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A Real Strategy for Business Growth
By: Bob Brush, Retired, Hallmark
Visualize Your Company's Growth with this Simple Tool
A Growth Strategy Chart is designed to move you from where you are today, to where you want to be in the future. The growth chart helps an owner understand what resources he will need to put in place and when in order to grow.
The chart is dynamic, not a once/year document that is shelved. It can change due to any number of circumstances that can influence the business. Just think how Covid has modified how you do business today. Put it up on a white board, write all over it, change it, adapt it, use it and it will change how you think about your business.
Here's how to do it...
Label your axes. The horizontal axis represents a market segment that the business wants to go after. The vertical axis represents the resources that will be needed to reach your target.
Determine your Current Reality. Begin examining your "Current Reality" by writing down your existing capabilities, assets, strengths and weaknesses in the box on the bottom left.
Then explore your "Dream Space," This is the essence of what you want the business to become in 2-3 years. It is not a metric or financial target. Those are an outgrowth of the activities put in place. Write this down in the circle on the top right. (Note: Don't to look too far ahead as circumstances can change quickly.)
Establish your Migration Paths. These are groupings of key activities needed to get to the dream space over time. So, for example, one path may focus on the addition of new products needed to be put in place to grow. So, it should be titled: "New Product Development" or something similar. To develop that new product, you will need specific "Manufacturing & Systems Support" which could be people or equipment, make that your second Migration Path. And then you'll need to market your new product to, that will be your "Sales & Marketing" Migration Path.
Line out your specific tasks. Now, is the fun part; write down the first task you need to accomplish to start on a given path... then the second, third, fourth, and so on. Do this for each of your Migration Paths, keeping in mind that the migration paths should sync up with each other over time. Don't get too far down one migration path, leaving the other's behind, this is how you ensure measured growth.
Now use the graph! Once you've completed a task, just check if off an you're on to the next one. If an activity doesn't work out, then simply move on to the next space but first make sure you have learned from the experience.
This tool will allow you to visualize your goals and line out the necessary steps to achieve them. So, go ahead, give it a try and see what you can achieve!