After a strong start in your business, are you seeing signs of stalling? Or have you perhaps found a business strategy that works, but now you’re wanting to accelerate growth?
If your answers to these questions are yes, then this article could help you. Every business wants to grow — for scale-ups it’s even in the name. In order to grow you need to evaluate and create an actionable strategic plan.
This article outlines 3 actionable strategy tools that you can use today to inspire growth within your business. All you need is a laptop- not even that – just a pen and paper and some time to put your ideas together.
Tool 1: Crisis Strategy Assessment
Nothing gets in the way of business growth like a crisis. This is because your instinct is to firefight; to keep the damage to a minimum. The Crisis Strategy Assessment (CSA) allows you to take a breath and assess the situation while looking for opportunities for growth.
This first tool is particularly prevalent to current times but it can be used to inspire growth within your business at any time. This tool helps you take stock of the situation your business is in and evaluate in order for you to strategise.
A crisis can be anything from a global pandemic to a sudden staff shortage, and everything in between. For whatever crisis your business faces, the Crisis Strategy Assessment tool still applies.
What this tool does is break down the crisis into manageable sections from which you can begin to maneuver your business out of the situation. It does this by asking you a series of questions:
- What will the crisis change in the world and your industry?
- How will the crisis affect your revenue streams?
- How will the crisis change your value proposition?
- How will the crisis affect your customer segments and relationships?
- How will the crisis alter distribution channels and partners?
- How are your resource needs going to change because of the crisis?
- How is your cost structure going to be affected by the crisis?
By answering these questions you can clearly see how your business is being affected by the crisis as well as how it is not. By breaking the crisis into smaller sections it becomes easier to negotiate and see the opportunities there are for growth.
By the end of the Crisis Strategy Assessment tool, you should be in the perfect place to create a plan. If strategy is not a strong point of your business then you could appoint a part-time strategy director to help facilitate this process and help create your strategic direction.
“Test, measure, learn. It is the best way to understand what works best for your company and invest in the right area to get more efficient and achieve business growth.” – Irina Georgieva
Tool 2: SWOT Analysis
This is a tool that has likely been used before within your business. However, a key part of inspiring business growth is to regularly review your SWOT. You can only grow as a business if you are aware of your periodic growth with recognition of what has worked and what hasn’t, so you can make informed strategy decisions for your company’s future.
SWOT analysis is so simple and yet effective for strategizing as it requires you to assess your company’s strengths and weaknesses so you can quickly get an idea of where your business is at today. This works best as a brainstorming exercise with your board and honesty is essential.
The next part of SWOT is to facilitate looking at what potential opportunities may be there for your company to seize upon as well as potential threats you could avoid through forward planning.
Similar to the Crisis Strategy Assessment tool, SWOT is a brilliant tool for evaluating where your business is at and gives you a great basis from which to create a strategic direction you can feel confident about. The final tool, however, facilitates the creation of an actionable plan.
Tool 3: MOST Analysis
The MOST analysis tool follows on from the previous two tools because once you’ve done your brainstorming and evaluation, you are now ready to create your strategy that will lead to business growth. MOST stands for mission, objectives, strategies and tactics. Let’s look at how each of these relate to each other to create your overall plan:
Mission: In this section you, as a business, have to decide where you want to be in a given timescale (e.g. in a year’s time). It is important to keep your mission to very simple and clear terms such as turnover and profit. That way within the timescale, you can evaluate and measure effectively whether you achieved your mission.
Objectives: This is where you begin to plot out the main objectives of your journey that your business will have to implement to reach your overall mission. What must your business do in order to achieve your desired turnover and profit. If helpful, you may view objectives as the rungs on the ladder.
Strategies: Now you can begin thinking about how you may achieve these objectives. What avenues do you have that could lead you to success in these areas? For each objective write down at least two possible strategies that could bring about success because then your business will have options as you progress.
Tactics: This is the creation of an actionable plan. Your tactics are the “who does what and when.” In order for you to achieve business growth you will need to delegate; and when there’s delegation, everyone must know what they are responsible for.
Everything is related so that the tactics support the strategies to deliver the objectives that help to achieve the mission.
Inspiring business growth comes from looking at where your business has been already. The Crisis Strategy Assessment and the SWOT tools are brilliant for evaluating your business and seeing what has and hasn’t worked in the past and where your business is now.
The MOST analysis tool facilitates the creation of your actionable strategic plan that will lead your business to grow. Once you have completed your plan and have begun implementing the actions keep it under review every quarter in order to adjust where needed to ensure further growth.