Business Operations

Key Elements of a Growth Plan

Overview

A growth plan is a social enterprise’s articulated vision and rationale for how it will grow its business in the marketplace and scale its ability to achieve its mission. In order to develop a clearly articulated, compelling, and comprehensive growth plan, you will need to address at least the following considerations:

 

Vision for growth over next 3-5 years

Market / industry analysis

Growth assumptions and rationale

Strategies and tactics to achieve growth

Resources needed

Potential challenges / risks

 

Below, we explore some key activities and questions you should be able to answer for each of these considerations.

 

Vision for growth over the next 3-5 years

What level of business and impact growth do you hope to achieve over the next 3-5 years?  How scalable is your social enterprise?

Are you on an exponential or a gradual growth trajectory? Set numerical targets for revenue and employment.

If you operate multiple business lines, these considerations should be articulated separately for each.

 

Market / industry analysis

What do your business and labor markets look like?  What are their growth potential?

Areas to consider:

  • Customer demand
  • Market opportunities / growth potential
  • Industry dynamics
  • Competitive landscape
  • Target population fit (job types, career pathways, barriers)

 

Growth assumptions and rationale

What are the growth assumptions behind your projections?  Are they realistic?  Have you tested / are you planning to test them?

Articulate a clear rationale explaining why growth targets and timing are reasonable. For example, past growth experience, discussions with promising potential customers, or pilot test results, etc.

 

Strategies and tactics to achieve growth

How do you plan to achieve your growth targets?  What strategies are you pursuing, and what concrete steps have you taken so far?

 

Resources needed

What resources do you need to achieve this growth?  How large is the gap?  Is this level of growth sustainable?

 

Potential challenges / risks

What are potential challenges to achieving this growth, and how would you address them?

 

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