Business Growth Guide

Congratulations on surviving the “startup” stage of the organizational life cycle, and reaching the next stage of intent and capacity to grow. Your “growth” stage will present different challenges, so prepare yourself by reading the following business growth guide.

Please note that these are basic steps you should consider and be aware of, but it is always best to consult a professional to help walk you through the steps and make sure you don’t miss anything. Search the SourceLink Nebraska Resource Navigator to find business consultants near you.

Step 1 - Audit

Step 1 - Audit

Before looking to future growth, business owners should audit their organization’s resources and capabilities so they know exactly where they stand.

Conduct an analysis to identify your organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
Discover where your business has room for growth or improvement; then formulate a new set of goals

Step 2 - Prepare

Step 2 - Prepare

While assessing your organization, do not lose sight of your current goals and responsibilities.

Your people are your organization’s most valuable asset; be thoughtful in how you retain and attract the right employees to support your growth.
Maintain your federal and state registrations and Nebraska business licenses and permits to keep them current; as your organization grows and adds business activities, your licensing requirements may change.
As businesses grow, the role of Boards and Advisors become more important as they provide outside oversight and a diversity of opinions.

Step 3 - Plan

Step 3 - Plan

Writing a growth plan is very similar to writing a business plan, however, a business growth plan focuses specifically on expansion and how you’re going to achieve it; a well-crafted business plan is key to taking your business to the next level.

Create a five-year plan, which includes expansion opportunities, a marketing plan, and demographics of your market area

Know your options, which may include franchising, expanding into new markets, opening a second location, licensing agreements, merging with or acquiring another business, certification, diversifying product lines, forming strategic alliances with other businesses, expanding your web presence.

Ideally, you should already have Exit Strategies in your initial business plan before actually going into business; if not, including it in your growth plan is your second chance.

Step 4 - Marketing

Step 4 - Marketing

Having a better understanding about your market will allow you to run your business more efficiently; having a powerful network can provide you and your business with opportunities for growth.

Market Research and Planning is all about customers: knowing their needs and wants, and creating the ideal customer experience.
Networking for Growth benefits both the business and the business owner.

Step 5 - Financing

Step 5 - Financing

Be strategic and borrow with purpose; explore the various options for enabling your business’ growth.

Thoroughly evaluate the need for financing, and know your choices – from bank loans and factoring services to crowdfunding and venture capital.