So you have a great product or service. You know there’s a need for it out there, you’ve defined your customers and your market (if not refer to Article 1 in the Pillars To Business Success Series). You may well have proven just how great your offer is, with consistent sales under the belt. But how much thought have you given to the growth plan for your business?
The true value in your business will ultimately come not just from what you sell, but also how well you grow.
To grow well, you need to think about your business model, sooner rather than later.
There are two key questions to ask yourself when thinking about your business model:
- What is the potential for this business in the future (what is your vision for where you are taking it)?
- How will it scale?
Let’s look at each in turn.
What is the potential for your business?
When I’m working with new clients, we spend a fair bit of time considering this question. We look at what you personally might want out of the business financially, the size of the market you are in, the competition you are up against, your future portfolio of customers – in terms of both size and value. We consider what you are offering now and who you are offering this to, and how this might need to change over time to enable the true potential of the business. We build a picture of what’s possible for the future, check in with your appetite for growth and your commitment to make this happen.
How will it scale?
When we have a clear picture of what’s possible, we look at the business growth plan that will enable this. How and what is your business currently set up to deliver? How will it need to be set up in the future to enable the size and scale of business you are hoping to build? What changes do you need to make to ensure this growth can happen? Will you be expanding into new markets? Do you need to make changes to the product or service itself? What team infrastructure is required to support the growth? What needs to happen to the way you make and deliver your product service? How can you reduce dependency on you and other key people, with systems, technology, team and training? We also look at the time frame over which these changes need to take place. If your vision for future success is five years out, you don’t need to make all the changes necessary right now. You can map them out over time and determine what you need to be working on right now to ensure you are preparing for growth in the future.
As you can see, there are a lot of questions to consider. Business is really a thinking game, and a planning game as well as a doing game. To be a good business person you need to think about strategy as well as delivery.
Here’s a definition of strategy taken from a well-known dictionary:
Strategy: A method or plan chosen to bring about a desired future, such as achievement of a goal or solution to a problem.
The question is always, are you willing to do the thinking necessary to plan for a successful future? Or are you always going to be too busy delivering your product or service today?
My job as a mentor is to ensure my clients have the structure, support and guidance to do the hard thinking now that will set them up for the future.
If you think you might be ready for this … email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about my programmes.
PS. For more thoughts on how to make your business more valuable, feel free to download this free booklet, based on my interviews with successful entrepreneurs