Does Your Biz Plan Cover Leadership Development & Business Networking?

By Deena Anreise | Updated: 02 Jan, 2017

Business growth isn’t about starting from scratch. At least, it doesn’t have to be. Not these days.  Because if you want to find success without having to painfully trial-and-error your way there, look no further than your WiFi connection.

"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Isaac Newton, 1676

In today’s online search engine era of “everything at your fingertips,” it’s easier than ever to scour the web for business growth strategies that will help you develop your growth plan.

An online search will kick start your strategizing, since it gives you access to the best business minds on the planet.


The coolest part about developing your business growth plan by “googling it” is that you’ll quickly find yourself sifting through resources that will encourage you to think outside of the "Forecasting Revenue and Growth" box.

This is exactly what you should hope for, since two key aspects of crucial organic growth aren’t seen in the typical business plan: leadership development goals and social networking for business (e.g., how to get referrals). These aspects will lend themselves to your business growth in huge ways...if you give them the proper attention they deserve.

Most business owners believe their company's growth will be achieved solely by raising their top line with greater product sales or service income OR by minimizing costs to increase their bottom line. But what about the human factors those line increases point to? Namely, employees and customers.

For maximum success, think of your growth strategy as a document that defines your core values, customer happiness, employee engagement, and company culture alongside more common themes such as scalability, cash flow, r&d, and your marketing stack.


“Leadership development is a systematic approach to expanding the performance capability of individuals in leadership roles within your organization. And like any approach, it's not achieved through a single stage or step but rather through a journey. This journey is the process of leadership development.”

Ryan May, journalist at Business Dictionary

If you are a small business owner then you may not have many employees. That’s okay. The advice here is applicable whether you have two employees or two hundred. If you have just two employees, make a point to constantly up your collective game. Learn to create systems that will be easy to delegate to others as you scale. Pinpoint your organizational structure, and brainstorm ways to fill each role with someone smarter and more capable than you.

Take online leadership development courses developed by business leaders who have achieved actual success that can be measured, and stay away from those who will sell you a course designed to simply take your money. Look for proof of their business success. If it’s not there, move on. There is always another option.

That’s the beauty of the internet. As you learn how to make your business grow, it’s your employees that will keep the engine running so that you can continue steering the ship.

So look no further than your employees, both current and future.



Book Recommendation




Business Growth Plan.pngIt cannot be overstated that a well designed culture should be a defining factor in any growth strategy. When you can understand that there’s more to growth than forecasting revenue and growth, you’ll quickly realize that there's more to leadership than a title and more to employees than a W2 form.

In the same way that a fancy leadership title cannot guide and motivate your employees to accomplish their goals if you are an ineffective leader, you do not have a culture just because you hired people and opened your doors for business.

Culture is intentional. It’s ongoing, collaborative, and subject to the reality of your employees.

Our absolute favorite examples of company culture include Zappos, Hubspot, AirBnB, and REI.



Harvard Business Review’s “Creating a Culture of Quality

Jive’s “See how companies like lululemon, Grant Thornton and Jive are incorporating their culture into their online communities




We are all sales professionals.

When it comes right down to it, we are all trying to sell something.

Even if you work for a non-profit, one of your main goals is to “sell” your mission to donors. So in the spirit of “everyone is a salesperson,” check out the resources below. They are spilling over with useful, actionable information that will get you pumped about growing your business.



Book Recommendation and Review




Networking is vital to the success of your business. Phrases like "Your network is your net worth" and "It’s not what you know but who you know" make it apparent that business is all about growing and nurturing your network. 

Build Your Professional Network.jpgIn business as in life, building connections is a lifesaver. Every connection you make comes with the potential to become a lead and then a new customer. In turn, that new customer can bring you more potential new customers through word-of-mouth referrals, which are marketing gold because they don't really cost you anything except time and attention. 

Make sure you're connecting with your ideal customers on the social platforms that they frequent on a daily basis. Put yourself out there. Share. Comment. Like. Retweet. Stay relevant and provide useful information to your niche, and the corresponding community will eventually take notice. 

And while social networking for business doesn't require you to leave the comforts of your home or office, it's important to get out and meet people face-to-face at networking events. Not sure where to begin? You can look up the best business networking events in your area by searching online for business networking groups. Check out, which offers the best options to build your business network.



Book Recommendation and Review



Put it All Together: Stand on the Shoulders of Giants

Building a business is difficult work. Don't go it alone, even if you think it's more efficient to do everything yourself. 

There are simple ways to stand on the shoulders of giants. The trick is to seek out the wisdom they have to share then apply your findings to your growth strategy.

By leveraging great minds who have been there and done that, you'll find new ways to tackle some of the most challenging obstacles to your growth. 

The important thing is to find your community and to thrive from their advice rather than merely survive.