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Home » Grow Your Business

How to grow your business (part 7): Planning

Plan for different alternatives

Winners demonstrate flexibility and agility. If you model a variety of different scenarios for operational, financial and your competitors reaction that affect the impact of any changes in your business environment (both good and bad).  Adapt quickly and explore your strategic options.

1. How will your business be effected by any upturn or downturn to your trading environment

2. How will your customers be impacted by any changes to the trading environment. Are they likely to buy more or less?

3. How will your existing forecasts react to any significant changes in the environment?

4. Have your forecasts been tested for any extended market recovery as well as a speedy recovery? ie. if the market upturned tomorrow, how quickly could you react?

5. How good are your management information systems and dashboards in identifying any potential issues?

6. What areas do you need to keep your eye on?

7. What are the weak points in your business model? Is your model flexible enough to react to any changes in the environment?

8. What is your long term financial position?  How significant would a change either way be (increase or decrease be?)

9.  Even if your products aren’t discretionary, could your customers find an alternative option?

10. What are your competitors doing? Is there any opportunity for organic growth within the market?

Now it’s your turn. What items would you add around planning for different alternatives? What else should be included?


  • Peter Beckenham said:

    Hi Matthew,

    Only discovered your blog today and thoroughly enjoyed my visit – actually have been here now for nearly an hour and I only planned to see this particular post.

    One thing I would add to your excellent post would be to make sure you have plans in place for your “key players”, whether they be staff or partners. So often I see lots of strategic planning for every possible scenario, that forgets to protect the very assets that helped them get to where they are today. I am talking about such things as profit-sharing, promotional grooming and authority-sharing processes that will keep your key players “with you in times of crisis”

    I am just starting out as a blogger and an online business so I have already subscribed to your feed. Thanks..your site is a real inspiration to an old bugger like me!
    .-= Peter Beckenham´s last blog ..Affiliate Marketing – Sell the In-Demand Products First =-.

  • Karen said:

    Peter make a great point about keeping your key players happy. A happy staff will go the extra mile for you. Another thing to keep in mind is why you are in business in the first place. Keep that reason paramount and it will give you purpose to keep going. Your customers need a reason to buy from you again and again. Give them that reason.
    .-= Karen´s last blog ..Seven Friends That You Need In Your Life =-.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Karen, you’re right. Too often businesses fail to keep the key players happy and they wonder why when the economy turns that they leave and go elsewhere.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Hello Peter. Thank you so much for your comments. I hope that they hour was well spent and you found yourself with some useful information to take your business forward! I think you’re right here, the key players definitely need to be part of the equation and keeping them happy will be key to taking your business forward when the economy turns.

    Thanks again for your comments, they are very much appreciated!

  • Steve Scott Site said:

    A lot of people that read this blog use our internet companies or our blogs to earn a living or at least contribute to our main source of income — myself included — and planning things out financially is a good tip for your business. That’s why I’m glad that you decided to include #8 “What is your long term financial position?” in your list.

  • Matthew Needham said:

    Absolutley Steve, you’ve got to know where you’re going so you you know that you’re on the right path.