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Chapter 2

Write a business development plan


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Small business guides > Your guide to growing your business > Write a business development plan

Write a business development plan

Now that you’re in the growth stage of your business, it’s time to get to work. Set things in motion with a business development plan.

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

1. 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.
 

2. 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.
 

3. 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.
 

4. 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? 
 

5. 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.
 

6. 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 to hiring staff

A sample business development plan

Business development plan sample

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.

Chapter 3: Examples of business KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can direct, drive and measure business growth. Learn how to choose and use them.

Read chapter 3

This guide is intended as general information only. Always check with a professional for advice.

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