Roadmap for Growth

Business Insight

When you decide that it is time to grow your business by launching a new product, moving into a new market, or having researched your market, decided there is room for increasing your sales, you will need a plan.

It’s natural to look first at the finances, sales and marketing aspects of growing your business, but you also need the right staff with the right skills to create and deliver against the opportunities ahead.

Growing a business is hard work. Processes become more complex; communication becomes more challenging. In many cases, key stakeholders are still doing tasks that could and should be delegated. This means they don’t have time to focus on the bigger picture, which can lead to the CEO becoming exhausted trying to do everything.

Morale slumps because of a lack of leadership and structure, resulting in miscommunication and frustration. Staff fail at the new responsibilities they are required to take on due to a lack of training and direction, then become disenchanted and leave, leading to still further disruption. Before the business owner knows where they are a toxic culture has developed and customers start to take their business elsewhere.

As a result, growth is stymied or worse, goes into decline. With the right people plan in place, you are in a better position to stay focused on why you exist, how you are going to get there, and how to take your staff on the journey with you.

Highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability1 -

That’s why you need a people strategy.

People planning needs to start with the business strategy. Do you already have a strategic plan, that’s up-to-date and fit for purpose? More importantly, are your employees behind it and aligned with it? It’s essential to understand what you are trying to achieve. Sometimes, just getting your senior team to agree is a challenge. We find that it can take time to find a plan that everyone is on board with. But once a clear vision has been agreed, the next step is to focus on delivering it.

Strategic planning and vision only become reality when changes are made operationally. Turn that plan into action. This will mean:

  • Ascertaining what elements, people, budget and internal resource or external help you need.

  • Regular senior management team meetings to ensure that the operational actions of the business are working together to achieve the strategic goals.

  • Communicating those messages to the wider team to get them on board and developing a culture invested in delivering the plan.

Turn a giant leap into smaller steps

At People Puzzles we use a ‘target wheel’ to help our clients understand what the journey to their goals will look like. It’s all very well saying you want to go from £5m to £20m turnover in five years, but what does that look like in say, two years’ time? What will it look like next month? Our target wheel allows you to think about how many clients; team members; and what the overheads are likely to look like at any given stage along the way.

Communicating your priorities is essential for staff alignment. Boil down your goals and the steps needed to get there, into a simple and memorable message. Cascade it through your team and keep repeating it. A person needs to hear a message at least seven times before it gets embedded.

Open communication is essential to keep your team on board and focused on the strategic goals. If a company continues to grow, its structure will often require multiple reinventions. One structure that functions well with 30 full-time staff, may not fit the same company if it grows to more than 50.

Being able to delegate is critical if your business is to grow. Business owners often feel they are the best at doing the job and that no one else cares about the business the way they do. But if you want to run a growing business, you need to delegate some of the day-to-day running of the business to give you the time to do it.

Remember that great leaders delegate results, not tasks.

It’s all about the people

People planning is more than just HR. It’s how you get everyone in the business committed to seeing it succeed. Done well, it can literally transform your business and provide competitive advantage. When the team are on board with your growth plans and equipped to deliver them, the business really can scale up.

You can download the full version of the road map for growth here

Or, to find out how a tailored people strategy could help your business grow, contact us on 0808 808 5609 to arrange a one-to-one meeting.

1Gallup Q12 meta-analysis 2016