Every business needs a plan whether we like it or not. Without one we are just arbitrarily meandering around in our hobby, paid or unpaid, with no real direction or defined purpose. We don’t know when to hold ‘em or when to fold ‘em.
Let me give you some encouragement. Your business plan does not have to be boring. It can be an expansion business plan. Now technically this should be done after your original plan but hey, if it will be more fun doing it this way, have at it.
You will need to know some basic things but don’t let these stop you. Your target market, niche, promotional activities and day-to-day operations are enough to get you started. Let’s look at how you want to grow. A business plan for expansion is a good idea because it’s a road map that tells you where you want to go and how you’ll get there.
Here are my 7 Steps to Create Your Expansion Business Plan.
- Know the trends for your industry or market. You need to think about what is in the trend and beyond. Stay one step ahead of your competition and take some risks. Investing time and resources in writing an expansion plan for activities that are way off mark is like…a bit of a waste of time.
- Read samples of expansion business plans that target growth strategies. I have a few great resources for business plans that I can share which will be listed next week in my Recommended Resources Page so you make sure you come back and see. There are free templates out there and some sites have over 500 plans for you to view. View business plans by industry on these websites, but concentrate only on those that outline objectives for expansion.
- Brainstorm expansion opportunities. Tap into your team’s creativity. Encourage them to throw out even the craziest ideas. Prepare a document collecting these ideas, distribute them and have a follow-up meeting in a week. That should be part of an ongoing dialogue you’ve closed in on some great ideas that resonate with your company’s vision and transition into workable goals.
- Financial goals for ideas to new products, services and markets is CRUCIAL. Decide on an annual amount you want to make and then break that down quarterly for each product, service, and market. I know this feels a little tight but stay with me…it is worth it.
- Now this is a time management breaker. Spell out what you want your team to achieve quarterly and annually to meet your expansion goals. If you have to write detailed project or tasks descriptions, tapping into the expertise of your team.
- Look at your marketing plan. Does it fit what you need or are you just following everyone else? Creating buzz around your new products and services is another CRUCIAL part of expansion but it has to be done with some strategy. Everyone doesn’t respond to video which is supposed to be HOT. Learn what works well with what audience, for what product, and for what service you are specifically targeting.
- Don’t forget to plan, organize, and plan some more AHEAD OF TIME. Don’t wait until you need money to look for a new client. You need to look all the time and plan to position yourself for it to make sure you are on the right track and listen to your customers. Without feedback, you won’t expand.