I have advocated for years that growing a small business is a defined and repeatable process and shared all the definitive research and available resource to support my premise. Now, let’s look at a business growth strategy that can help you apply my premise to any small business.
At this point I hope you have an appreciation for the fact that small business growth is easier than most people think. But, you still need a process by which you can begin to apply these principles to develop a meaningful business growth strategy to build your action plan from which to execute.
Strategic thinking and tactical execution are the key. SPARC Business Growth Framework is that process. It helps small business owners learn and apply a process to develop a simple yet integrated business growth strategy to grow a self-sustaining business.
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 steps help you focus and prioritize resources daily actions tactically so you can 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.
Define Your Passion
You didn’t start your business just to make money. You started it because you thought owning a business would help you realize your dream.
In the beginning, your dream was the passion driving you to attempt and conquer the seemingly impossible. When you lose sight of your dream you lose your passion and business and life can become frustrating!
Your dream is a critical piece of strategic planning. So this step of the business growth strategy helps you form a vision for your life and how your business can support your dream.
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
Small business growth is actually simpler than most people think. Growth is a well-defined process. The problem is most business owner don’t know that before they start. And, few if any business startup programs focus on the stages of business growth. As a result most small business owners lack the business growth strategy they need to grow their business.
This step of our business growth strategy is about understanding your current stage of business growth. 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 for Your Business Growth Strategy
Economics is defined as the study of scarce resources. Scarce resources are a given in every small business! Now, I am not saying you need to become an economist to have a successful business, but you do need to understand the economics of your business.
This step is meant to assess what resources you have at your disposal apply to your business growth strategy. That is, what do you use to create cash flow for your business, and how much do you have at your disposal right now to maximize cash flow? Answering these questions allow you to ask the right questions to build your business growth strategy and plan to reach your vision. Without it you are stabbing in the dark and hoping you hit your target.
Establish Your Business Growth 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
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 Your Business Growth Strategy
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 business growth strategy. 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 growth strategy 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. SPARC gives 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
We simplified the process by giving you a set of do it yourself tools. Each tool is lever designed to assist you with the current step in the process and to derive what you need for the next one.
If you had this kind of guidance do you think to could develop your business growth strategy? I’m here to tell you it’s 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 at our DIY Membership and let us know what you think!