Foundations for Business Growth – A Quick Reference Guide

  • Set Goals
  • Develop Business Growth Strategy
  • Align & Mentor People
  • Execute Plan
  • Review Performance

The strategic planning process is not simple. It involves understanding your market, you competitors, your clients, the motivations and drivers of the people on your team, your own drivers and needs, what is working and what isn’t, where the core competencies are for the business and the individuals in it, how ‘big’ should a goal be, what is the ‘vision thing’ for your business, and how do you grow it and have a life at the same time.

Not easy questions, not a quick process. However, if you use this Quick Reference Guide as a prompt to remember the key foundations for growth – Goals, Business Growth Strategy, People, Execution and Reviews – you will be able to gain value from the process as you build your organization.

Goal Setting

  • Goals must be SMARTA
  • Simple to follow – too many goals won’t stay top of mind
  • Measurable – how will you know when you get there if you don’t or can’t measure
  • Achievable – if the goal is set too high, it becomes de-motivating if it can’t be reached
  • Realistic goals – it has to be realistic to the business itself and the time
  • Timeframes must also be set at realistic dates
  • Attractive – if the goals are not something that really appeals to you from an emotional level, you are unlikely to do it. They must be goals from the heart.
  • Goal setting should be a combination of past performance, future capabilities and opportunities, with your real dreams for big goals and a bigger picture.
  • Goals are the stepping-stones to the bigger picture.

Business Growth Strategy

  • Understand your environment
  • Be honest and realistic about your company’s core competencies
  • Brainstorm all your options and opportunities and how they fit together
  • ‘The Vision Thing’ is critical – without it, you’re not going far
  • The Vision must be championed and reinforced by the CEO –a key part of the CEO’s role is to provide a very clear direction
  • Buy-in from competent people in the business is critical to successful implementation of the business growth strategy
  • Ask yourself what is the purpose of your business
  • What will the business look like at some point in the future if you focus on that purpose?
  • What sort of team do you need and want to help you realise that purpose and that vision?

Align & Mentor People

  • Mentoring adds real value to business people in key areas such as leadership, and management expertise and skills.
  • Not everyone wants to be, or needs to be, a leader. Some are more effective and supportive as followers. For those who want to, or have to, lead the pack, leadership skills are required.
  • There are different types of leaders, but all can benefit from understanding their impact on others and the world around them, their communication style and effectiveness, and their emotional intelligence in connecting with people in a more effective way.
  • Management skills can be learned along the way, but learning by osmosis does not usually produce the breadth or depth of expertise that is required by managers or business owners in a highly competitive and dynamic market.
  • Business mentoring not only helps teach these skills, but helps develop and strengthen them to produce new levels of confidence in the person being mentored.
  • This applies to managers, managers-in-training, senior executives, entrepreneurs and professionals in their own practice.

Execution

  • Stay focused
  • Work to timeframes
  • Use the roadmap as a working document
  • Enlist support where needed
  • Execution is the critical part of the process, and why many strategies fail – because nothing is done, or the plan isn’t actually followed, which produces a whole different set of outcomes.
  • A key person needs to drive execution of the business growth strategy.

Review Performance

  • Accountability for, and to, everyone involved
  • Individual & business progress is importance – individuals achieve & business grows
  • When goals are fun/attractive/exciting, there will be a commitment and certainly a desire to achieve them.