A business development plan sets goals for growth and explains how you will achieve them. It can have a short-term or long-term focus. Review and revise your plan as often as you can. And keep building on it as your business evolves.
How to write a business development plan
Your business development plan is your roadmap to growth, so make it clear, specific and realistic.
What to include in a business development plan
- Opportunities for growth: Identify where growth will come from – whether it’s in creating new products, adding more services, breaking into new markets, or a combination of these.
- Funding plan: Determine how you’ll fund your business growth. How much capital do you already have? How much more do you need and how will you get it? Check out our guide on financing your business.
- Financial goals: Work out what revenue, costs and profits you’ll have if things stay the same. Use those numbers as a basis for setting new, more ambitious financial goals.
- Operational needs: Identify what things about your business will need to change in order to achieve growth. Will you need extra people, more equipment, or new suppliers?
- Sales and marketing activities: Figure out what sales and marketing efforts will effectively promote growth and how these efforts will change as the business gets bigger and better. Make sure your sales and marketing plan is sturdy enough to support your growing business.
- Team needs: You may need people to take on some of the tasks you’ve been doing. Think about what parts of running the business you enjoy most – and you’re good at – and what parts you might want to delegate to others. And give some thought to the culture you want to develop in your business as it grows. Check out our guide on hiring employees.
A sample business development plan
Avoid these common business development mistakes
- Thinking short-term instead of long-term
- Underestimating how much money it will take to grow
- Not budgeting enough money to cover the costs of growth
- Focusing on too many growth opportunities: think quality, not quantity
Micro-planning can keep you focused
You may want to create some micro-plans for specific growth projects so their details don’t get overlooked. And you can build in some KPIs to measure your progress and successes. As your business grows, take note of your progress and make periodic adjustments to your business development plan to make sure it’s still relevant.
Support is out there
Remember you’re not the first to go through this. Seek out mentors, advisors or other business owners who can help you with your planning. Your accountant or bookkeeper may also be able to help or point you in the direction of the right people.
Disclaimer: Xero does not provide accounting, tax, business or legal advice. This guide has been provided for information purposes only. You should consult your own professional advisors for advice directly relating to your business or before taking action in relation to any of the provided content.
Guide to growing your business
Business running smoothly and ready for a new challenge? Learn what goes into growing a business.
- Stages of business growth
Before you leap into growth, reflect on where you’ve come from. Find out the stage of business growth you’re at.
- Write a business development plan
Now that you’re in the growth stage of your business, set things in motion with a business development plan.
- Business KPI examples
Understanding your business performance will help you grow. Check out common examples of small business KPIs.
- How to increase sales revenue
Increasing sales revenue is one obvious way to help grow your business. But how do you sell more?
- Expand your business into new markets
You can grow your business by selling more things to more people, or fewer things to fewer people. Let’s look at how.
- Tools and guides for your business
You’re all set to grow your business. But there’s so much to keep track of. Xero’s got resources and solutions to help.
Download the guide to growing your business
Learn how to write a business development plan, increase revenue, use KPIs and more. Fill out the form to receive our guide as a PDF.