Running a business is in some ways like parenting a child. As you monitor and support their day to day progress, you need to be looking to the future, making sure you’re readying the ground for future stages of development.
While with a child you’ll be looking ahead to crawling and walking, school placements and future studies, but with a business you’ll be thinking about growth, hiring, new markets and perhaps an eventual retirement – or a buyout by a bigger player.If you want to make sure you’re ready for the next stage of development for your business, you need to place. You need to be on top of your business growth strategy from day one – or before day one.
What Are Your Aims?
Your strategy is your high level plan for how to achieve your aims, so you need to know what you want out of running a business. Ideally before you actually launch!
This discussion ties in with decisions about your business model – your aims for your business, both where you ultimately want to end up, be that running a stable business in the long term or developing an eye-catching product that will result in a full acquisition from a big brand. You may even have your eyes set on that distant horizon of growing to become one of those big players yourself. Your aims and industry dictate your choice of business model – a tech company looking to rapidly incubate a product in a new niche with an eye on Google’s interest will naturally gravitate towards the startup model as the most suitable for that aim, and that brings with it an attendant culture and a pattern for growth.
This is your first high level strategic decision. You’ve identified an aim (where you want your business to end up) and a strategy (creating a business in the appropriate model to achieve that outcome). Your tactics flow from this: how will you set that business up? Where will you acquire funding? What premises will you rent? And so forth.
Strategic Development for Your Business
It’s important to do some long term planning for the development of your business. When you’ve chosen a business model, you need to ensure you understand the support it needs as it grows – think about the logistics, not just the rewards of prestige and greater revenue.
If you’re a retail business, growing your inventory, opening new stores or selling across the world online requires you to scale up the delivery side of your operation to avoid compromising on your customer service. Hiring needs to be accompanied by a review of your HR capacity to ensure you can communicate and orient this bigger organisation correctly.
Adding this lockstep planning for the logistics of growth as well as the growth itself means your business will be ready its next stage of development when you need it – not underprepared or overdeveloped.