Can you plan for growth?

Not as in, planning to be ready if it occurs, but rather planning to cause it to occur.

You’ve probably seen examples of both. To a large extent, businesses growth is governed by two forces:

1) The business’s available market demand.
2) The ignorance of the business operator.

A growth plan affects both of these elements.

Foundational to a growth plan is opportunity assessment:

  • What’s the relationship between the market and the product?
  • What’s the capability of the business to go to market and deliver the product?

The plan systematically evaluates the interactions between the market and the business and brings clarity to what the market demand is and what it will take to access it… Or the impetus to move on to a better opportunity.

Plans are models. They’re abstractions of the real thing. As such, no plan is accurate. But planning enhances understanding in the same way that a painting of a figure is not that person, but the painter better understands the anatomy of that human for having painted them.

Because of this, the process of developing the plan, gathering intelligence, and assessing the internal and external environment lowers the ignorance of the operator.

Really the question, “can you plan for growth,” concerns how intentional you are. You could be reactive to the environment and you might grow. Or you could be proactive and methodical and improve your odds.

Most people choose neither. They want to grow, but rather than investing in figuring out how to do that, they instead apply tactics and advice ad hoc. The consequence is that their intention is blunted, their efforts eroded, and ignorance continues to lead them into the dark.

Featured image is The Wave (1896) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Used under public domain.