3 Free Tools for Business Growth Planning You Need to Use Now
Business growth planning can be daunting for many small business owners. There are several tools out there that can help you make sure your business growth strategy is realistic and appropriate for your industry. Each of these three tools will help you in key areas as you research how to grow your business and create your strategic plan.
1. Google Analytics
Every business, regardless of size or stage of growth, should enable and use Google Analytics. This tool is easy to implement, and it offers all kinds of insights into how your customers are interacting with your website. Google Analytics doesn’t just show you the current state of affairs, either. You can use it as a tool for planning business growth strategy by setting up goals and seeing what works and what doesn’t. Just experimenting with the tool will reveal all kinds of information about the buying cycle and your customer base. Where are you losing people? Which of your ads are most effective? Use this insight to create or alter your current business growth plan.
2. SCORE Templates and Tools
This nonprofit partners with the Small Business Administration to offer all kinds of business mentoring services. Their templates and tools are particularly helpful to anyone creating a business growth plan. The business planning templates are separated into categories based on the stage of growth your business is in, and the free financial projections template is an easy-to-use Microsoft Excel workbook. It’s hard enough to plan a business growth strategy without having to worry about Excel formulas. These business growth tools do the heavy lifting for you.
One of the most challenging parts of writing a business growth plan is determining where you stand in the industry. This free tool from the Small Business Administration compares your business to local competitors, so you can make realistic projections about where your company will be in the next five or ten years. It also displays geographical areas with many potential customers but little competition, so you can decide where to target your marketing and expansion efforts. It’s easy to use and provides useful information that can be difficult to collect otherwise.
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