Saturday Sidecar- Whats Your Next Step- Developing a Plan for Growth

Written by Gina Blitstein on February 23, 2013. Posted in Saturday Sidecar

So your Sidecar is zooming right along. That’s terrific! The question now is, “What’s next?” Are you content to chug along on your current course or do you want your Sidecar to go even farther? If that’s your goal – to grow your Sidecar to even greater heights – it’s smart to make a plan to get you there by the best route possible.

Like for any journey, it’s best to fully prepare ahead of time when contemplating going the distance. While spontaneity is exciting, it’s not the prudent way to approach the expansion of your business. Regardless of your sense of readiness, there are still potential risks that can befall an unplanned or poorly-planned execution. Take these actions to help ensure smooth sailing:

Choose your destination – Unless you’re just out for a joyride on the road, you’ll want to determine where you’re headed. Even if your journey is a far-ranging one, it’s best to choose some closer destinations along the way to help you pace your journey. If your ultimate goal is to increase sales by $1000 per month, break it up into increments over the course of, say, 6-12 months. Work at increasing sales by $100 per month and before long, you’ll be well on your way to your goal.

Consult a roadmap – Once you know where you’re headed, determine how you’ll get there. How much of a hurry are you in to reach your destination? Are there some side trips you’d like to take in along the way? Determine your expected pace, then the appropriate route to take to get you to your destination on time. Do you need an all-out advertising blitz and some enthusiastic follow up? Perhaps scheduling a couple more events per week will be sufficient to enable you to reach your destination. Is this an opportunity to consider Google Adwords or Facebook advertising? Find the most appropriate means by which to reach your destination.

Make sure your vehicle is in tip-top shape – You’d tune up your vehicle and make certain the tires were properly inflated before a lengthy road trip. Likewise, you want to make sure your Sidecar is operating at peak performance before exposing it to the rigors of a growth cycle. If you’re behind on paperwork or equipment maintenance, catch up before you overburden an already strained business to avoid a breakdown. Not only will it slow your pace but shake your confidence that you can go the distance.

Sustain yourself along the way – Business growth – while rewarding in the long run – can be stressful and expensive. Like a vehicle needs gas and the driver needs food, water and rest, your Sidecar will need its basic needs met along the way. Those include keeping up with your regular stream of production, advertising and customer care. Conducting business as usual will keep your Sidecar healthy and rolling along while you’re busy putting extra effort into its growth. Otherwise, despite your efforts to grow, you ultimately won’t have a Sidecar to propel forward.

Be prepared with an emergency plan – You wouldn’t leave on a trip without a spare tire, a jack and emergency flares in the trunk. The same holds true for your Sidecar. Any growth puts it at risk of a mishap. You’ll be busier. More details may escape your notice. Costs associated with your efforts may be high. Don’t push it forward unless you’re prepared for the potential pitfalls that may befall it on its journey. Have a financial buffer to come to your aid if your plans backfire or break down along the way. You don’t want to find your Sidecar stranded along the side of the road, unable to recover from a setback.

Planning to grow your Sidecar is an exciting adventure. You can help ensure that it’s a good ride if you properly prepare for the journey beforehand. Go go go. Grow grow grow.

Sidecar Tuneup Tip: What’s your next step? Is it time to grow your Sidecar into a bigger vehicle? Successful business growth comes down to solid planning for the trip that lies ahead.

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