I have advocated for years that growing a small business is a defined and repeatable process. The past few weeks I shared all the definitive research and available resource to support my premise.
My hope is you now have an appreciation for the fact that small business growth is easier than most people think. But, you still need to have a process by which you can begin to apply these principles to develop a meaningful growth strategy to build your action plan from which to execute.
Strategic thinking and tactical execution are the key. SPARC helps small business owners learn and apply a process to develop a simple yet integrated business growth strategy.
SPARC stands for Strategic Planning Action Recovery Cycle. Our business solutions are based on more than 2 decades of helping grow small businesses. It was designed by DE, Inc. to assist small business owners in mastering strategic thinking and tactical execution.
SPARC consists of six steps. Three steps help you focus and prioritize strategically. Three intended to help you focus and prioritize resources tactically to execute to achieve your desired outcome.
Let’s take a closer look at each step in the process and why they are important to growing a self-sustainable business.
You didn’t start your business just to make money. You started it as a vehicle to realize your dream; what you really wanted out of life! Your dream was the passion driving you to attempt and conquer the seemingly impossible. When you lose sight of the dream you lose your passion and business and life can become frustrating!
Your dream is a major piece of strategic planning. So this step of the business solution helps you form a vision for your life and business.
To map how to get there you need to know where you’re starting from and what resources you have to help you get there. These are the next two steps in the process helping you figure out from where to begin.
Determine Growth Stage
This step of the business solution is about understanding the current stage of the growth cycle of your business. There are specific requirement you must achieve to move to the next stage. Complete the requirements and your business grows! It’s that simple. But, if you don’t know where you are or the requirements to achieve the next stage of growth your frustration can build even further.
Assess Current Resources
Economics is defined as the study of scarce resources. Scarce resources are a given in every business! Now, I am not saying you need to become an economist to have a successful business. You do however need to understand the economics of your business.
This step is meant to assess what you have at your disposal to achieve your vision. That is, what makes your business create cash flow and how much do you have at your disposal right now to maximize cash flow? By answering these questions you now can ask the right questions to build a strategy and plan to reach your vision. Without it you are stabbing in the dark and hoping you hit your target.
Establish Your Business Strategy
Strategy is an essential discipline to achieve success in business. The good thing is you can learn how to think strategically. But, until you do you will struggle, so in this step you begin learning the process.
At this step in you will take everything you’ve collected so far about your life and business to begin fitting the pieces of the puzzle together. Based on where you want to end up (vision) and where you are currently (stage of growth cycle), what is the best business solution to use the resource you have to begin getting there?
Asking the right question is critical!!! Too often I run across business owners that are saying, “I can’t get there from here without more money.” ASK A BETTER QUESTION like, “how do I get there using the resources I have right now?” At some point you might need more money, but what can you do right now that moves your vision forward? Ask better question and your brain will give you better answers!
Create Action Plans
With your strategy outlined, now you need to define the tasks necessary to achieve your objectives. This stage is where you create accountability and performance requirements for your vision.
The business solution defines what is needed and why it’s needed. This step involves those doing the work to achieve your objectives and develops buy-in by setting performance expectations. Assigning people to tasks with timelines for their completion creates accountability. This is best way to begin delegating to others. Delegation is a skill you must master if you ever hope to create a self-sustainable business.
Execute, Monitor & Adjust
This is the last step before you repeat the process. Look at everything that you’ve accomplished to this point. It’s a road map that moves you to your dream! Because it’s documented and organized it becomes easy to communicate and track progress. Basic management happens as natural outgrowth of the process. You don’t have to force it. Forcing it is where resistance to implementing change occurs!
Remember this is only a plan. Don’t get discourage if your business solution doesn’t go as planned. It’s designed for flexibility so you can adjust and change as market and economic shifts outside your control occur. Our business solutions give you the tools you need to rapidly re-evaluate the situation and adjust your course accordingly so that changes are just bumps in the road and not a plunge into the abyss.
Tools to Get You There Faster
Tools are what allowed man to evolve to the top of the food chain in nature. Using them here will allow you to evolve to the top of the food chain in business as well!
If you had this kind of guidance do you think to could develop your growth strategy? I’m here to tell you it is far easier than most people think. It just needed to be broken down into manageable steps that can be applied to your own situation.
I’m not saying this is the only way to do it. In fact, there are hundreds of methods and companies out there that will do this for you. What is unique to our approach is we’ve made it so that you can do it yourself if you want to. Take a look and let us know what you think!