Growth means expansion, increasing in size, gaining scale, maturing and getting better. Growth is good. Growth is actually great! But are your growth plans realistic and are they realistic in the timetable you’ve laid out? It’s both important and exciting to dream big and set big goals. But it’s also wise to build a little realism into your plans. You can assess reasonableness of your plan by:
- Researching your market size. You really want to know how big your opportunity is before you spend a lot of your money on your new venture, especially if you are launching a start-up. You will need to fight for your place at the table and your chances of success increase if there is a lot of space to move around.
- Benchmarking your competition. See what you can learn from the companies in your segment. You will be seeking the same customers and it’s essential that your offer is somehow different or unique. Your customers will most certainly compare you against “them” so improve your chances of success by really understanding what “them” offers versus yours.
- Examining your growth rates. Everyone would love to double or triple their sales overnight and very few do. Grinding it out is more of the norm so ensure that your plan reflects the most likely set of circumstances that everything won’t go perfectly.
It’s important to know the fundamental difference between an aspiration and a plan.