Writing a Business Growth Plan

Max Freedman

You can facilitate and speed up expansion by having a clear road map.

When you run a business, it’s easy to get caught in the moment, always focusing on the day in front of you. But to be truly successful, you need to be looking ahead. You need to plan for your growth. To help with that process, many business owners write business growth plans, which provide a timeline for the next one to two years on how revenue can increase. In order to write an effective business growth plan, you need to understand what one is, the different types of strategies to consider, and how to project ways for your revenue to grow.

What is a business growth plan?

graphic of a person sitting next to a large graph

A business growth plan is an outline for where a company sees itself in the next one to two years. The growth plan should be formatted to follow along with each quarter. At the end of each quarter, the company can review what goals it met and what goals it missed during that period. At this point, management can revise the business growth plan to reflect current market standing.

Why are business growth plans important?

These are some of the many reasons why business growth plans are important:

What factors impact business growth?

Countless factors can affect your business growth. These are some of the key elements:

What are the four major growth strategies?

graphic of person standing next to a large chart

There are countless growth strategies for businesses, but only four major types. With these growth strategies, you can determine how to build on your brand.

Share your growth plan with key employees as a motivator. When employees see an opportunity for increased responsibility and corresponding compensation, they’re more likely to stay.

What to include in a business growth plan

A business growth plan focuses specifically on expansion and how you’re going to achieve it. Creating a useful plan takes time, but the effort can pay off substantially by keeping your growth efforts on track. You should include these elements in your growth plan:

Your growth plan should also include an assessment of your operating systems and computer networks to determine if they can accommodate growth.

How to write a business growth plan

To successfully write a business growth plan, you have to do some forward thinking and research. Here are some key steps to follow when writing your business growth plan.

1. Think ahead.

The future is always unpredictable, but if you study your target market, your competition and the past growth of your company, you can plan for future expansion. The Small Business Administration (SBA) features a comprehensive guide to writing a business plan for growth.

2. Study other growth plans.

Before you start writing, review models from some successful companies.

3. Discover opportunities for growth.

With some homework, you can determine if your expansion opportunities lie in creating new products, adding more services, targeting a new market, opening new locations or going global, to name a few examples. Once you’ve identified your best options for growth, include them in your plan.

4. Evaluate your team.

Your plan should include an assessment of your employees and a look at staffing requirements to meet your growth objectives. By assessing your own skills and those of your employees, you can determine how much growth can be accomplished with your present team. You’ll also know when to start hiring additional people and what skill sets to look for in those new hires.

Review and revise your growth plan often – at least once a year.

5. Find the capital.

Include detailed information on how you will fund expansion. Business.gov offers a guide on how to prepare your request for funding, as well as how to connect with SBA lenders.

6. Get the word out.

graphic of a person with a megaphone climbing out of a smartphone

Growing your business requires a targeted marketing effort. Be sure to outline how you will effectively market your business to encourage growth and how your marketing efforts will evolve as you grow.

7. Ask for help.

Advice from other business owners who have had successful growth can be the ultimate tool in writing your growth plan.

8. Start writing.

Business plan software has streamlined the growth plan process. Most software programs are geared toward business plans, but you can modify them to create a plan that focuses on growth.

Our mission is to help you take your team, your business and your career to the next level. Whether you're here for product recommendations, research or career advice, we're happy you're here!

how to create a business growth plan

5 Steps to Creating a Growth Strategy that Actually Works

Guest Author

Growing a business is hard. Whether you’re a small business owner, a marketing team member, or an agency, riding that rollercoaster of highs and lows is no small challenge. What’s even harder is setting ambitious yet realistic expectations of what is achievable.

This is why a growth strategy is of the utmost importance to businesses. In this guide, I’m going to cover what a growth strategy is, how it differs from a marketing strategy, and why it works—with plenty of examples. I’ll also walk you through the five-step process for creating a growth strategy for your own business. The five steps are:

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to identify what goals to set and what’s needed from your team to hit those goals. Ready to drive consistent, predictable, maybe even explosive growth for your business? Read on.

What exactly is a growth strategy?

There’s a lot of confusion in the marketing world about what a growth marketing strategy and how it’s different from a marketing strategy.

First things first, a growth strategy is not a marketing plan.   Nor does it mean buying PPC ads , driving traffic via SEO , or running CRO tests on your website. These are marketing tactics that fall under your marketing plan.

Your growth strategy is the big-picture roadmap you’ve created to get your business from where it is now to where it wants to be in the future. This means that it:

In sum, a growth strategy is a high-level strategy that outlines everything a business needs to do to grow. It’s a holistic and scientific approach to driving growth.

A growth strategy is not a marketing plan. It’s a high-level strategy that outlines everything a business needs to do to grow through a holistic and scientific approach.

Here’s an example of a growth strategy for a hypothetical company “Startup Masters,” which we’ll be using for our example throughout the five-step process:

how to create a growth strategy growth plan

Do growth strategies work?

It can be hard to grasp the concept of creating an actual, actionable plan for something as broad as “ growth ” and then seeing tangible results—but it’s not only possible; it works! Growth strategies are the secret sauce behind the consistent growth of some of the world’s biggest companies like DropBox, Dollar Shave Club, WhatsApp, and more.

Growth strategies are the secret sauce behind the consistent growth of some of the world’s biggest companies like DropBox, Dollar Shave Club, WhatsApp, and more. 

In fact, a well-defined growth strategy for my own company, Venngage, has lead to:

how to create a growth strategy vengage growth

Now that you know what a growth strategy is (and isn’t) and have seen tangible evidence in its ability to drive business growth —it’s time for the fun part: creating your own growth strategy.

The 5-step process to creating your own growth strategy

The process of coming up with a growth strategy for your entire business can feel overwhelming. There is so much that goes into a business and defines its success, where do you even start? Worry not. I’ve broken your growth strategy creation process into five clear-cut steps.

Step #1: Set your high-level goals

Business growth is akin to planning a trip. It’s much easier when you know the final destination.

If you could predict how much revenue your new business would make in the long term before you even got started, wouldn’t that help you figure out the best growth strategy to get there?

The bottom line is, it’s more helpful to start at the end and then work backwards (versus the opposite).

It’s more helpful to start at the end and then work backwards.

So let’s head on over to the end of your growth strategy. This is where you set high-level ambitious yet realistic goals (it’s a delicate balance). Business guru Jim Collins calls them BHAGs , or “big, hairy, audacious goals.”

how to create a growth strategy BHAGs goals

Ex-Hubspot VP of Growth, Brian Balfour, refers to it as the Top-Down Approach:

how to create a growth strategy top down approach

At Venngage, we call them “high-level” or “long-term goals”. So for step one, start mapping out a long-term goal such as your 10-year goal. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:

Let’s revisit the growth strategy example I shared earlier. Here’s what a hypothetical ten-year goal, and steps required to hit said goal, would look like for StartUp Masters:

how to create a growth strategy high level goals

By working backward, it becomes easier to set realistic goals and objectives of where the company will need to be in five years, three years and one year to hit that ten-year goal. You can even start smaller such as with a hypothetical five-year goal, which will help you to map out four, three, two, and one-year targets.

By working backward, it becomes easier to set realistic one-year, three-year, and five-year targets for your business to help you stay on track.

Now that you’ve defined your high-level goals, it’s time for the action part of your growth strategy—the steps you’ll need to take to hit those goals.

Step #2: Identify your inputs and outputs

Once you’ve established your high-level goals, the next step is to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs). For every goal you set, it’s crucial to identify key metrics and results that will help you gauge whether you’re on our way to hitting your goals. Here’s how to do it:

Determine your North Star

One of the first metrics you should identify is your North Star Metric . It’s also known as the, “ One Metric That Matters (OMTM).” This metric is the number that best represents the value customers receive from your product. Here’s a handy explainer video by Alex from Web Profits:

Video link  

how to create a growth strategy north star metric

For example, Airbnb’s North Star metric is the number of nights booked. Why? Because it’s a clear indication of their product’s value. The more nights booked, the higher the chances are that customers are having a positive experience with Airbnb and the more likely they are to return to book their next stay. Keep in mind, your chosen North Star metric should have a direct correlation to your company’s revenue and retention goals.

Your chosen North Star metric should have a direct correlation to your company’s revenue and retention goals.

Here are a some more examples of North Star metrics:

Once you’ve chosen your metric, the next step is to figure how you’re currently performing for that metric. Let’s assume you started a new streaming service like Netflix. You’ve selected “total watch time” as your North Star metric. You’ve selected this metric because per your analysis, a higher watch time correlates to higher retention (resulting in more revenue).

Let’s assume users spend around 30 mins per day watching shows on your service. This is how you’re currently performing for your North Star metric. It’s your baseline. One of the high-level goals you’ve set is to increase retention by 30% in the next 12 months. To hit this goal, doesn’t it make sense to focus on improving total watch time per user?

Bottom line: figure out how you’re currently performing for your North Star metric and how much that number will need to change to impact your high-level goals.

Set up your OKRs

OKRs stand for Objective Key Results. They refer to specific metrics you’ll track that will influence your high-level goals. In software startups , many founders follow the AARRR framework for setting OKRs. This stands for Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Revenue, and Referral.

how to create a growth strategy OKRs

It can be overwhelming to influence each of these metrics. So, using the example company we began with above (“StartUp Masters”), we’re going to focus on acquisition and retention for now.

Here are the acquisition OKRs dentified during our Startup Masters growth planning example:

how to create a growth strategy acquisition OKRs

StartupMasters aims to influence acquisition primarily via their organic and paid traffic goals. The goal? Scale organic traffic by 130,000 and paid traffic by 70,000 visitors a month.

If you look at the inputs, there are many pages that drive traffic . They’ve also outlined the required traffic to various sections of their site in order to impact their OKRs:

how to create a growth strategy inputs for OKRs

By continuing to break down your goals into smaller and specific inputs, you’re making it that much easier for you to hit the ambitious goals you’ve set for yourself. And as you hit those goals, you can see your growth plan actually working.

And when setting OKRs, identify metrics you can manipulate on a smaller scale that will have greater leverage. As you continue to figure out which inputs impact your OKRs, start thinking of experiments you can run to influence your inputs.

By continuing to break down your goals into smaller and specific inputs, you’re making it that much easier for you to hit the ambitious goals you’ve set for yourself—and see your growth strategy working.

Step #3: Run growth experiments

Coming up with valuable experiments to run isn’t as easy as it seems. A common trap companies fall into when implementing new product features or marketing ideas is waterfalling . Waterfalling occurs when a team continues to add requirements to a project, to the point where the time required to implement it keeps increasing, similar to scope creep .

As a result, what was supposed to be implemented in a few weeks now ends up taking months. To avoid this, I’d recommend you operate on a one- or two-week sprint cadence. You can do this by breaking down big projects into minimum viable tests or MVTs. With MVTs, you can get valuable insights faster and validate whether a large-scale project is worth pursuing.

With minimum viable tests (MVTs), you can get valuable insights faster and validate whether a large-scale project is worth pursuing.

Start by deciding the OKR you’re trying to impact. In our Startup Masters growth strategy example, we’re trying to increase retention by 10%:

how to create a growth strategy OKRs goals inputs

The input? Push more users to complete one more project within three weeks. To impact this metric, one experiment they could run is to create a pop-up modal within the project dashboard pushing users to begin a new project upon hitting the 80% completion mark.

They’ve also hypothesized the results of this experiment and the effort required by each team to make it happen. Before pursuing any large or small test or experiment, run them through this flowchart to identify if you can further break them down into smaller MVTs:

how to create a growth strategy that works MTV breakdown

Your goal when planning out MVTs is to run experiments which require low effort, but have a high output. These are “slam-dunks” because you get big wins in less time.

Your goal when planning out MVTs is to run experiments that require low effort but have a high output.

Realistically, not every experiment will be a “slam-dunk” but if you can avoid the “turtles” (experiments that are high effort and low output), you’re halfway there:

how to create a growth strategy that works impact vs effort

Chart created by Venngage

Here’s an example of a well-documented growth experiment , courtesy of Clearbit.

Step 4: Validate your growth experiments

Sometimes, breaking down an experiment into an MVT is still not enough to validate whether the test is worth including in your growth strategy.

You now need to determine if this experiment will have a positive impact on your customers. Afterall, your job as a marketer also entails providing a great customer experience .

Here’s a visual experiment validation checklist you can use to rigorously validate your experiments:

how to create a growth strategy that works sprint indicator

You can do the same thing by writing out your experiments (and areas of consideration) on a Google Doc or Trello card.

Our StartupMasters growth strategy follows the “Jobs to Be Done”  framework, which focuses on the goals a potential customer has, rather than solely focusing on who they are as a person.

In this checklist, you can see the various “Jobs to Be Done” listed out. StartupMasters also considers personas an important factor in how they plan their experiments.

As I pointed out earlier, other important considerations include probability of success, effort required per team, and OKR impacted by this experiment.

Once your team starts following this process, two things happen:

Google Docs and Airtable are the tools of choice for HubSpot’s growth experimentation process. At Venngage, we use Trello for planning our weekly sprints, and Google Docs for validating our growth experiments—which are simple enough for any company of any size (including yours) to use.

Once you get the hang of the process, experiment with other tools to see what works best.

Step #5: Fost extreme accountability

Last but not least—and perhaps even the most important step in driving growth—is fostering extreme accountability within your teams. Every team member should be aware of the work they’re doing and how that work ties back to a company’s high-level goals. This part could be a separate post in itself. If you want to dive deeper, Brian Balfour’s guide on building growth teams is your bible.

Every team member should be aware of the work they’re doing and how that work ties back to a company’s high-level goals.

Here’s a visual summary of everything Brian touches on:

how to create a growth plan maximum impact

We follow a similar process to foster ownership and accountability across our entire team (and not just marketing). In our monthly team meetings, every member (in charge of a project) shows the company what they launched, what the results were, and next steps moving forward.

how to create a growth strategy that works release and results

The same goes for our marketing meetings . On a weekly basis, every member shares the experiments they launched so they can feel accountable about the work they’re doing. This process will help you accomplish two things:

Not only that, but you’ll also be able to identify who is an A-player and who is an underperformer. This is often a wake-up call for the latter.

Get ready for consistent, predictable growth

To conclude, there’s no magic hack or silver bullet that’s going to unlock explosive growth for your business overnight.

It’s about driving consistent growth, which comes down to a strong understanding of data, relentless focus on influencing the right metrics, and experimenting with different marketing tactics to hit your goals.

Or as my favourite entrepreneur Biz Stone once said, “Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will make you look like an overnight success.”

About the author

Aditya Sheth is a growth marketer at Venngage —an online all-in-one design platform. When he’s not busy writing actionable content or running experiments, you can find him reading nonfiction, learning a new skill or listening to rap. You can follow her on  Twitter  or  LinkedIn .

Meet The Author

Guest author.

WordStream’s guest authors are experts, entrepreneurs, and passionate writers in the online marketing community who bring diverse perspectives to our blog on a wide range of topics.

See other posts by Guest Author

the 120 best words and phrases for marketing with emotion guide ad

More Articles Like This

76 Perspective-Broadening Stats About Diversity & Inclusion in Marketing for 2023

76 Perspective-Broadening Stats About Diversity & Inclusion in Marketing for 2023

Get equipped and inspired to make meaningful change in society through your marketing efforts.

60+ Easy & Creative March Marketing Ideas (With Examples!)

60+ Easy & Creative March Marketing Ideas (With Examples!)

In like a lion, out like a lamb, and chock full of opportunities to connect with your audience.

50+ Creative February Marketing Ideas (Beyond Valentine's Day!)

50+ Creative February Marketing Ideas (Beyond Valentine's Day!)

There's a National Public Sleeping Day in February. Who knew?

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

wordstream google ads performance grader

Sign up for our weekly newsletter!

Related articles.

These 14 Digital Marketing Trends Will Have the Biggest Influence in 2023

These 14 Digital Marketing Trends Will Have the Biggest Influence in 2023

Oh no! We couldn't find anything like that.

Try another search, and we'll give it our best shot.

Shaping a Business Growth Strategy: 7 Key Steps That Work

Sujan Patel

Published: July 04, 2022

A concrete growth strategy is more than a marketing strategy, it's a crucial cog in your business machine. Without one, you're at the mercy of a fickle consumer base and market fluctuations.

sales reps reviewing their business growth strategy

So, how do you plan to grow?

Download Now: Free Growth Strategy Template

If you're unsure about the steps needed to craft an effective growth strategy, we've got you covered. 

Business Growth

Business growth is a point a business reaches where it expands and requires more avenues to generate a profit. This can happen when a company increases revenue, produces more products or services, or expands its customer base.

For the majority of businesses, growth is the main objective. With that in mind, business decisions are often made based on what would contribute to the company’s continued growth and overall success. There are several methods that can facilitate growth which we'll explain more about below. 

Types of Business Growth

As a business owner, you have several avenues for growth. Business growth can be broken down into the following categories: 

With organic growth, a company expands through its own operations utilzing its own internal resources. This is in contrast to having to seek out external resources to facilitate growth.

An example of organic growth is making production more efficient so you can produce more within a shorter time frame, which leads to increased sales. A perk of utilizing organic growth is that it relies on self-sufficiency and avoids taking on debt. Additionally, the increased revenue created from organic growth can help fund more strategic growth methods later on. We’ll explain that below.

2. Strategic

Strategic growth involves developing initiatives that will help your business grow long term. An example of strategic growth could be coming up with a new product or developing a market strategy to target a new audience.

Unlike organic growth, these initiatives often require a significant amount of resources and funding. Businesses often take an organic approach first in hopes that their efforts will generate enough capital to invest in future strategic growth initiatives.

3. Internal

Internal growth strategy seeks to optimize internal business processes to increase revenue. Similar to organic growth, this strategy relies on companies using their own internal resources. Internal growth strategy is all about using existing resources in the most purposeful way possible.

An example of internal growth could be cutting wasteful spending and running a leaner operation by automating some of its functions instead of hiring more employees. Internal growth can be more challenging because it forces companies to look at how their processes can be improved and made more efficient rather than focusing on external factors like entering new markets to facilitate growth.

4. Mergers, Partnerships, Acquisitions

Although riskier than the other growth types, mergers, partnerships, and acquisitions can come with high rewards. There’s strength in numbers and a well-executed merger, partnership, or acquisition can help your business break into a new market, expand your customer base, or increase your products and services on offer.

Business Growth Strategy

A growth strategy allows companies to expand their business. Growth can be achieved by practices like adding new locations, investing in customer acquisition, or expanding a product line. A company's industry and target market influence which growth strategies it will choose.

Strategize, consider the available options, and build some into your business plan. Depending on the kind of company you're building, your growth strategy might include aspects like:

Your particular industry and target market will influence your decisions, but it's almost universally true that new customer acquisition will play a sizable role.

Not sure what that looks like for your business? Here are some actionable tactics for achieving growth.

How to Grow a Company Successfully

1. Use a growth strategy template [Free Tool] .

HubSpot Growth Strategy Template

5. Plan your course of action.

Next, outline how you’ll achieve your growth goals with a detailed growth strategy. Again – we suggest writing out a detailed growth strategy plan to gain the understanding and buy-in of your team.

Growth Action Plan Downloadable Template

1. Viral Loops

Some growth strategies are tailored to be completely self-sustainable. They require an initial push, but ultimately, they rely primarily (if not solely) on users' enthusiasm to keep them going. One strategy that fits that bill is the viral loop.

The basic premise of a viral loop is straightforward:

  • Someone tries your product.
  • They're offered a valuable incentive to share it with others.
  • They accept and share with their network.
  • New users sign up, see the incentive for themselves, and share with their networks.

For instance, a cloud storage company trying to get off the ground might offer users an additional 500 MB for each referral.

Ideally, your incentive will be compelling enough for users to actively and enthusiastically encourage their friends and family to get on board. At its best, a viral loop is a self-perpetuating acquisition machine that operates 24/7/365.

That said, viral loops are not guaranteed to go viral, and they’ve become less effective as they’ve become more commonplace. But the potential is still there.

Part of the appeal is that the viral loop flips the traditional funnel upside-down:

Growth strategy viral loop

For example, a business might include different or increasingly enticing incentives that come with one, five, and 10 referrals as opposed to a fixed incentive for each referral. A company will often leverage this strategy to encourage users to bring on a volume of friends and family that suits its specific business goals.

The strategy also adds an engaging element to the referral process. When done right, milestone referrals are simple to share with relatively straightforward objectives and enticing, tangible products as rewards.

3. Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth is organic and effective. Recommendations from friends and family are some of the most powerful incentives for consumers to purchase or try a product or service.

The secret of word-of-mouth’s effectiveness lies in a deeply rooted psychological bias all people have — we subconsciously believe the majority knows better.

Social proof is central to most successful sales copywriting and broader content marketing efforts. That's why businesses draw so much attention to their online reputations.

They know in today's customer-driven world — one where communication methods change and information is available to all — a single negative blog post or tweet can compromise an entire marketing effort.

Pete Blackshaw , the father of digital word-of-mouth growth, says, "satisfied customers tell three friends; angry customers tell 3,000."

The key with word-of-mouth is to focus on a positive user experience. You need to grow a base of satisfied customers and sustain the wave of loyal feedback that comes with it.

With this method, you have to focus on delivering a spectacular user experience, and users will spread the word for you.

4. The "When They Zig, We Zag" Approach

Sometimes the best growth strategy a company can employ is standing out — offering a unique experience that sets it apart from other businesses in its space. When monotony defines an industry, the company that breaks it often finds an edge.

Say your company developed an app for transitioning playlists between music streaming apps. Assume you have a few competitors who all generate revenue through ads and paid subscriptions — both of which frustrate users.

In that case, you might be best off trying to shed some of the baggage that customers run into trouble with when using your competitors' programs. If your service is paid, you could consider offering a free trial of an ad-free experience — right off the bat.

The point here is that there's often a lot of value and opportunity in differentiating yourself. If you can "zig when they zag", you can capture consumers' attention and capitalize on their shifting interests.

5. In-Person Outreach

It might be a while before this particular approach can be employed again, but it's effective enough to warrant a mention. Sometimes, adding a human element to your growth strategy can help set things in motion for your business.

Prospects are often receptive to a personal approach — and there's nothing more personal than immediate, face-to-face interactions. Putting boots on the ground and personally interfacing with potential customers can be a great way to get your business the traction it needs to get going.

This could mean hosting or sponsoring events, attending conferences relevant to your space, hiring brand ambassadors, or any other way to directly and strategically reach out to your target demographic in person.

6. Market Penetration

Competition is a necessary part of business. Imagine that two companies in the same industry are targeting the same consumers. Typically, whatever customers Business A has, Business B does not. Market penetration is a strategy that builds off of this tug-of-war.

Market penetration increases the market share — the percentage of total sales in an industry generated by a company — of a product within a given industry. Coca-Cola, the most popular carbonated beverage in the United States, has a 42.8% market share. If competitors like Pepsi and Sprite were looking to increase market penetration, they would need to increase market share. This increase would imply that they are acquiring customers that were previously buying Coca-Cola or other carbonated beverage brands.

While lowering prices and advertising are two costly yet effective tactics to increase market share, they are part of a series of methods businesses can use for overall sales and customer retention.

7. Development

If a company feels as if they have plateaued and its current market no longer has room for growth, it might switch strategies from market penetration to market development. While market penetration focuses on a company and its current market, market development strategies lead businesses to tap into a new one.

Companies can decide to manufacture new products or find an innovative use for their project. Take Uber. Although few would say that the rideshare company has plateaued, six years after its launch in 2009, Uber launched UberEats, its online food ordering, and delivery platform. The company already had drivers set to take passengers to their destinations. Uber expanded their idea and has become one of the biggest names in the food delivery industry.

8. Product Development

For growth, many businesses need to introduce something new. Product development — the creation of a new product or the enhancement of an existing one — allows companies to attract new customers and retain existing ones.

Online fast-fashion retailers are an example of this. A company like ASOS built its brand off of clothing. To appeal to a bigger customer base, it has since added face and body products, a collection made up of ASOS products and other popular brands. If an interested customer prefers to shop for their clothes, makeup, and skincare products at once, the brand now serves as a big draw.

9. Growth Alliances

Growth alliances are strategic collaborations between companies. They further the growth goals of the involved parties. Take JCPenney and Sephora. For Sephora, it can’t hurt for the makeup retailer to have more stores across the country. JCPenney, however, needed to keep up with powerhouses like Macy’s and its fully-fledged makeup section.

In 2006, Sephora began opening stores inside JCPenney. As of 2022, Sephora Inside JCPenney is now in over 574 stores. Simultaneously, JCPenney now carries a selection of makeup to rival competitors.

10. Acquisitions

Companies can use an acquisition strategy to promote growth. By acquiring other businesses, companies expand their operations through creating new products or expanding into a new industry. One of the more obvious ideas for growth, this strategy offers significant benefits to companies. They allow for faster growth, access to more customers, lower business risk, and more.

Founded in 1837, Procter & Gamble is a consumer goods company known for its acquisitions. It initially started in soaps and candles but currently has 65 acquired companies that have allowed it to expand into different markets. The list includes Pampers, Tide, Bounty, Tampax, Old Spice, and more. Although its sales dipped between 2016-2019, Procter & Gamble’s net sales for 2021 were $76 billion, its best year within the last decade.

11. Organic Growth

As mentioned previously, organic growth is the most ideal business growth strategy. It could look like focusing on SEO, developing engaging content, or prioritizing advertisements. Instead of focusing on external growth, organic growth is a sustainable strategy that promotes long-term success.

12. Leverage Social Media

Having a strong social media presence can be invaluable to marketing and business growth. Be sure to establish brand pages on all social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, TikTok, Twitter, etc. Social media can help you increase engagement with your target audience and make it easier for potential customers to find your brand. It’s also great for word-of-mouth promotion as existing customers will likely share your content with their network.

13. Provide Excellent Customer Service

It can be tempting to focus on acquiring new customers, but maintaining loyalty with your existing customers is just as important. Providing an excellent customer service experience ensures that you’ll continue to keep the customers you have, and there’s a good chance you’ll reap some referrals too.

The Key to Growing Your Business

Controlled, sustainable growth is the key to successful businesses. Industries are constantly changing, and it is the responsibility of companies to adapt to these changes.

Successful companies plan for growth. They work for it. They earn it. So what's your plan?

Editor's note: This post was originally published in March 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

New call-to-action

Don't forget to share this post!

Related articles.

Key Account Management: The Ultimate Guide

Key Account Management: The Ultimate Guide

The Power of AI in Sales & 5 Ways You Can Use It

The Power of AI in Sales & 5 Ways You Can Use It

22 Best Sales Strategies, Plans, & Initiatives for Success [Templates]

22 Best Sales Strategies, Plans, & Initiatives for Success [Templates]

How to Create a Sales Plan: Template + Examples

How to Create a Sales Plan: Template + Examples

The 5 Reasons Sales Teams Excelled in 2022 — While Others Didn't

The 5 Reasons Sales Teams Excelled in 2022 — While Others Didn't

How to Avoid a Summer Slump in Sales [Data + Tips]

How to Avoid a Summer Slump in Sales [Data + Tips]

What is Outcome-Based Selling? How It Works & 5 Steps to Do It Right

What is Outcome-Based Selling? How It Works & 5 Steps to Do It Right

9 Sales Trends to Watch in 2023, According to Experts

9 Sales Trends to Watch in 2023, According to Experts

What Sales Leaders are Focused On In 2022 & Beyond [Executive Data + Insights]

What Sales Leaders are Focused On In 2022 & Beyond [Executive Data + Insights]

The Top Social Selling Trends in 2022 [New Data]

The Top Social Selling Trends in 2022 [New Data]

Plan your business's growth strategy with this free template.

how to create a business growth plan

Janelle Gorman

How to create a business growth plan (+template).

Every startup should have a strategic business growth plan to create clear alignment and accountability. A plan with achievable and measurable goals can make the difference between success and stagnation.

This holds true for most people, from entrepreneurs to athletes. Identifying where you want to end up — and the steps you need to take to get there — will ensure you’re acting purposefully and efficiently.

What Is a Business Growth Plan?

A business growth plan is a strategic document that enables organizations to develop the strategies and implement the tactics needed to accomplish their goals. It also includes data-driven checkpoints to help executives and other stakeholders evaluate their progress and measure success.

Every department, from sales and marketing to product development, must help build this plan on a detailed level. This collaboration helps achieve alignment and empowers you to work faster and smarter. You’ll also get your board of directors aligned to what success looks like for your startup company in the coming months and years.

We want to make sure all startup leaders can reap the benefits, so we’ve put together a business growth plan template.

Get Your Free Template

Why You Need a Business Growth Plan

A strategic business growth plan drives strategy formulation (where you want your business to get to) and implementation (how you get there).

Startup founders should make sure everyone in their business, from advisors to freelancers to leadership teams, knows what they’re trying to achieve as a collective group. This instills confidence, allowing colleagues to move quickly because they know they’re heading in the right direction. It also empowers individuals to work independently, reducing the need for constant meetings to get realigned. Lastly, and maybe most importantly, it promotes measuring success with real metrics instead of gut feelings.

How Do I Write a Business Growth Plan?

To write a business growth plan, break down your goals like this:


Our business growth plan template will help you organize your thoughts, but I’ll explain a little further here.

I like to think of a business plan as a nesting doll. Within each goal, you have smaller objectives that help you achieve your vision. Over time, small steps add up to set you in the right direction. This approach breaks down a business plan using the popular Hoshin Kanri Strategic Planning Model :

Most startups already have a vision statement: the long-term, overarching, big-picture mission of their company.

Example: At York IE, our vision is to change the way startups are built, scaled, and monetized.

Strategic Business Objectives

Break down the vision into two or three broad goals to achieve in the next one to three years. These goals are relevant to each arm of your business but mean something different within each team.

Example: something simple yet powerful, like “increase our customer base by X%” or “achieve $X in ARR, representing Y% growth year over year.”

Annual Objectives

For each strategic business objective, you’ll need two or three annual objectives to help you make progress. These goals should be more focused and measurable over the course of a year.

Example: If your strategic objective is to achieve $X in annual recurring revenue, an annual objective for the go-to-market team might be, “Increase team quota carry through hiring and deploying new sales enablement tools.”

Action Items

For each annual objective, generate three to five tangible, impactful and actionable tasks. These are items you can check off on a list as you go along.

Examples: Launching a hiring campaign to add 10 new team members, completing a budget that demonstrates 0% to 5% profitability or rolling out a significant new product feature.

You’ve surely heard that numbers don’t lie. Of course, I am a numbers person, but it’s true! Quantitative benchmarks help us objectively determine if we’re on track.

Examples: Generate X number of leads over the next 12 months, increase website traffic by X%, maintain gross margin between X% and Y%, achieve revenue per employee of $X.

Get Started with a Business Growth Plan Template

business growth plan template

There’s plenty more to know, but you don’t need to be an expert to get started.

Download the business growth plan template from our Fuel platform , grab your leadership team and start identifying the steps you’ll take to achieve your startup’s vision this year.

We've got more great posts

how to create a business growth plan

York IE Hires New RevOps Strategist: Colin Graham

York ie hires client services executive to help fast-growing companies scale.

how to create a business growth plan

How to Write a Sales Plan (+Template)

Growth. delivered., knowledge is power, get insights into the world of startups and angel investing straight to your inbox..

At the end of your visit today, would you complete a short survey to help improve our services?

Thanks! When you're ready, just click "Start Survey".

It looks like you’re about to finish your visit. Are you ready to start the short survey now?

Grow and change your business

Plan for business growth

Business growth can take place in many stages. These stages are a cycle, repeating each time you implement a change to your business. Which stage is your business in today?

Whether your business has just started or is ready to diversify, it is important to plan growth so that it is controlled and properly managed. The following can help you plan for growth:

Set goals for growth

Establish what you want your business to achieve. Create a plan of short and long-term goals to grow your business.

Involve management and staff

Meet frequently with management and staff to review results and to monitor current performance. Encourage and motivate your staff to be involved in the growth of your business.

To find out more about how the growth of your business might impact your staff, learn about managing people through change .

Control costs

A bigger cash flow does not always mean that you are making a profit. Controlling costs is critical for successful growth.

Regularly review targets

Schedule a monthly review of how your business is performing. Compare actual results with your goals, plans and budgets. If your plan for growth is not working, or you are experiencing financial or operational problems, ask for help immediately.

Develop good systems

Build good reporting systems into your business. You want information to be accessed quickly and easily so you can compare business projections with business performance. A good reporting system can keep you informed and enable you to make prompt decisions when necessary.

Also consider...

I want to...

Top resources

General enquiries: 13 QGOV  ( 13 74 68 )

Bit Blog

Growth Plan: What is it & How to Create One? (Steps Included)

' src=

“I want to increase sales this quarter. I want to expand my business this year. I want to hire new employees this month. I want to improve the quality of my product by the end of this year. I want to hit a new market target.”

If you run a business, you’ve probably said these things or something similar a thousand times. After all, every business has a list of goals they want to achieve by a particular time.

In a perfect world, we’d set goals, and we’d reach them without much effort. Unfortunately, in the real world, there are a lot of things we need to do after setting goals, like creating a growth plan.

A growth plan isn’t just about the goals and future of your business, but also the strategies you would implement to make sure that your vision comes to life.

Considering the fact that 50% of businesses fail during their first five years and 66% fail during their first ten, creating a solid growth plan is quintessential.

So, in this blog post, we’re going to tell you all about growth plans and how you can create one that works like a charm. So buckle up because you’re in for a ride.

Growth Plan: What Exactly is it? (Definition)

A growth plan is a strategic plan about how every aspect of your business will walk towards attaining the business goals. With a growth plan in hand, you’ll know exactly what to do, how, and when to do it.

Even though a growth plan sounds like the marketing tactics you’d implement to grow your business, it’s a lot more than that. It encompasses an overview of everything you’d be doing to grow your business.

Let’s understand the concept of a growth plan better with an example.

Two employees setting goals for the company

Suppose you’re running a gaming laptop business. Your goal is to increase your sales by 60% over the next five years. To achieve this goal, you might need to carry out a plethora of tasks like:

Now, you’d be writing all these things in your growth plan, along with other details like timeline, budget, name of the people responsible for carrying out a particular task, and more.

Want to know some other reasons why you need to create a growth plan? Let’s find out!

Bit.ai Home Page CTA

Read more:  Growth Marketing: What is it & How to Carry it out for your Business?

3 Reasons Why You Should Create a Growth Plan

1. keeps you focused.

When you’re running a business, you usually try to flap your wings around in different places.

But, when some places don’t give you the results you expected, you get frustrated and realize that you wasted so much of your time and effort that you could’ve invested in other areas.

Well, a growth plan can help you avoid that frustration. With a growth plan, you’d know exactly what areas you should be focusing on and what areas you don’t need to pay attention to.

The result? You won’t be wasting any time and effort on places you won’t get any return from.

Read more:  Business Development Plan: What Is It And How To Create A Perfect One?

2. Helps You When Things Go Sideways

We don’t want to scare you, but the landscape of the market is changing at a rapid pace.

That means things in your business can go haywire at any time. But, you really don’t need to worry about that if you have got a strong growth plan in place.

Like we said above, in a growth plan, you write all the strategies that’d lead you to growth. When things go wrong, you can just pick one of the strategies, modify them according to the current scenario, and you’re good to go!

3. Gives You a Direction

Your business isn’t a road trip. You can’t go rogue and see where the road takes you. You need a roadmap, a direction…and that’s exactly what a growth plan gives you.

A growth plan shows you the way towards achieving your goals. It tells you the route you need to take to reach your goals . Without it, you might end up taking the wrong turn and reach a dead end.

To put it simply, when you have a growth plan with you, you’ll know all about what you need to do to make your business successful.

Considering the importance of a growth plan, creating it is not something you can rush through. There are some steps that you need to follow, and we’re going to tell you all about them.

How to Create a Growth Plan In 5 Easy-Peasy Steps?

Set 1. set goals.

Every plan starts with setting business goals , and a growth plan is no different.

After all, you can’t just say “I want this” and expect something to happen automatically. You need to define what exactly you want to achieve, i.e., you need to set your goals.

Also, always make sure that your goals are not vague but realistic and measurable. For instance, “ Increasing sales ” isn’t a solid goal. “ Increasing sales by 20% over the next 6 months ” is the kind of goal you can measure.

Step 2. Conduct Market Research

You might think that once you’ve decided on your goals, you can just go ahead and start creating strategies. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

There’s another important step that you need to follow: carrying out market research. Creating strategies without considering the market is not going to help you achieve your goals.

Examine your target audience, the condition of the market, and your competitors. Evaluate what your audience is looking for, how saturated the market is, and what your competitors are doing.

Step 3. Evaluate Your KPIs

Once you’ve done the market research, it’s time to get back home, aka your business, and do some digging. You need to find out what’s working for your business and what’s not.

The best way to figure that out is by evaluating your KPIs. For those who don’t know, KPIs stand for Key Performance Indicators. They are the metrics that are “key” in determining your business’s success.

By assessing your KPIs, you’ll find out the key areas that are giving you the most fruitful results. You can then target these areas while you’re brainstorming strategies for growth. This brings us to the next step:

Read more: KPI Report: What it is & How to Create a Perfect One?

Step 4. Create Strategies

Okay, so now you know everything about the market and your company, so you’re all set to create strategies that you’d be implementing to achieve your goals.

From hiring new sales reps to upgrading your existing product – your strategies can be anything, as long as they help you achieve your goals.

We don’t need to say this, but make sure that your strategies align with your present and future budget. You don’t want to overspend right now and then be short of money when you execute a future strategy.

Step 5. Execute Your Plan

Brace yourselves because it’s time to get the ball rolling and execute the plan. Start implementing all the strategies according to the timeline you’ve set.

However, there’s something that you need to remember: Your plan isn’t a static piece of document. You need to keep modifying and updating it as you go.

Just follow the old saying, ‘ grow through what you go through .’ A strategy isn’t giving the results you expected? Change it. A strategy is working too well? Increase its timeline. A strategy isn’t in trend anymore? Slash it.

Yay! You’ve now learned how to create a solid growth plan.

Now, all that’s left for you to learn is how to create it the right way . See, your growth plan is a VERY essential document. You can’t just type all the strategies out and think that your growth plan is ready.

Your plan needs to have a proper structure and layout. It needs to be easy on the eyes and easy to comprehend. Most of all, it needs to be written after getting inputs from all the departments in your business.

It seems like a tough and long process, doesn’t it? It’s not, because Bit.ai is a platform where you can do all this and more. Want to know more about Bit.ai? Read on!

Read more:   Growth Hacking: What is it & 21 Tools that can Help!

Bit.ai – The Perfect Tool for Creating Growth Plans & Other Business Documents

Bit.ai: Tool for creating growth plans

Yes, that’s the essence of Bit.ai – a document collaboration platform where you can create, organize, share and manage all company documents and other content.

You do not have to worry about formatting or designing your growth plan at all – just pick a template, and put all your strategies in it. Did you know that Bit gives you the option to choose from over 70 templates ?!

This nifty platform lets you and your team collaborate in real-time by co-editing, making inline comments, chatting via document chat, @mentions, and much more.

Want to make your growth plan more robust and comprehensive? Add rich media into it! Bit lets you add excel sheets, social content, cloud files, charts, surveys/polls, code, presentations, and much more to your documents.

One feature that makes Bit stand out is ‘smart workspaces’. On Bit, you can create infinite workspaces around projects and teams. This will help you in keeping all your documents related to your growth plan organized!

Bit.ai makes creating documents as easy as ABC, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try.

Wrapping Up

There are some things in business you just can’t avoid, and creating a growth plan is one of them. If you don’t want your business to disappear into thin air, you need to create a proper growth plan.

A growth plan literally has the power to take your business to heights, but only if you create it properly and accurately. It’s not even a gigantic task, considering that you have Bit.ai with you.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, start working on your growth plan and skyrocket the growth of your business. We’re totally rooting for you!

Got any questions or suggestions? Feel free to tweet us @bit_docs. We’d get back to you as soon as possible.

Further reads: 

Financial Plan: What is it & How to Create an Impressive One?

13 Growth Marketing Strategies You Must Know About!

Mitigation Plan: What Is It & How To Create One?

12 Sales KPIs Your Sales Department Should Measure!

Go-To-Market Strategy Guide for Businesses!

Communication Plan: What is it & How to Create it? (Steps included)

How To Develop a Growth Mindset That Will Change Your Future?

Bit bottom banner

12 Marketing Goals You Must Include In Your Plan!

Performance Report: What is it & How to Create it? (Steps Included)

Related posts

Risk assessment matrix: what is it and how to create it, 9 essential writing tips every writer must use, how to embed social media posts into your documents, what is a character reference letter & how to write one, how to create a talent acquisition process documentation, consulting agreement or contract: what is it & how to create it.

how to create a business growth plan

About Bit.ai

Bit.ai is the essential next-gen workplace and document collaboration platform. that helps teams share knowledge by connecting any type of digital content. With this intuitive, cloud-based solution, anyone can work visually and collaborate in real-time while creating internal notes, team projects, knowledge bases, client-facing content, and more.

The smartest online Google Docs and Word alternative, Bit.ai is used in over 100 countries by professionals everywhere, from IT teams creating internal documentation and knowledge bases, to sales and marketing teams sharing client materials and client portals.

👉👉Click Here to Check out Bit.ai.

Recent Posts

Burndown charts: what are they and how to create them, best document tracking systems in 2023, best file management systems and software in 2023, study guide: what is it & how to create an amazing one, 11 best link in bio tools in 2023, top 13 tools for researchers in 2023.

how to create a business growth plan

How to Write a Growth-Centric Business Plan for Your Small Business

' src=

Become an insider!

Get our latest payroll and small business articles sent straight to your inbox.

In this Article:

Get started with Wagepoint

With the growing acceptance of “ lean startups ,” the “done is better than perfect” mentality, and accelerated launch approaches like those proposed by Startup Weekend , it’s safe to say that the traditional business plan has become something of an historical artifact.

Rather than creating generic business plans that paint pretty pictures of where they want to be, entrepreneurs are shifting to creating growth-centric business plans that define how they’re going to get there.

For a startup that wants to climb into the ring with big brand incumbents, that focus on growth is critical.

That’s not to say that traditional business plans were ever completely useless. They allowed us to visualize and consider the critical elements of launch, which created a kind of foundation to build from. While the resulting businesses may not have looked like what was painted, the plans were enough to provide a glimpse to investors.

The process had its uses, but that’s changing now. The modern business plan is one that is focused on growth and scaling a business . While it’s a pivot from traditional business plans, it’s still very much vital to success.

Why develop a business plan?

how to create a business growth plan

For every entrepreneur who grew after creating a solid business plan, you can likely find a half dozen tales of startups that launched with notes on a napkin. But notes on a napkin are still a plan of sorts.

And having a forward-thinking plan contributes to success.

One study shared by Small Business Trends found that, of 2,877 SMB respondents, 1,556 respondents had not yet completed a plan. Among them, only 43% were experiencing growth, and only 36% had secured funding. Aside from fueling your growth potential, there are a number of reasons to create a more contemporary business plan:

While plans don’t necessarily need to be complicated, including certain elements and taking a structured approach, provides the greatest chance of growing a small business exponentially.

“Many startup businesses fail to realize the importance of a good business plan coupled with a realistic financial forecast and cash flow,” says Matt Connolly, founder of myLovelyParent . “Referring to the business plan regularly and comparing projected figures with actuals can help the owner take steps to amend the plan and targets for the business.”

The 4 pillars of a modern, growth-centric business plan.

how to create a business growth plan

While a traditional business plan puts a great deal of emphasis on executive summaries, with a foundation in market research and financial forecasting, a growth-focused business plan is based on four key principles:

Agility is one of the most critical attributes for accelerating the growth of a small business. A business plan needs to be developed around rapid ideation, deployment, and your ability to pivot. Because every business plan is a framework, you must take an nimble approach. This lets you embrace what’s new, try what has not been tested, and throw out what’s broken well before you waste a tremendous amount of time sticking to a set of guidelines.

2. Efficiency

Part of your plan will involve detailing your processes, workflows, and the people involved. Building a business plan with efficiency in mind ensures that you and your team won’t stall coming out of the gate. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting bottlenecked by the very processes you created. Choosing the right tools, and defining those tools, is critical.

Focus is part and parcel of efficiency. You’ll have overarching goals to reach, and getting there requires focus. When processes and plans change, you have to maintain focus on the primary goals. Adjust your path, and get back on course.

If you’re not focused on forward growth, you won’t know what to do or which direction to travel to reach your goals.

“In God we trust; all others bring the data.”

That’s a quote from William Edwards Deming, an American engineer, statistician, and management consultant who was largely responsible for advancements in both Japan’s and the United States’ industrial and commercial production processes.

He is regarded as having had the most significant impact on Japanese manufacturing of any individual not of Japanese descent.

His statement underlines the importance data plays in making decisions and planning for growth. Data, reporting, and insights are how you measure the success of your business plan. Unless a burning bush tells you it’s time to shut it down, you use the data to find out what’s working and what isn’t – and you make changes based specifically on that data.

Creating a growth-centric business plan.

With these principles in hand, you can begin drafting your business plan. Before you start piecing information together from research and data, keep in mind that your business plan should be treated as a guide. It’s not a doctrine chiseled in stone.

You also shouldn’t feel pressed to include more information than is necessary. A business plan, even one built around growth strategies, doesn’t need to rival War and Peace in scale. What’s important is injecting value in what you include.

Consider the following elements when putting your plan together and building that sustainable growth strategy .

1. Define your solution

Every customer that approaches you is doing so because they have one or more problems. They’ll have questions that need answers in order to help them zero in on the main issue. Your customers are following a path that eventually leads to a solution.

how to create a business growth plan

Your plan should clearly lay out what the primary problem is for customers, and what solution you’re providing that will help them. Understanding the solution you provide (your products or services), and how your customers benefit, is a major component that will shape a majority of your marketing going forward.

2. Pinpoint your market(s) and customer(s)

“You need to establish that there is a market for your product and work out how you’re going to access it,” says Geraldine Abrahams , director of TWM Productions . “Identify who your typical customer is and how you’re going to connect with them. A good start to a plan is to include a personal statement to establish your motives, objectives, and vision.”

At this stage, you need to be able to clearly define your ideal customer ( s) . Key demographics and behavior information should be noted, such as their age, education, job title or occupation, and income range. You can delve deeper, and any data you uncover can be used to drive your strategy.

The most successful brands have been able to thrive and grow because of their ability to understand and define their customers. This can be difficult for a startup with no customers, and may require a little research.

how to create a business growth plan

Combine what you know along with assumptions about your audience, and support those assumptions with research. The most direct way to research the market and your audience is to find your competitors. Examine how they talk to their audience(s), their online habits, interests, demographics, etc.

It’s okay to start with a high-level buyer personas, as you’ll refine and reexamine them and your audience segments for specific campaigns in the future.

“In the body of the business plan you will detail what market research you have undertaken and summarize the findings,” writes Emma Jones , founder of Enterprise Nation . “These findings will have helped you create sales forecasts which will then translate into turnover in the financial plan. It sounds obvious, but I have seen many plans that don’t provide the correlation between the two and where it is obvious that the financial plan has been written ‘bottom up’ so the sales figure becomes the balancing entry.”

3. Determine your value proposition

Your value proposition answers the question “Why would customers buy from us instead of our competitors?” Your value proposition is not your solution; instead, it’s a statement of differentiation that makes you unique from others in your market.

The value proposition is part operations, part marketing, and part strategy. Once you have it defined, it becomes the foundation of your competitive advantage because it’s something that your competitors cannot replicate.

how to create a business growth plan

Your value proposition may change over time, but it needs to be defined early on. Your customers will subconsciously weigh your company against others, leaning on your unique value to determine who they will do business with.

In order to define this element, you’ll need to spend some time performing a competitive analysis of your market . Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your solution is so unique that you have no competition.

Competitors aren’t just other brands offering the same product. Your competition includes substitute products and alternative options – which includes the customer performing the work on their own or creating their own solution(s).

“Don’t become blindsided by your excellence,” says Anna Morrish , former marketing executive at DMC Software Solutions . “You may believe you’re the best in the business with no threat of competition, and maybe that is the case, but if you’re creating a plan for investors, they want to see that there is a market for your business. If there is no competition, where is the market? Make it clear in your business plan how you’re going to compete. The use of charts, graphs, and images will provide factual and visual evidence which can help to back up your potential ideas.”

4. Establish your goals and objectives

Launching a business without goals and objectives is something that derails growth the most often. With no goals to focus on, it’s easy to get distracted. Rather than sailing to your destination by a predetermined route, you’ll be spinning the wheel of the ship in zig-zag motions every time something twinkles on the horizon.

“You must identify and commit to no more than three priorities  and then go to work on creating the projects and tasks needed to pull these off,” writes John Jantsch , founder of Duct Tape Marketing . “And, you must say no to the idea of the week that shows up to knock you off course.”

how to create a business growth plan

Once you’ve established your primary goals, break those down into smaller and more achievable milestones. This process creates a roadmap you can follow to reach the end goal. When things inevitably change and you have to pivot, you can refer back to your milestones and roadmap to course-correct and get back on track.

5. Map your operations

Traditional business plans usually want your organizational hierarchy to be defined. This is essentially a “who does what” list of your team. That’s an important element to include, but a business plan aimed at accelerated growth needs more meat around the team.

When you map out your operations, you shouldn’t start with the hierarchy to determine what needs to be done, and who does it. Start at the end of the funnel with your customer as they stand there with the solution in their hand and work backwards. For your ideal customer who just converted, ask yourself:

6. Create a clear marketing strategy

You can’t grow your business without a marketing strategy . You may not have the seven-figure marketing budgets of larger incumbent brands, but that’s fine. The right strategy could create tremendous growth right out of the gate for your business.

how to create a business growth plan

Ideally, you want to show why you feel your target audience will embrace you, and how you plan to get your brand in front of them. Your strategy will be driven by market analysis and other research you’ve done up to this point and will be one of the more detailed segments of your growth strategy.

Or it may be the slimmest. It boils down to your audience, the competition in your market, and how you’ll leverage your value proposition.

Some companies spend hundreds of thousands on complex campaigns that include social ad costs, media buying, explainer videos and commercials, web design, direct mail, and more.

Others see success with far less of an investment by following a direct strategy. Grasshopper , a VoIP service for entrepreneurs, sent out chocolate-covered grasshoppers to influencers before launch. That simple launch strategy netted them a quarter of a million YouTube views, 170 earned media mentions, and approximately 30,000 referrals over a 90-day period.

how to create a business growth plan

Key areas of focus for your marketing strategy include:

Your marketing strategy is likely to draw the most scrutiny if you’re seeking funding. Investors want to see deadlines and expected data. They want to know what kind of web traffic and social engagement to expect, and they’ll want to know how you intend to track it all .

For every campaign you lay out in your business plan, you need to know what metrics you’ll be monitoring, and the key performance indicators of this success. You should also include forecasts for conversions and the customer acquisition costs (CAC) for your strategy and engagement.

7. Outline your financials and forecasting

Financials and forecasting are important parts of both traditional and growth-centric business plans. Investors want to see numbers to measure expected returns, margins, and profits. You also want to set a financial goal so you have something to drive yourself towards.

Your financial projections are going to be the last inclusion in your business plan because they need to include data from a lot of the other components. Everything has a budget and expected cost that should be included.

how to create a business growth plan

This is not a section for accounting – accounting consists of records from today working backwards. This section should be for projections from today onward.

When laying out your projections, don’t just estimate a single budgetary, expense, and P&L plan. Instead, include three financial plans :

Each of these plans should be broken into monthly/quarterly statements with realistic and achievable revenue goals.

“When a new or young company presents financial projections, lenders and investors will want to have data which supports the company’s financial assumptions,” says Marc Prosser , co-founder of Fit Small Business. “Where did the company get its numbers for gross profit and amount of inventory it will need to purchase? If the company is using industry benchmarks, it will gain more credibility in the eyes of investors than saying the company made reasonable estimates. How can you get this data in your business plan?”

If you have existing sales records to substantiate your projections, you can include those, but it doesn’t need to be in line-item detail. You can always pull more detailed reports if asked.

Likewise, if you’re already operating and you’re refining your business plan to improve growth, use your financial data to help with your growth plan. Revenue growth only happens one of three ways :

Use existing merchandising, customer, and financial reports to forecast change can help determine opportunities for  improvements, such as better marketing for more acquisition, new products, or focusing on customer delight.

Putting the pieces together.

While a contemporary business plan has a number of components, it’s only as complex as you need it to be in order to create a strategy that will accelerate the growth of your small business. Don’t let the scale of putting the information together prevent you from making progress.

how to create a business growth plan

The biggest obstacle is just getting it started, and getting it done when you’re trying to run a business or gear up for launch. Instead of treating it like an interruption, or some ugly task you need to do, view it as a constructive means of defining what you want to achieve and how you’ll get there.

That’s the “how we get results” approach that successful brands use every day to define their campaigns and refine growth strategies .

“If it really is a working document then it should be changed and altered as often as the business and routes to market dictate,” says Rosie Wolfenden , co-founder of Tatty Devine . “I think it is quite a cathartic exercise in that updating the plan helps reinforce the commitment to the next part of the journey.”

There’s no better time than now.

You won’t find a single template that is the ideal layout for business plans, and there’s no shortage of choices. For those who prefer to study in order to handle things on their own, Entrepreneur   has a library of business plan guides to help you develop the business plan that best fits you.

If you would rather start with a pre-assembled template that contains many of the elements we discussed in this article, both Entrepreneur and Enloop have template libraries to give you a head start.

A happy medium between the two options is business planning software, with detailed tutorials and wizards to help you create the perfect custom business plan to grow your business. Stratpad , Palo Alto , and LivePlan are three good options to get started.

“Wherever you are in your journey, you have a need to develop the knowledge and plans to guide you to a successful business operation,” says Hal Shelton, author of The Secrets to Writing a Successful Business Plan: A Pro Shares a Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Plan That Gets Results. “While this learning and planning process takes many forms, shapes, and levels of intensity, it is all considered part of the business planning process. Learn how a well-thought-out business plan can dramatically turn the odds in your favor.”

Have you developed a growth-centric business plan for your brand? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

how to create a business growth plan

Shrad is our Go-to-Market maverick. His passion and commitment to our company is evident during many sleepless nights as he ponders our next move. Some say he might be Batman – well, it’s really only him saying that so we don’t actually believe him – or do we?

how to create a business growth plan

How to be Payroll Compliant in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Digital payment processing: what you need to know.

how to create a business growth plan

How are bonuses taxed in Canada?

how to create a business growth plan

Payroll 101: Employee Onboarding Guide for Small Businesses

how to create a business growth plan

Payroll 101: How to Become an Employer & Set Up Payroll for Small Businesses (Canada)

how to create a business growth plan

Payroll 101: A Canadian Small Business Guide to Hiring and Paying Your First Employee

how to create a business growth plan

5 Small Business HR Myths Busted [Webinar Recap]

how to create a business growth plan

Combat Quiet Quitting and Quiet Firing with a Solid Performance Management Process

how to create a business growth plan

Productivity Hacks and Time Management Tools for Small Businesses

how to create a business growth plan

The Everything Guide to Small Business Payroll Reports

how to create a business growth plan

Level Up Your Account Security with Two-Factor Authentication

how to create a business growth plan

Celebrating Small Businesses During Canadian Small Business Week


Prepare a business plan for growth

Planning is key to any business throughout its existence. Every successful business regularly reviews its business plan to ensure it continues to meet its needs. It's sensible to review current performance on a regular basis and identify the most likely strategies for growth.

Once you've reviewed your progress and identified the key growth areas that you want to target, it's time to revisit your business plan and make it a road map to the next stages for your business.

This guide will show how you can turn your business plan from a static document into a dynamic template that will help your business both survive and thrive.

The importance of ongoing business planning

What your business plan should include, drawing up a more sophisticated business plan, plan and allocate resources effectively, use targets to implement your business plan, when and how to review your business plan.

Most potential investors will want to see a business plan before they consider funding your business. Although many businesses are tempted to use their business plans solely for this purpose, a good plan should set the course of a business over its lifespan.

A business plan plays a key role in allocating resources throughout a business. It is a tool that can help you attract new funds or that you can use as a strategy document. A good business plan reveals how you would use the bank loan or investment you are asking for.

Ongoing business planning means that you can monitor whether you are achieving your business objectives . A business plan can be used as a tool to identify where you are now and in which direction you wish your business to grow. A business plan will also ensure that you meet certain key targets and manage business priorities.

You can maximise your chances of success by adopting a continuous and regular business planning cycle that keeps the plan up-to-date. This should include regular business planning meetings which involve key people from the business.

To find out more, see our guides on how to review your business performance and how to assess your options for growth .

If you regularly assess your performance against the plans and targets you have set, you are more likely to meet your objectives. It can also signpost where and why you're going astray. Many businesses choose to assess progress every three or six months.

The assessment will also help you in discussions with banks, investors and even potential buyers of your business. Regular review is a good vehicle for showing direction and commitment to employees, customers and suppliers.

Defining your business' purpose in your business plan keeps you focused, inspires your employees and attracts customers.

Your business plan should include a summary of what your business does, how it has developed and where you want it to go. In particular, it should cover your strategy for improving your existing sales and processes to achieve the growth you desire.

You also need to make it clear what timeframe the business plan covers - this will typically be for the next 12 to 24 months.

The plan needs to include:

If you intend to present your business plan to an external audience such as investors or banks, you will also need to include:

If your business has grown to encompass a series of departments or divisions, each with its own targets and objectives, you may need to draw up a more sophisticated business plan.

The individual business plans of the departments and separate business units will need to be integrated into a single strategy document for the entire organisation.

This can be a complex exercise but it's vital if each business unit is to tread a consistent path and not conflict with the overall strategy.

This is not just an issue for large enterprises - many small firms consist of separate business units pursuing different strategies.

To draw up a business plan that marries all the separate units of an organisation requires a degree of co-ordination. It may seem obvious, but make sure all departments are using the same planning template.

Objectives for individual departments

It's important for each department to feel that they are a stakeholder in the plan. Typically, each department head will draft the unit's business plan and then agree on its final form in conjunction with other departments.

Each unit's budgets and priorities must be set so that they fit in with those of the entire organisation. Generally, individual unit plans are required to be more specific and precisely defined than the overall business plan. It's important that the objectives set for business units are realistic and deliverable. However complex it turns out to be, the individual business unit plan needs to be easily understood by the people whose job it is to make it work. They also need to be clear on how their plan fits in with that of the wider organisation.

The business plan plays a key role in allocating resources throughout a business so that the objectives set in the plan can be met.

Once you've reviewed your progress to date and identified your strategy for growth, your existing business plan may look dated and may no longer reflect your business' position and future direction.

When you are reviewing your business plan to cover the next stages, it's important to be clear on how you will allocate your resources to make your strategy work.

For example, if a particular business unit or department has been given a target, the business plan should allocate sufficient resources to achieve it. These resources may already be available within the business or may be generated by future activity.

In practice this could mean recruiting more office staff, spending more on marketing or buying more supplies or equipment. You may want to provide funds through current cash flow, generating more profit or seeking external funding. In general, it is always better to fund future growth through revenue generation.

However, you should do some precise budgeting to decide on the right level of resourcing for a particular unit or department. It's important that resources are prioritised, so that areas of a business which are key to delivering the overall aims and objectives are adequately funded. If funding isn't available this may involve making cutbacks in other areas.

A successful business plan should incorporate a set of targets and objectives.

While the overall plan may set strategic goals, these are unlikely to be achieved unless you use SMART objectives or targets, i.e. S pecific, M easurable, A chievable, R ealistic and T imely.

Targets help everyone within a business understand what they need to achieve and when they need to achieve it.

You can monitor the performance of employees, teams or a new product or service by using appropriate performance indicators . These can be:

Targets make it clearer for individual employees to see where they fit within an organisation and what they need to do to help the business meet its objectives. Setting clear objectives and targets and closely monitoring their delivery can make the development of your business more effective. Targets and objectives should also form a key part of employee appraisals, as a means of objectively addressing individuals' progress.

Once you've drawn up your new business plan and put it into practice, it needs to be continually monitored to make sure the objectives are being achieved. This review process should follow an assessment of your progress to date and an analysis of the most promising ways to develop your business. To find out more about these stages see our guides on how to review your business performance and how to assess your options for growth .

This process is called the business plan cycle . In some businesses, the cycle may be a continuous process with the plan being regularly updated and monitored. For most businesses, an annual plan - broken down into four quarterly operating plans - is sufficient. However, if a business is heavily sales driven, it can make more sense to have a monthly operating plan, supplemented where necessary with weekly targets and reviews.

It's important to keep in mind that major events in your business' target marketplace (e.g. competitor consolidation, acquisition of a major customer) or in the broader environment (e.g. new legislation) should trigger a review of your strategic objectives.

Regardless of whether or not there are fixed time intervals in your business plan, it must be part of a rolling process, with regular assessment of performance against the plan and agreement of a revised forecast if necessary.

Original document, Prepare a business plan for growth , © Crown copyright 2009 Source: Business Link UK (now GOV.UK/Business ) Adapted for Québec by Info entrepreneurs

Our information is provided free of charge and is intended to be helpful to a large range of UK-based (gov.uk/business) and Québec-based (infoentrepreneurs.org) businesses. Because of its general nature the information cannot be taken as comprehensive and should never be used as a substitute for legal or professional advice. We cannot guarantee that the information applies to the individual circumstances of your business. Despite our best efforts it is possible that some information may be out of date.

Need help? Our qualified agents can help you. Contact us!

how to create a business growth plan

The address of this page is: https://www.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/prepare-a-business-plan-for-growth/


380 St-Antoine West Suite W204 (mezzanine level) Montréal, Québec, Canada H2Y 3X7


514-496-4636 | 888-576-4444 [email protected]

how to create a business growth plan

Click on one of the two buttons to access the content you wish to view.

how to create a business growth plan


  1. 5 Steps to Creating a Growth Strategy that Actually Works

    how to create a business growth plan

  2. Business Growth Plan Template

    how to create a business growth plan

  3. Addictionary

    how to create a business growth plan

  4. Creating a Business Growth Plan? Read This First!

    how to create a business growth plan

  5. How to Write a Growth Business Plan: Steps and Mistakes

    how to create a business growth plan

  6. Create Your Business Growth Plan

    how to create a business growth plan


  1. 10 Steps to Business Growth

  2. How to create a Business Plan for Beginners #realestateagent #businessideas #entrepreneurship

  3. 5 Business Growth Tips Ngayong 2023!

  4. 1.2 Why create a business plan?

  5. Divgi-TTS IPO: क्या करती है कंपनी, क्या है Business Growth Plan

  6. Get Ready for Business Growth this 2023!


  1. How to Write a Business Growth Plan

    How to write a business growth plan · 1. Think ahead. · 2. Study other growth plans. · 3. Discover opportunities for growth. · 4. Evaluate your team

  2. 5 Steps to Creating a Growth Strategy that Actually Works

    A growth strategy is not a marketing plan. It's a high-level strategy that outlines everything a business needs to do to grow through a holistic

  3. Shaping a Business Growth Strategy: 7 Key Steps That Work

    A growth strategy allows companies to expand their business. Growth can be achieved by practices like adding new locations, investing in

  4. How to Develop a Growth Strategy (Includes Examples)

    How to create a growth strategy · 1. Identify your value proposition · 2. Identify your target audience · 3. Understand your current revenue

  5. How to Create a Business Growth Plan (+Template)

    A business growth plan is a strategic document that enables organizations to develop the strategies and implement the tactics needed to

  6. Plan for business growth

    Plan for business growth · Set goals for growth. Establish what you want your business to achieve. · Involve management and staff. Meet frequently with management

  7. Growth Plan: What is it & How to Create One? (Steps Included)

    How to Create a Growth Plan In 5 Easy-Peasy Steps? · Step 2. Conduct Market Research · Step 3. Evaluate Your KPIs · Step 4. Create Strategies · Step 5. Execute Your

  8. How to Write a Growth-Centric Business Plan for Your Small Business

    1. Define your solution · 2. Pinpoint your market(s) and customer(s) · 3. Determine your value proposition · 4. Establish your goals and objectives.

  9. Growth Strategy: How to Create an Effective Growth Strategy

    1. Conduct market research ; 2. Set clear growth goals ; 3. Choose a growth strategy ; 4. Create a plan of action ; 5. Measure your success

  10. Prepare a business plan for growth

    What your business plan should include · The marketing aims and objectives, for example how many new customers you want to gain and the anticipated size of your