SME Business and Growth Planning - Start with reviewing your Business Model

2 Minute Read:

If you are struggling with where to start with your planning process,  then I highly recommend that you kick off with a review of your current Business Model - to understand the wider picture and how the different parts of the jigsaw come together; the gaps; challenges etc; and importantly if it is valid and realistic in a fast changing world.

The aim of the review will be:

  • To look right across the key elements of your business model (as rarely is there a single silver bullet) and objectively assess whether the model is realistic and working to deliver your short and longer term goals. 

  • To consider how appropriate your current business strategies are, and how well you are positioned to execute them. To be real!

  • To identify the information needed to decide whether a change in strategies is necessary and what changes should be made.

  • To identify the key "Focus Areas" that need priority attention moving forward - to knock over your challenges and gain real momentum and improved results.

While you do not have to 'dig into the weeds' there are some important considerations:

  • Key strengths to leverage, and weaknesses/risks that need to be plugged - and how viable and relevant are your current strategies, considering external market, competitor and financial realities.

  • Any strategic risks that may jeopardise your stated goals: e.g. decline in demand for your core product or service; a key person departing to a competitor; un-protected I.P.

  • Any need for resource adjustment: have you adequate expertise; are the 'right people in the right chairs'; have you sufficient funding lines, etc.

  •  Your product/service offering; Value Proposition; status/need for R&D.

  • Your market selection, for optimum return/minimal risk.

  •  Your distribution model.

  •  Your sales & marketing approach and effectiveness.

  •  Your wider capabilities and capacity to build and sustain growth.

Planning Business Strategies

For SME businesses in particular, such reviews can mean the difference between a road map that has been updated for success, or a drift into financial struggles caused by a poorly thought-out or dated plan that doesn't reflect changing market or internal conditions!

If this article resonates, you may also be interested in the "100 PLUS Business Growth Checklist" that I have prepared for Business Owners, where I have 'cut to the chase' with what I believe are essential factors for business growth. More food for thought!

Learn More: 100 PLUS Business Growth Checklist


You may also wish to read another blog "How do I grow my business - 7 Critical Success Factors for SME Business Owners"


I really hope this article has been useful, and would love to receive comments, suggestions etc below.

How important is planning to you?

What are your main challenges with planning?

How do you follow through with delivering your plan?




Look at the wider picture & how the Business Model works.

Seriously, your foundation for Business Growth, or the Jigsaw Flounders !

In my previous roles as a CEO and General Manager of SME sized businesses we recognised the importance of regularly 'coming up for air' to look at how well the business was strategically placed and performing.

  • Annually as a minimum, we would undertake a Strategic Review as part of our Business Planning and budgeting process. We looked at the wider picture - external and internal - to check that we are understanding the changing marketplace; and responding appropriately.

  • Monthly as a minimum, we reviewed how well we were tracking to our Business Plan/Growth Plan; to assess whether key strategies were working or needed adjustments, and to compare our results against our various targets/Key Performance Indicators (KPI's) - e.g financial targets, sales, productivity.

For those of you out there that haven't strategically looked at where you are going, the challenges, terrain, route map etc; and captured your 'game-plan' into a Business or Growth Plan, I recommend that you really do consider your planning approach. For some, this may sound obvious, or be outside the comfort zone, or seen as a lesser priority - but it really is essential!  

In my early days as CEO of Glidepath, we pulled the entire team together to discuss the company strengths and challenges, and I asked all our staff "what they would do if they were in the big black chair"! Armed with input from the whole team, we soon developed our "Glideplan" as our 5 year forward Growth Plan, and revisited this annually when we set our annual Business Plan and associated budgets.  Seriously, this exercise was one of the foundation keys to our success in growing our people, our international business, our products and services, our systems, etc. 


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