Creating a long-term growth strategy

Creating a long-term growth strategy can help you take advantage of opportunities now and in the coming years.

If you’re not ramping up to grow your business, you’re a bit behind – economic figures show that Canadian businesses have moved well past the cost cutting of the 2009 recession and are focused on growth. Businesses are investing in machinery and equipment, and job numbers have bounced back to pre-recession levels.

If you’re still deciding where to take your business, creating a long-term growth strategy can help you take advantage of opportunities now and in the coming years.

Goals

The first step is identifying your goals for growth. Will your focus be on growing your revenue? Expanding into new markets or developing new products or services? Increasing the value of your business? Remember: effective goals should have the necessary direction to give them momentum.

Research

Once you’ve identified your goals, start gathering the information you need to achieve them. Find out who your customers are and what they want from you. Study how your competitors are faring. Educate yourself about where your business sector is headed in the next few years. Information will come from many sources: your customers, expert advisors and mentors, industry publications and economic indicators.

Opportunities

Your research may identify multiple opportunities for growing your business. Do you have the resources – skills, staff, production facilities, sales, marketing, financing – to pursue them? Analyze each opportunity and narrow your list down to the few that are both attainable and offer the best growth potential.

Plan

Once you’ve identified the growth opportunities you want to pursue, use your research to plan your growth quarter by quarter. Schedule your business investments to ensure you have the required resources in place when you need them, like financing, or equipment and production space. Establish success benchmarks to track your progress, and be prepared to adjust both your growth targets and efforts.

Next steps

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