Business growth requires taking the long view—not a short-term approach that can confuse your workforce or decrease motivation. Often, we see executives thinking about what they can do “right now” to make an impact, but the power of change comes with a long-term plan that your business is willing to stick to in order to realize the change. Think of business growth as you would a lifestyle change with your health. One day of healthy eating and working out will not get you to your goal weight. Rather, you need to create sustainable habits that, in the long run, will lead to a change. Knowing that you are on the right path and seeing small victories build will encourage the company to keep pushing for the end goal.
Just as consistent health habits will get you through a vacation where you may indulge in food and beverages, a sustainable, long-term business growth strategy will get you through rough economical times.
What a Long-Term Business Growth Plan Needs to Succeed
- Strategy: First, your company will need a strategy in place—a plan you can adhere to for the long term. A strategy is NOT a list of projects your company is working on or a brainstorming session on different ideas of where to take the company. A true strategy will be carefully decided objectives on where you want the company to be in so much time with goals under each objective, as well as a way to measure progress.
- Communication: Once you have a strategy in place, it doesn’t make sense to only share it with a small group. Everyone in a company should understand the goals of the organization and what part they play in making it happen. Communication also needs to be consistent—regular communication leads to more accountability. We recommend having consistent team meetings, intranet communication, and one-on-one meetings to instill the strategy as part of the daily mindset.
- Collaboration: Problems are becoming more complex for businesses and those they serve. The best way to combat issues is to bring as much different knowledge together on the topic. Instead of operating in a silo of marketing, operations, human resources, finance, etc., bringing the areas together to get perspective on how they would handle an issue leads to a complete view of the problem. This helps the team make the best decision to solve the issue, as well as agreeability between the different areas of the business.
- Training: Ensuring that the long-term plan can keep up with changes, company leadership needs to include training as part of their growth plan. When embarking on a new company strategy, you should take a look at the roles and responsibilities of your people. Are their skills properly aligned with the growth plan? For instance, do you have someone taking on two very different roles, but not feeling there is progress in either area? There are several assessments out there to help determine personality and where a person will be a high performer. We recommend taking a look where there might be a skills gap in your workforce and how it is aligned with the strategy and then developing training around that need.
Making the commitment to grow your business requires planning for the long-term and successfully communicating it to your entire company. Who doesn’t want to be part of a major accomplishment? So after you develop your strategy, make sure to communicate to your team, collaborate to solve problems, and make a plan for continued education so knowledge can keep circulating.
How Leadership Extension Can Help
Our team partners with leaders to align growth plans with your people. If you are looking to create a strategic plan that incorporates your workforce for the long run, please contact us at 847-361-1791 or email email@example.com.