When a Small-to-Medium Business (SMB) owner is caught up in the daily activity of running the business, how can they possibly take the time to develop and use a growth planning system? Other than targets for number of customers, revenue, and profits, is it realistic or even useful to spend time on business growth planning anyway?

Let’s tackle the second question first. Developing and using a growth planning process for your business is only useful if you want to:

  • Provide all your managers and employees with a “map” of how the company is pursuing its growth goals.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone was clear on the destination, and could be counted on to keep it in mind

through all their daily activities and decisions?

  • Align the employees’ individual and group goals with the company’s growth map.

Are there instances where individuals are working at cross purposes to the overall growth goal, and to each other?  Wouldn’t everyone rather be on a team that’s all pulling in the same direction?

  • Provide constant mid-course corrections to navigate through changes in conditions.

Doesn’t every ship require constant course corrections to reach its destination? And is it possible the goal itself may change somewhat before it is achieved?

  • Provide feedback and recognition for work that supports the company’s growth goals.

Everyone wants to know how well they’re doing. Everyone wants to be recognized when they succeed, and have the chance to make corrections when things go wrong.

But if the business owner recognizes the value of developing and using a growth planning system, or taking their current method to the next level of effectiveness, where do they begin? Next time, I’ll address the most effective tool I’ve ever seen for kick-starting a growth planning process.

NEXT UP: The Growth Planning Process – where to start?

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