From the moment you make the decision to set up a business, you’re at the start of the “business life cycle” – this will set your journey from idea to startup, and if successful, through scaling, to the growth and maturity phases. Too many companies face the day-to-day pressures of just surviving and end up just “playing along with the market” in a passive auto-mode.
A business will not succeed or fail simply based on the information provided in a growth strategy document, however a well crafted strategy, built on data-driven insights and human-centered design can help any business become successful by building around the only thing that matters for revenue generation – the customer. In summary, great growth strategy guides you on how to create and capture value.
In more detail, a Growth strategy enables you to plan and track the growth in your brand positioning and business revenue. It also allows you to be more efficient in generating new revenue opportunities by focusing on the value that customers can perceive. It allows you to truly differentiate yourself from your competition in the eyes of your customers.
In this increasingly disrupted, complex and interconnected business world that we operate in, the companies that are succeeding are the ones with the courage to have a divergent and human-centered strategy. Growth creates opportunities for your people to develop their skills, attracts the best talent to your company (and away from rivals), and creates wealth for you and your investors.
It’s easy to set a growth goal but difficult to achieve it. These companies have a plan for growth. But how can you be confident the strategy that powers this growth plan will work?
Here are critical questions to test the growth Strategy for your business
- Winning Aspirations: Is there a proposed, reliable strategic direction that aligns with your company’s overall value proposition in the markets it exists to serve? Is there a sustainable plan that suffices through the period of growth and beyond?’ This is an essential question as the answer really defines what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Identify Barriers: As shortcomings in the growth plan become apparent, are you mindful that you need to learn from your execution and can apply these findings quickly, to help fine-tune our tactics?
- Where to play: Here you need to be sure you have defined the Scope of your business. What you will do and more importantly, what you will not do. To be ahead in the market you need to know about your competitors. Figure out how you can do things differently and better than they are doing. Do you have a plan? Are you satisfied that both internal and external stakeholders clearly understand your growth plan ? Is this plan designed to get you ahead by creating real value for your customers ?
- How to Win: Have you identified a competitive advantage that is truly unique and valuable to the potential customers? Have you defined what could erode this advantage? Your competitive advantage should be able to distinguish your company from your competitors.
- Capabilities: Are you satisfied that all implications of the proposed direction have been considered thoroughly, implementation is possible, and all supporting business goals, objectives and strategies are realistic, practically achievable, affordable and comprehensive?
- Management system: Are you confident that management accountability is clearly defined, the growth plan execution is adequately resourced and key tactics are assigned to the correct people to implement? Are you set up to objectively measure your performance and output?