rarely opened drawers or cupboards. 
 
How do I know? Because I regularly ask business owners to provide me with their most recent business growth plan and this is what they tell me as they are searching the office for that rarely seen artefact. 

Business growth plans are vital to success 

At this stage you might think that I do not see the value in business growth plans and yet nothing could be further from the truth. I think business growth plans are a vital ingredient in achieving business growth and in fact are so important that they should be reviewed formally no less than monthly, often weekly and at times daily. 
 
Far from being a cynic, my contention with business growth plans is with the format of these documents. Rather than being stored in a dark cupboard I think they should be on the desk, in the car and even displayed on the office wall. 
 
I encourage my clients to view these documents as a constant reminder of the goals they have set and the key milestones they need to achieve as they strive to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities that growing businesses must deal with on a daily basis. 

Example of a one-page business growth plan – the word picture 

Recognising the importance of documenting a business growth plan and the limitations of the traditional approach, I work with my clients to create a one page “word picture” to document and communicate their growth strategy. 
 
An example of this one-page business growth plan can be seen below. 

Here are some practical tips for completing your business growth plan: 

1. To optimise buy-in it is usually best to include all the leadership team in the planning process. 
 
2. Don’t rush! This one-page business growth plan is a vital first step in turning your growth ambitions into reality. It is not unusual for this process to take two or three meetings. 
 
3. Agree the time period you want to cover. This is typically three years but can easily be extended to four or five years. 
 
4. Agree with the group the labels for each of the spokes (these will vary from business to business). Be prepared for these labels to change as the conversation develops. 
 
5. Start with the end in mind. Populate the outer circle first and then work from the inner circle back to the outer circle. 
 
6. Make sure your one-page business growth plan contains all the information to enable you to tell your future “growth story”. 
 
7. Once completed, take time to ensure all the numbers stack up and it is easy to see how your growth plan unfolds. I often refer to this as a wheel and if all of the spokes are not properly aligned, the wheel will not turn effectively meaning progress will slow or even impossible. 
 
8. Share your completed business growth plan with as many people in your organisation as possible. 
 
9. If appropriate, display the completed business growth plan or at the very least make it easily accessible. 
 
10. Meet with your leadership team every month to review your progress against your business growth plan. 

Conclusion 

Creating a business growth plan does not need to be an onerous process. The end result can simply be a one-page document and it does not have to be written in the traditional sense – the more visual it is, the better. 
 
You will need to take the time to plan and collaborate with your wider team to produce the business growth plan and once it is completed, I would encourage you to share it. This is easy to do if you have kept the document to one page! 

Need help to create your own one-page business growth plan? 

I encourage all business owners to consider creating their own one-page business growth plan and if I can be of any assistance, I will be delighted to offer a free consultation. 
 
 
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