The Growth Planning Process

How small steps can lead to huge growth

Make confident, strategic decisions by following the Growth Planning process. It's a simpler approach to launching or growing a business.

Start Growth Planning Now
The Growth Planning process

The Growth Planning process

Follow these four steps to build a more profitable business.

Plan

Forecast

Evaluate

Refine

Step One

Create a quick plan

Growth Planning: Plan Step

Step One

Create a quick plan

Why?

To create a lightweight strategy that helps you figure out how to launch or grow your business.

How?

Size up the potential of your business or idea by answering tough questions like:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • Who is your target market?
  • What is your real competition?

Impact

Entrepreneurs with a plan are 129% more likely to push forward with their business beyond the initial startup phase and grow it, according to a study in the journal Small Business Economics.

Time Investment

It takes just 30 minutes to create your initial one-page plan and about 10 minutes each month to update it.

What you'll need

You can create your one-page plan using a Word or Google doc. This template gives you a rough guide to get started.

OR

The LivePlan Pitch helps you organize your ideas and analyze your business model on a single page.

Step Two

Build your forecast

Step Two

Build your forecast

Why?

To understand where your business is headed.

How?

By estimating! Don't worry about being perfect — just use either your historical data or any research you've done to forecast metrics like:

  • Unit sales and billable hours
  • Operational expenses, like rent
  • Financing payments

Impact

Businesses that continually track against their plan grow 30% faster than those that don't, according to a report in the Journal of Management Studies.

Time Investment

Depending on the complexity of your business, an initial forecast can take around an hour to create in LivePlan.

Growth Planning: Forecast Step

What you'll need

Spreadsheets are the most common forecasting tool, but you'll need to understand how to create formulas. This cash flow example will help you get started.

OR

LivePlan guides you through the entire forecasting process. It also gives you industry benchmark data to help you figure out if your estimates are realistic.

Step Three

Evaluate the results

Growth Planning: Evaluate Step

Step Three

Evaluate the results

Why?

To uncover ways to build your business while holding yourself accountable to your goals.

How?

Compare your forecast against your actual sales and expenses each month to:

  • Determine if your strategy needs to change
  • See if you're on track to meet your goals
  • Uncover new growth opportunities

Impact

Documenting and reviewing your goals makes you 40% more likely to achieve them, according to a study by the Dominican University of California.

Time Investment

You should review your forecast at least once per month. Depending on the complexity of your business, expect to spend about 30-60 minutes looking at the numbers.

Step Four

Refine your strategy

Step Four

Refine your strategy

Why?

To update your business strategy so you can maximize growth.

How?

Adjust your business plan based on your financial review in step 3. For example, you might decide to:

  • Tweak your business model
  • Increase or decrease prices
  • Change your product line to better meet demand

Impact

Businesses that successfully execute their strategies generally increase their revenue by 80%-120% in a three year period, according to the Palladium Group Whitepaper “Strategy Execution, A Competency that Creates Competitive Advantage.”

Time Investment

It really depends on the insights you gained in steps 1-3. You may not want to refine your strategy at all or you may need to rethink aspects of your business model and make some adjustments.

Growth Planning: Refine Step

Start Growth Planning Today

Create Your One-Page Plan Now

Or download a free one-page business plan template.