With a bright future ahead of your emerging growth company, you can’t risk winging it. Making an uninformed leap into a new territory or adding a new product line without knowing whether there’s demand for it is setting up the company for trouble. As you explore ways to steer your company toward greatness, here’s why the importance of having a solid growth strategy cannot be overlooked a moment more.

What Is a Business Growth Strategy?

A business growth strategy includes a deliberate plan, or roadmap, based on realistic forecasting and full awareness of how the business is performing today and what it needs to do to advance to the next step. With a clear growth strategy, senior leadership and employees can align their priorities and be held accountable for meeting milestones, as they work collaboratively toward achieving specific goals or being prepared for potential opportunities.

Defining What Growth Means for Your Company

Growth can come in the form of branching out into a new geography, whether that’s extending your currently regional or statewide offerings nationwide or going overseas. It could entail expanding the products and services you offer. Or acquiring a competitor or a supplier. Or going public.

Every strategic change includes costs and benefits that have to be weighed along with many details to ensure it will be successful and enacted with a clear view (e.g., you will be subject to new regulations and compliance requirements if you expand into another country or pursue an IPO).

What Your Business Strategy Is Probably Missing

The fact is some companies don’t start out with a doable growth strategy. They may be primarily focused on one goal—such as getting their product to market—but they haven’t given proper attention to internal business growth strategies that would support that achievement and ensure that the company can continue to operate successfully beyond one goalpost. Does the company have a solid foundation in place to support and fulfill orders and meet customer expectations? Or will it burn out its resources (including cash and employees) as it makes progress on getting to its product launch date?

Let’s say your tech company is doubling down its efforts on a subscription-based productivity app that has taken off over the past year with work-from-home office workers in Silicon Valley and surrounding areas. You’re convinced the interest in this app will not wane as remote work continues to be more acceptable in this country (to some extent at least), and you want to get past this early stage and fully market the app to remote workers in other states and come up an enterprise version.

Building out the company, through new hires, new space, and new systems, to meet the anticipated demand may be a growth strategy that makes sense at the moment. But are the rosy revenue figures of today making you losing perspective of what’s going on around you? Should your company invest in office space in the current environment? Is your app at risk of being forgotten once more workers return to their company headquarters?

You can gain the insights necessary for understanding the current situation in full and then making a solid plan forward. Management of your resources, what’s coming in and what’s going out, can set up the company with a more sustainable growth roadmap, one that’s not unduly optimistic. It would be rooted in how your company is actually performing today, what it’s capable of, and what needs to change in order to reach your growth goals. Senior-level finance experts are a necessary resource for forging practical, data-driven business growth strategies.

How to Develop a Good Business Growth Strategy

Developing and then managing a business growth strategy can start by assessing your company’s financial health and how prepared your company is for growth. By uncovering the gaps in your finances and operations, changes can be made to put your company on more solid footing and more in touch with the state of your business and its opportunities and risks. Fresh, objective perspective from finance experts who have worked alongside a wide range of companies, along every stage of growth, will give you the information your company needs to thrive and achieve greatness.