How to Grow Your Business: Add a Winning Move to Your Business Plan

By Ted Skinner

Turn your existing 3-5 year strategic strategic growth intiativesplan into a Rhythm Systems Winning Move.  A Winning Move is an idea or project that will help you double your business revenue in 3-5 years.  Many companies have these growth ideas in their business plans, but they don't have any execution plans in order to continually work on the projects that will get their business to the next level.  This article will help you add a winning move to your business plan into a winning move.

Winning Moves are the things on your 3-5 year plan that could potentially double your revenue. They're important for keeping your business growing. Patrick Thean teaches that your three to five-year business plan should contain two to three key strategic projects that are categorized as winning moves - items that will fuel your growth, as well as brainstorming winning moves for profit that are operational/infrastructural - items that will support your growth as you scale up. You need both types of strategic projects - infrastructure and sales in order to scale your business - where you bring in more revenue per employee to maximize your return on payroll.

Every one of you is in a different place with your Winning Moves. Some are in the midst of executing a winning move. Some people are just finishing up a winning move and want to know what their next step should be. Other people are just starting out with their brainstorming. Your current strategy may already be working well for you, but you should always ask yourself "What’s next?" whenever it comes to fueling your business' revenues and growing your share of the market. This helps you keep, and grow, your customer base in existing markets with your product or service.

Here are the steps for finding your 3-Year Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives or Winning Moves:

1. Brainstorm All of the Ideas That Could Help You Double Your Revenue

First, start by brainstorming a comprehensive listing of all the different things your team could be doing to increase revenues. Really go for it and come up with at least 20 potential solutions. Patrick suggested starting by thinking about some of the most common revenue-increasing tactics he has observed while working with clients on winning moves.

  • What's my competition not willing to do? Perhaps there is an unmet need in your industry that no company has yet been bold enough to fill.
  • What do our customers dislike but have to tolerate? Perhaps there is a way that your company has been doing things that customers dislike but they've just accepted because they're used to it.
  • Do I have an asset or diamond in my backyard? There may be some sort of internal asset that could potentially be monetized.
  • What's the biggest obstacle to my prospect's success? And how can I remove it from their path? Perhaps if you remove or address your biggest sales objection, it could double your revenue.
  • What partnerships, acquisitions, or joint ventures might be worth considering? There may be an untapped growth market for your product if you're willing to look at new partners.
  • What were some big ideas or opportunities that we've talked about in the past, but haven't taken action on? Maybe there is something big you've been hesitating to take on because of uncertainty.
  • What is the short-term impact?  Does this hit the bottom line long-term?  Does this cannibalize existing products? Do we have a proper market penetration strategy? 
  • Has customer service been fully considered?  Does additional product development or market research need to be done?
  • Does this align with our business strategies?  Does this get us to our BHAG? Can we continue to be a successful business with above-market business growth?

2. Narrow the List to the Top Ideas

After brainstorming, narrow the list down to the 5-8 best ideas through group discussions. Each member of the team should think about each idea and then choose their top three recommendations for further consideration. Identify the best ideas from among the ones that received the most votes and have the greatest potential for moving your business forward.

Have the deep discussions needed to identify the pros and cons of each of the ideas.  What are the good merits of each of the ideas?  Can the group make any of the ideas better or provide additional information? The goal here is to choose the ideas that have the highest potential impact. You may also want to consider how well-suited a particular idea is to your needs and resources.  If you are first to the market, will you be spending much of your time on market development and implementing your marketing strategy?

3. Evaluate and Rank Each of the Top Ideas

Now that you have your recommended list you'll go through and rate each of the ideas based on two scales: Revenue Impact and Ease.

  • Revenue Impact - on a scale of 1-10, what is the potential impact this move could have on revenue? A score of 10 would indicate that this move alone could more than double your current revenue.

There are several ways to rank business ideas based on revenue. First, look at what industry the idea belongs to. If it’s in an industry where there are already established competitors, then it may be difficult for you to compete. Second, research how much money has been spent on similar businesses. The bigger the amount spent, the higher the chances that someone else has tried the same thing. Third, consider whether the target market is large enough to support multiple players. Fourth, think about the size of the potential customer base. A small group of customers might not generate sufficient income to cover costs. Finally, use Google Trends to determine whether there is demand for a product or service. If there are other websites discussing the topic, then it may indicate that there is some interest in the idea.

  • Easy to do - on a scale of 1-10, how easy would it be to get this done? A score of 10 would indicate that it would be very easy to execute because you already have all the expertise and resources necessary and it's synergistic with your other activities.

Ideas based on how easy it is to implement them is one of the best ways to find new business opportunities. The easiest way to come up with ideas is to think about what would be valuable to customers that are similar to the ones that you currently service. You may also want to talk to other entrepreneurs who might know of some opportunities that they've missed out on. If you're looking for something specific, try searching Google using keywords like "idea" + "market". This will give you a list of websites where you can read articles about finding ideas to get your brainstorming started.

Step 4: Select the Winning Moves for Your 3-5 year plan

Obvious Winning Moves will score high on both scales, but you may also find Winning Moves that are high on Revenue Impact, but not high on Ease. If you choose to pursue these, consider your capacity, and limit it to just one or two. If you don't have any that score high on Revenue Impact, you'll need to go back to brainstorming ideas. 

Remember that by definition, a Winning Move will have the potential to double revenue over the next 3-5 years. Your goal is to identify 2-3 Winning Moves that you want to begin to develop. You may find that you have more potential Winning Moves that you can support at one time. That's great! Pick 2-3 to begin work on and keep the others on a virtual "Idea Bench". These are ideas you don't want to lose, that you may choose to add to your plan later.



5. Identify the assumptions leading you to believe the Revenue Impact and Ease rankings are accurate.

Have the team document up to 5 assumptions they are making on each idea, then allow time to use data and experience to test those assumptions. This process allows the team to select and develop Winning Moves based on facts instead of emotion.

Assumptions are made when we don't know something about our topic, such as what happens if the market for our product changes. The best way to find out if your assumptions are correct is to test them. If they turn out to be wrong, then you'll need to change your plan accordingly.

These are the steps to identify the 3 Winning Moves you want to include in your 3-5 year plan. Now you're ready to begin the process of developing and implementing. As you begin to put these Winning Moves into action, it's important that you keep testing your assumptions, documenting learnings, and making adjustments to the plan as you go.

-Ted Skinner


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Interested in learning more about your 3-year strategic plan?

The CEOs Strategy-Execution Gap...And How To Fix It

Choose Your 3 Year Strategic Growth Initiatives Wisely With This 4 Step Process

5 Steps to Getting Started on 3 Year Strategic Plans with Winning Moves

Have You Validated Your 3 Year Strategic Plan?

Strong 3 Year Strategic Plans to Grow Revenue and Stay Competitive

16 Strategic Planning Tips to Keep Your Strategic Plan Alive

Don't Confuse Strategic Thinking And Strategy Execution Plans

9 Steps to a New Revenue Growth Strategy [Infographic]

Ted Skinner


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