7 Small Commitments for a Big Year: Develop a Growth Plan for 2017

The start of a New Year means it’s time to pause and take some time to honestly look at your business. This is a time for reflection, planning and making changes. Over the next few weeks I will focus on seven small commitments I challenge you to make in the New Year to see major success in 2017. Individually, these commitments are small but combined they can create major impact for your business.


1. Develop a Growth Plan for 2017

It’s no secret that virtually every business owner wants to see positive growth in their business. What better time to develop a growth plan than at the beginning of a new year? The first step you should make every year in your business is developing a clear cut plan to reach your goals.

Take an honest look at your business’s numbers and develop a realistic goal for growth. Try not to pull out arbitrary numbers, like growing by 25%, but focus on a real goal, based on the previous year’s numbers with fully developed milestones throughout the year. Developing short, medium and long-term goals, and achievable and stretch goals is the best way to direct your focus for 2017.

Once you have your goals identified for 2017, it’s time to start creating a business plan to make it happen. Break down your big picture goals into small, realistic objectives and figure out what it will take to get you there. If you plan to wildly increase your sales, do you need to hire more employees to accommodate the increase in business? Will you have enough space for the new employees? What about inventory? These are all things you must consider when creating your growth plan for success.

Once your plan is created, don’t forget to follow it! It’s easy to throw the plan aside when you’ve fallen behind in the first quarter, but sticking to the plan and using it as a tool to get you back on track will only help you in the long run. If needed, adjust the plan along the way. Maybe you stretched a bit too far, or maybe you’ve already crashed your goal – this plan should be flexible while holding you accountable.

Next week, I’ll share about the importance of reevaluating your mission statement and company goals.

AboutDoug Kordel

Doug Kordel, a graduate of The University of Dayton School of Law, joined Proforma in 2003 and leads the development of Proforma’s leadership and management teams, addresses high level operational issues and spearheads the development, communication and implementation of effective growth strategies and processes. Doug also directs all aspects of Proforma's legal affairs and ensures protection of its legal rights. His expertise includes franchise law, corporate and transactional law, employment law, and dispute resolution. In 2013, Doug was named the winner of Crain’s Cleveland Business magazine’s General & In-House Counsel Summit Award. Prior to joining Proforma, Doug served as both in-house and outside legal counsel. He also holds a Bachelors of Business Administration from the University of Toledo, majoring in Information Systems and Operations Management.


  1. Thanks Doug! I just graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program hosted by Babson College and that is exactly what we did – we developed a growth plan around our company’s greatest growth opportunity. It was a tremendous amount of work but it has provided a huge boost of confidence heading into the new year that we will be able to execute the plan to hit our goals. Looking forward to your next post on mission statements.

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