If you’re looking to achieve long-term and sustainable business growth, a strategy is required.

But where do you start when it comes to devising a growth strategy for your business? Well it begins with looking at where you are now, defining where you want to go and bridging the gap in between. And that all starts with asking questions.

Here are the top five questions to ask when your business needs a growth strategy.

Who is our ideal customer?

At every stage of the business journey, your ideal customer should be front of mind, but that doesn’t mean that customer will remain the same throughout the life of a business. In fact, the ideal customer who you had when your business started may not be the one you service now. They might also not be the ideal customer you aim to attract in the future.

Ask yourself, who is your ideal customer now and who would you like them to be?

This will help determine what you need to do to meet their needs, and the ways you can grow to attract more of them.

What is our value proposition?

Once you have defined your ideal customer, the question becomes what is the unique value proposition that would attract them to your business. Is it price point, customer service, value, or trust? There are different reasons why an ideal customer would choose you above your competitors and this value proposition will be key to your growth strategy.

While you are considering your value proposition, also ask yourself what are your competitors doing?

If you’re looking to differentiate and use that point of difference as a way to grow, you will need to clearly understand the marketplace and what all other players have to offer.

How do we plan to grow?

With your ideal customer and value proposition in mind, the next question becomes: How do we plan to grow? Is it additional services? Extra products? Or more of the same products and services to more people? Alternatively, is it a higher price point for the current products and services you offer, allowing your business financial growth?

Perhaps it’s a combination of a couple of the above, but this question gives you clarity about the direction you intend to take and also what you will need to get to your destination.

What resources will we need?

With the answer to the above question in mind, the next thing to ponder is what resources will be required. And these resources might take a number of forms, ranging from plant and equipment to new premises, or additional staff.

They could also encompass delegating specific tasks to specific people in order to propel your growth strategy forward, or systems and procedures that will need to be honed to ensure products are manufactured to standard, and service levels are maintained.

Basically, this question asks, what would need to be true in order for my business to achieve the growth I desire?

What capital is required?

Finally, once you have answered all the questions above, it’s time to delve into the financial side and start estimating the capital that will be needed.

This expenditure factors in all the elements you have decided upon when answering the previous questions, including whether extra staff might be needed, new premises might be required or whether there will be an outlay for additional products as you seek to service more customers.

The final word

Any solid strategy starts with asking the right questions, and when it comes to business growth, it’s no different. These questions help determine where you are, where you hope to be and what will be required to get from your current position to your intended destination.

Importantly, these questions should be asked at various points throughout your business journey, and the answers may be different each time. Their role is to help you determine what needs to occur to create the business you desire.