Growing Strong: Best Practices for Creating a Digital Growth Plan
Digital commerce is on the rise.
The industry saw a 15 percent increase in overall sales as of 2018, meaning that there’s plenty of opportunity for large and small businesses alike to grow.
That said, only 49 percent of businesses claim that they have a growth plan in place that would facilitate that level of expansion. As the digital field continues to expand, think about the different ways your business could expand in the coming years.
Are you setting your business up for creative—and financial—stagnation?
Step 1: Jumpstart your plan. (Good news, you’re here.)
Where’s the best place to start when you’re looking for growth opportunities? It’s not a difficult answer: you’ll need to build a current assessment of your business’ functionality.
What are your business’ current strengths? Where are you excelling? Comparatively, are there weak spots in your business that you need to fill before you think about expansion?
With an initial assessment, you can see for yourself where your business has won in the past, and you can then use those successes to promote your eventual growth. Visualize those successes expanded in two to five years. What do they look like? How has your business model changed?
The key here at the beginning is to dream. It’s essential, actually: tap into all your ambitions and imaginative ideas at the start. Yes, you’ll have some ideas that are grander than others—but don’t be afraid to bring them all to the table when you first start brainstorming.
Dream big, as they say.
Step 2: Set Primary Objectives
Once you’ve finished brainstorming, you need to develop two or three priority objectives from your pile of ideas.
While these objectives may not be as ambitious as some of your other ideas are, they’ll help you guide your business’ growth in the short term and keep you from overreaching on your goals.
Keep these primary objectives as grounded as you can, and remember that goals should be at least a little realistic; dream big, but don’t send your company’s future into pure daydream territory.
Step 3: Analyze Your Revenue Stream
Your current revenue streams are going to lay the financial and creative foundation for your business’ expansion. When creating a growth plan, you’ll need to take their present standing and future potential into account.
As you might suspect, you can better stabilize your business’ growth by capitalizing on your ongoing successes. Which streams generate the most revenue for your business? Should you expand upon those, or add complementary facets to make those outlets more profitable?
Step 4: Identify Your Value
Don’t forget to account for consumer value and opinion when debating the various growth paths before you. Considering product value requires you to assess your own business as much as it requires you to assess your competitors.
Why does your consumer audience buy your products rather than your competitors’? What value do you offer that your peers don’t?
When creating a growth plan, you want to ensure that you retain the individualistic values that make your current business successful.
Step 5: Don’t Be Afraid of Change
If you take away nothing else, understand this: your growth plan will change constantly.
Businesses, like people, are versatile. You may find that your initial primary objectives were under-or overly-ambitious, and that you need to adjust your plan accordingly.
Revision isn’t failure; instead, it’s a natural part of the process of growing a business.
So what are you waiting for? The digital market is yours for the taking—as long as you have a strong and flexible growth plan in place.
Image attribution: Monster Ztudio – stock.adobe.com