Planning for Profit: How to Create a Growth Plan for Your Business
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Planning for Profit: How to Create a Growth Plan for Your Business

As a small business owner, you know that planning is essential to achieving long-term success. But how do you create a growth plan that will help you scale your business?

small planter pots on a table with a bag of soil and gardening tools

As a small business owner, you know that planning is essential to achieving long-term success. But how do you create a growth plan that will help you scale your business?

This webinar explores the key components of effective business planning and forecasting, including market analysis, financial modeling, and goal setting. You’ll learn how to create a realistic growth plan that takes into account the unique challenges and opportunities facing your business. Panelists also discuss strategies for managing cash flow, optimizing pricing and costs, and monitoring performance to ensure you stay on track. Whether you’re just starting out or looking to take your business to the next level, this webinar provides valuable insights and practical tips to help you achieve your goals.

Meet the Panelists

Juan Arroyave

Juan is a dynamic entrepreneur who has made a name for himself in the business world through his ventures Kikos Coffee and Tea and Skytop Digital Services. He founded Kikos Coffee and Tea in 2019, which is the number one LGBTQ and Minority owned coffee and tea company in the United States. Alongside Kikos Coffee and Tea, Juan also created Skytop Digital Services, which offers comprehensive marketing services to small and medium-sized businesses. Juan’s innovative and visionary approach to entrepreneurship has earned him recognition from his local community and beyond. His passion for creating positive change in the community is reflected in his success as an entrepreneur.

Beth Ann Dahan

Beth Ann is one of Accion Opportunity Fund’s business advisors.  She has an MBA from Northeastern university and she has used her own experience as a successful food and beverage business owner to counsel hundreds of small business owners in everything from starting a business to growing and sustaining a business through difficult times.

First Steps to Scale

Be courageous! It can be overwhelming to start implementing a new idea for business growth. Don’t let fear stop you from achieving your goals. Take it step by step: make your plan, get feedback, and be bold.

Write your goals and ideas in your growth plan. Include realistic and measurable goals. Juan recommends incorporating SMART goals into your plan to keep you accountable. Busy entrepreneurs are often focused on taking action, but taking time to step back and formalize your growth plan, often in the form of a business plan, is hugely beneficial. Once you have a completed draft of your growth plan, ask objective third parties for feedback. Reviewers will bring different perspectives based on their unique experiences. They might also notice gaps in your plan that you are too close to see. A business plan or growth plan is a living roadmap for your vision and should be updated regularly.

Beth Ann recommends getting regular and consistent feedback directly from your customers on new ideas for scaling your business. Your ideas might be great, but if it’s not what your customer wants or would pay for, it won’t be successful. This could be through a formal process, like a survey or focus group, or an informal process, like casual conversations with customers in your store or on social media.

Create Your Growth Plan

  • Beth Ann recommends creating a growth plan in the form of a regularly updated business plan with a 3-5 year strategic growth or scale section.
  • Think outside the box. Get creative when brainstorming ways to grow your business or get the resources you need to implement your growth plan. For Beth Ann’s cafe, that looked like finding a stable source of income to purchase a catering truck and grow her business. She did that by partnering with a local private school to provide school lunches. While not the cafes main source of income, it did provide a predicable income for 9 months of the year.
  • Stay on top of your finances. Use a bookkeeping software or hire a bookkeeper to track your income and expenses and to generate financial reports. Be familiar with your cash flow report and strategically manage your cash flow to reach your goals.

Get Help

When you are growing and nurturing your small business from the start-up stage into a going concern, it can be challenging to let go of some tasks and get help. Many business owners don’t want to release control of any part of their business, but as you scale, you simply cannot do it all. Hiring or contracting with experts or implementing digital tools to take on administrative tasks is a great first step towards delegation.

Most time consuming administrative tasks can be easily delegated to others, but business owners should define and implement business strategy themselves. Whether you are problem solving or writing your growth plan, no one else can create your business’ strategy for you.

New business owners are often scared to spend the money needed to outsource administrative tasks. To get over this mental block, Beth Ann recommends researching low-cost options and reminds business owners to value their time. By strategically delegating tasks, business owners can free up time to do more impactful tasks. Start by letting go of just one time consuming administrative task, like payroll or bookkeeping.

Connect with Your Customers

  • Build real connections with your customers to create advocates for your business. Customer loyalty programs like discounts or exclusive products are a great way to build rapport.
  • Be part of the community. Whether you have a brick and mortar or an online shop, get to know your fellow business owners. Establish relationships and support other small businesses when possible. They will often support you in return by becoming a customer of your business and sometimes referring new customers too.
  • Provide the best products and the best customer service. Always be responsive to customer comments and feedback in person and online. Incentivize customers to write testimonials on digital platforms and respond to both positive and negative reviews.
  • Develop a relationship with local chambers of commerce and get listed on their directory. This is both a local networking and marketing opportunity. It also lends credibility to your business for customers or investors who are researching your business.

Common Ways to Grow

There are two main categories of growth: organic growth, that occurs from natural changes to the business as demand for your product or service increases, and strategic growth, where you intentionally seek out new business opportunities for your business. For strategic growth, you should create a detailed growth plan and systematically work towards your goals. Common ways to grow your business include:

  • Expand your line of products or services
  • Increase business hours as demand increases
  • Open another location or expand your current location
  • Provide a new type of product or service
  • Partner with another business on a new product or service collaboration

Want to learn more about getting a Scaling Your Business? Check out this short course to update how you think about scale and business growth.

To sign up for free one-on-one coaching with our expert business coaches, including Beth Ann Dahan, click here.

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