Action Planning for Entrepreneurs

When starting and growing a business, one is faced with a multitude of decisions that will shape the company’s future. To simplify the decision-making and action-planning process, GrowthWheel's visual tool provides entrepreneurs and business owners with a 360 perspective when building their business.

The four sections of the GrowthWheel outline the basic components of every business:

  1. Business Concept
  2. Organization
  3. Customer Relations
  4. Operations. 

GrowthWheel can be viewed as a map that illuminates the areas where a business needs development to get it running or to keep it growing. An entrepreneur can focus on the external market by using tools from the yellow section Business Concept and tools from the green section Customer Relations.  Tools from the red section Organization or from the blue section Operations focus on the company’s internal development and structure. Plan one step at a time and use the GrowthWheel as a compass to determine what to do next. A successful entrepreneur may be able to operate without the business plan, but you must always be thinking and taking action!

Before developing the business across the four segments of the GrowthWheel, one must focus on the business design and determine how to translate the business concept into action. As entrepreneurs, we are taught to value a business plan and are expected to have one. Business plans are a crucial part of entrepreneurial education and recommended by many consultants. However, how many successful entrepreneurs really have a concrete business plan that they keep updated? The following are several reasons why successful entrepreneurs never get around to writing a business plan: lack of time, lack of motivation, and lack of a perceived need for financing. 

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Take action and focus on getting the essential elements in place to start generating results. Every business plan incorporates the topics of market segmentation, market analysis, and product strategy. The GrowthWheel approach revolves around the same components, but focuses on action-oriented results. Create client lists and categorize customers to define market segments, analyze the market through customer surveys, and outline the product strategy by creating a product sheet/website. Instead of feeling as if time is being wasted on planning, one can feel as if they are making progress.  To explore actionable alternatives to the conventional business plan, download "Goodbye, Business Plan!"

A great idea is a starting point, but the ability to take action is what separates aspiring entrepreneurs from successful entrepreneurs. GrowthWheel promotes a creative approach to business development that is about building the business through action.

Prioritize the following 7 steps to best fit your business:

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  1. Inspiration for ideation
  2. Research that provides knowledge
  3. Decision-making that leads to action
  4. Sparring that provides improvements
  5. Testing that gives realism
  6. Documentation that gives conviction
  7. Presentations that sell. 

For more on the seven actions for creative business development, download "Actions Make the Difference."

Stay tuned for more information on the value of the GrowthWheel tool! If you are interested in one-on-one consulting as a Whitewater Innovation Center client or affiliate, please contact Mark Johnson via 262-472-5290 to coordinate your first one-on-one consulting session.