How To Build Your Growth Plan

When one starts a business, she desires to grow it to its maximum. Growth has a different meaning, depending on the company’s goal.

This is something that needs to be defined A$AP.

Then, it’s chaos. Is it possible, from such a high-level goal, to come down to a set of tactics to achieve that?

This is exactly why you need a growth plan. Don’t you know how to craft one?

We have your back! I know that this is not as easy, as most publications want you to believe, but trust me; whatever you do, success comes down to being consistent. Everything else is just tweaking.

In this article, you’re going to find out how to build your own growth plan in 10 steps:

  1. Selecting your main metric.
  2. Identify the way forward (aka the funnel(s))
  3. Identify who will have the ownership
  4. Identify the traffic sources
  5. Start considering your digital properties
  6. Check your PPC numbers
  7. Reverse your thinking.
  8. Put everything together.
  9. Select the conversion rates to affect
  10. Build your action Plan

1. Selecting your main metric.

This is harder than it sounds, as in most of the cases selecting one metric (aka the main growth metric) is not very trivial. In most of the cases, if you are tasked with finding the one-and-only metric, you will come up with few of them.

However, once you identify the set of metrics that are most impactful, it’s a matter of holding teams accountable to one (main metric) or two metrics (secondary metric) and really focusing on tasks and experiments that can impact these numbers.

But what does a good growth metric look like? As Sean Ellis in this Slideshare presentation exceptionally states, your growth metric should be:

  • Easy to understand.
  • Relevant to your goal.
  • Timely.
  • Instantly useful

Some typical examples for your main metric are:

  • Monthly recurring revenue.
  • The number of subscribers.
  • Retention rate.

If you are curious about how to find your own one growth metric, I’ve already covered that in the past.

2. Identify the way forward (aka the funnel(s))

By funnel, we mean nothing more than the flow to follow in order to achieve this main metric. It’s an answer to the simple question:

“What should I do to grow the main metric?”.

If that core metric is the number sales, what are the steps to bring those sales? It’s pretty obvious that it includes some of the following:

  • Someone needs to see your “message” in various channels (also known as eyeballs)
  • Someone needs to click on your message’s CTA
  • That someone will end up to your landing page
  • That someone needs to engage with the landing page somehow 
    i.e. by entering their email expressing their interest.
  • This is called an MQL. In other words, a marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a website visitor whose engagement levels indicate they are likely to become a customer. For example, he/she left the email address etc.
  • In parallel, he/she may subscribe or put a product in their cart. This is called an SQL.
  • Thus, SQLs (sales-qualified lead) indicate those started a sales process but never finished it. It could happen because of multiple reasons, such as bad UX, an issue on payments or wrong device.
  • Without a proper mechanism installed, you may lose those rather than secure a sale.

3. Identify who will have the ownership

Who else is going to work on the project? Do we expect the result to come from the growth hacking initiatives, or are there any other elements that might bring results as well?

Assign a percentage to each of the owners/departments. So, if Growth hacking is responsible for the 40% of the 1500 sales / month that means that you need to go for only 600 of them (1500*40%)

4. Identify the traffic sources

Digital traction channels that you believe that will participate in your growth hacking efforts as your source of traffic.

Assign a percentage to the contribution of each one of them as well.

5. Start considering your digital properties

Digital assets (aka digital properties) may be a different type of digital destinations with the goal to perform a specialized task. They do include different CTAs and a lot of tactics are developed around that to bring traffic or to convert traffic into email lists.

Your job is to define how should each asset be handled and how it interconnects with other assets. Depending on the nature of the property, the way you want different types of digital property managed may vary.

While you may want some assets to be promoted social, you may want others to be kept for organic and high-quality traffic, while others should be transferred to family members, friends, or business colleagues (via referrals).

For each digital account or asset that you have, specify how you’d like your efforts to handle that asset. In most of the cases, it’s Growth Hacker’s responsibility to build those assets as it requires deep technical and marketing abilities.

Do any of the assets have monetary value? If so, you may want to let your growth hacker to handle those assets in a specific way.

For example, should revenue-generating assets be transferred to people who will continue to manage the accounts?

If assets will continue to generate revenue, it’s worth thinking about where that money is going, and who will be able to access it after you’re gone.

6. Check your PPC numbers

Did you run any PPC campaigns in the past? If so, create a simple table to audit with their numbers in order to get:

  1. an estimation of the PPC budget you need to support and
  2. also an estimation of the various conversion rates you need.

E.g. the last 30 Days

7. Reverse your thinking.

Although you were thinking top to bottom (from goal to flows), the growth plan is to be created the other-way-round: bottom-up.

You need to use a simple spreadsheet like the one you can grab below, that will address the following problems. If you are about to bring 600 sales, how many visitors should come and thus how many eyeballs should see your message (i.e. ads)

8. Put everything together.

In order to make your life easier, I have attached in this article an MQL Calculator and a sample Growth Plan, to use as a blueprint for your own.

9. Select the conversion rates to affect

Here, you need to give simple answers to a set of simple questions:

  • What would affect an MQL to become SQL? A better copy maybe, a banner designating that you have free deliveries, a simpler form maybe?
  • What would make a visitor engage? A lead magnet, a valuable PDF on an exit intent?

10. Build your action Plan

You now need to create a list of tasks to address, and the number of experiments to perform.

R U Ready to Build Your Growth Plan?

I think that now you have all you need. I want you to go, apply all you read, tweak it to your own sake and get back to me with the final result. If you want to grow your business in a sustainable way (which I bet you want), you need a growth plan.