Building a business is a challenge in itself, so it’s no surprise that some people focus so much on the creation of the business they fail to consider how to properly manage growth. If you find your business is flourishing in its current state, congratulations! But it’s certainly not a time to rest on your laurels. The best thing you can do to ensure future success is to plan strategically to manage expansion and growth. Here are some options you can think about when you are ready to take the next step.

The culture of growth hacking

By definition, growth hacking is a process of rapid experimentation across marketing channels and product development to identify the most effective, efficient ways to grow a business. Growth hackers are marketers, engineers and product managers that specifically focus on building and engaging the user base of a business. They often focus on low-cost alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. using social media, viral marketing or targeted advertising.

The Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking, by Quick Sprout, says that everything begins by focusing on a narrow, actionable goal. If the focus is too broad it becomes meaningless. Of course, the overall goal is growth, but you don’t attain that kind of end-result without breaking it into smaller, achievable tasks. Analytics are also essential within the growth hacking process to definitively say that a goal has been reached in order to move ahead. Analytics can give you valuable data which can change and define your goals.

The value of a franchise

In short, franchising means “leasing out” your business model via a franchise agreement, which will allow separate individuals or companies to purchase the right to run that business model under your brand for a given period. With a franchise, you reap the benefits of generating profits for that period and franchisee fees, as well as growing your brand presence in the market.

Franchising requires a great deal of organization. A franchisee will need all of the necessary details and guidelines in order to get their business up and running. In addition, the most important part of franchising is retaining your brand identity. The franchisee is essentially representing your brand, so it is vital that guidelines are clear and that the corporate message is consistent throughout the organization. There are also elements to consider like location, deciding how you want to grow, and providing enough support for your franchisees.

The almighty marketing plan

A marketing plan is a document that outlines a company’s advertising and marketing efforts for the coming year. It describes business activities involved in accomplishing specific marketing objectives, and focuses on winning and retaining customers. Everyone knows you need a business plan, but many forget that a marketing plan is just as essential.

In order to create an effective marketing plan, every element of the business needs to be taken into account and analyzed. You need to make sure you understand your market, and how you are positioning your business competitively within that market. List your goals for expansion, and develop marketing strategies that you will use to reach those goals. Identify your primary marketing tactics, and decide what combination will you use. What methods are best suited to your target audience? Lastly is budget – set yourself an annual budget, and bear in mind you may need to adjust your marketing preferences accordingly.

Depending on the extent to which you would like to expand your business, these points will give you an idea of what works for you, and you can take and adapt each as you wish. Treat them as food for thought. With the correct method and strategy, you will be sure to see your business growth become a success.