How to Prepare Your Business for Growth

There have been some interesting developments last week.

Uber went public and raised over $8 billion.

Chevron dropped its $33 billion bid for Anadarko Petroleum but will walk away with a $1 billion “break-up” fee.

The St. Louis Fed anticipates economic growth will slow to 2.9% in 2019.

These are just a few of the headlines that stood out. With the flood of information at our fingertips it’s easy to get distracted. Geopolitical and economic events continue to compete for our attention.

Regardless of where you are on the political spectrum or how you interpret the financial news, it’s critical to remain focused on growing your business.
Here are three ways to do so.

Assess Your Strategic Plan

If you haven’t developed a strategic plan for this year, you’re already behind.

Research from Cranfield University’s School of Management shows that small businesses who actively plan, track against that plan, and adjust their plan based on market need, grow 30% faster.
What do the prospects look like for your business? Are you expanding or contracting?

You should meet with your key employees on a monthly basis to assess your strategic plan. They’ll fill you in on what’s working and what can be improved.

If you are a solo practitioner, sit down with your advisory board and ask for guidance. What can you do better for your customers? What can you monetize or streamline to increase your cash flow?

These questions will keep you focused on the bigger picture.

Create an Organizational Chart

No one gets anywhere by themselves.

To expand your business, you’ll have to leverage yourself. And you will do this by building a team. Whether you have several employees or you’re a solo practitioner, you have to institutionalize your processes.

If you haven’t done so, create positions for finance, marketing and operations. Develop an operations manual that lays out the tasks required to run the business.

Make sure your employees are well suited to their roles. Take an inventory of their skills to determine if they’re in the right place. If you are the sole employee, should still create an org chart. List the contractors that you use. You’ll create the structure you’ll need to prepare yourself for future growth.

Redevelop Your Marketing Plan

You have to continually position your products or services in front of your ideal prospect.

Are your current marketing activities delivering the results you desire? If not, I’d suggest redeveloping your marketing plan.
The plan should answer the following questions:

Who are my customers?
How do I help them?
How do I reach them?

A one-pager that addresses these questions will suffice.

Marketing your business is going to take a lot of effort. You want to make sure that your activities yield the best results.

If your plan is to grow your business, you have to play the long game. Consistent action over time is going to help you build your brand, stay ahead of your competitors and increase your revenue.

As the chief decision maker, you set the course and steer the ship to a desired destination. By working with a trusted advisor, you’ll reduce any uncertainty along the way and increase the probability of getting to your destination, faster.

(Levar Haffoney is a 2016 Network Journal 40 Under Forty honoree. He is a principal with Fayohne Advisors LLC. You can connect with him at www. fayohne. com, LinkedIn and Facebook.)