How We Grow A Sustainable Business: 6-Step Growth Process

Stanley Ip Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking Process

Growth Hacking Process is a scientific and engineering approach to grow a business.

First thing first, you need to understand the basic concept and overview of Growth Hacking which I have done Growth Hacking 101 in another post. Click Here to Learn More.  

Let’s summarize Growth Hacking is basically a 7-Stage Growth Cycle. They are:

  1. Create Product
  2. Target Audience
  3. Acquire Customer
  4. Re-engage Customer
  5. Setup Retention
  6. Generate Revenue
  7. Obtain Referral

In each stage, what do you need to do? What do you need to consider?

In this post, I will tell you what exactly you need to do to move your business forward and every fast forward.

Now, let’s start!

6-Step Growth Process

Stanley Ip Growth Hacking

Growth Hacking is all about doing business development experiments. Starting a new business is basically exploring a new area of knowledge. To acquire more and more knowledge, you need a well-developed process to make sure you are on the right track.

Growth Hacking is like rocks climbing. You have to take your step by step, you can go bold and jump steps but you are risking of falling if your step is not solid.

When you take a step forward, you may find that the step is not solid. At that moment, you can rollback and try another step. This is why Growth Hacking is solid and fast. If your business adopts Agile methodology, you will leverage your growth speed. To learn more about Agile, Click Here and Learn More.

Now, let’s talk about the 6 Steps:

Step 1 – Goals & Hypothesis

No matter what you want to, you need to understand why you want to do it and what you want to achieve. In this step, you need to 

  1. Setup goals and state out the benefits you want to achieve.
  2. Setup a hypothesis that you want to prove.

For example, you are in the Create Product Stage, you need to set the goals like:

  1. what kind of product you want to sell? 
  2. what is the value that your product is providing? 

You may say, “I know it. Let’s move on!” 

Hold on a minute. 

Most of the time, business owners are very firm on the products they got. In fact, it may be a good looking product but not a good product for your business.

Step 2 – Project Planning

This is my favourite step as a project manager, plan for the experiment. You need to know

  1. What, When and How to develop the project product.  
  2. Setup KPIs benchmark to measure your hypothesis.

 

Planning is very important. “You fail to plan, you plan to fail.” 

Before you rush into development process, have a good plan. 

Continue the example, in Create Product Stage, you have gone through Goals & Hypothesis. Now, you need to work on:

  1. what is the product to solve your customers’ problem?
  2. how to obtain the product? Create it inhouse or source it from somewhere else?
  3. when to obtain the product? Stack up in your inventory or creased on b order etc?

These all affect your business model on order fulfillment and customer satisfaction. 

After that, you need to set up KPIs to measure the stage performance. For example:

  1. Speed
  2. Cost
  3. Features 
  4. Outcome
  5. Benefits

They may not make sense for now. Be patient, keep reading and it will make sense of you. 🙂

Step 3 – Project Development

In Project Development Process, you need to:

  1. Run the planned project
  2. Develop the project products

The products here are not necessary pointing to the products that you are selling. We are talking about products you are developing in the project of which will be employed and operated to obtain an outcome. 

Sounds complicated? Let’s have a look into an example. 

In Create Product Stage, the product you are creating is the product you are selling to your customers. This is very easy to understand. 

Let’s have a look into other stage. Say, in the Target Audience Stage, you need to create a customer avatar for you to target an audience who are interested into your products. The customer avatar is the project product and it is not for sale but for your internal business operational usage. The internal usage is an output of operating the customer avatar. The audience being targeted and gets back to you is an outcome of the output. 

Hope it makes sense here 🙂 

Step 4 – Project Delivery

Once you’ve developed your project products, what do you do? 

Delivery your products! Sure Thing!

It sounds like a stupid question but in fact I did talk to some businesses, they never delivery the developed project products. 

This is a shame and they would have better never spent the time and money to start the project.  

Here, I need to stress that, the project product is not necessary the product you are selling but for your internal use. 

And the word “delivery” here means to operate your project product, the output. Once you are operating with your output, it will give you an outcome which can be either bad or good. In project management, we called it disbenefit (bad) and benefit (good). 

For example, in the Create Product Stage, after you have created the product, you sell it. The action of selling is an output because you finally have something to sell. The revenue you are generating by selling is an outcome and this a benefit. 

A project product without delivery is just a piece of luxury item costing you money and time without providing you any benefit but disbenefit. So, keep in mind to delivery your product!

Step 5 – Data Gathering & Analysis

To be a smart business owner, you need to make decision based on data. This is the buzz phrase, data-driven decision making. After your have delivery the product, you need to:

  1. Gather data based on the output and outcome of your product delivery
  2. Perform data analysis and check the data is right

Following the Create Product Stage example, after you have created and sold the product. You need to gather data such as. 

  1. the cost of product creation
  2. the time taken of product creation
  3. revenue generated by selling the product
  4. etc…

This is the reason we need to set the KPIs at the Project Planning Process because it helps you to understand what kind of data you need to gather. 

After you have gathered the essential data, DON’T jump into evaluation YET!!

WHY??

Because your data gathering may have flaw. You need to do analysis and check your data is correct or not. 

This is a very important step because after spending that much of effort, you don’t want to make any decision based on WRONG DATA! 

Step 6 – Evaluation

Remember the KPIs we set in Project Plan Process? Now, it is the time to put them in use. You need to:

  1. Compare project results with the KPIs benchmark
  2. Evaluate the result

You may not have a benchmark for all your KPIs, especially it is the first time you run the process. It is fine but if you have a benchmark, it helps to evaluate the performance.

For example, in the Acquire Customer Stage, you have run an email marketing campaign before and had a great success. The result of the campaign can be set as the KPIs benchmark as your evaluation standard. 

After you have run another campaign, you can gather the data from the new one and compare the results with the benchmark. 

Then you need to evaluate what you have done well or not, and think of ways to improve it.

Once you have done the evaluation, that’s good!

If you want to keep improving within the same stage, loop back into Step 1 – Goals & Hypothesis. 

If not, you can move onto another stage. 

Now, let’s combine the 7-Stage Growth Cycle and 6-Step Growth Process, we have a big picture like this.

Stanley Ip Growth Hacking Full Picture

Yes! It is massive and this is why Growth Hacking is not sample BUT once you understand it and deploy it into your business, you can fast forward your business in a stable manner. 

Conclusion

We have gone through the 6-Step Growth Process. This is a way to move your business forward and every fast forward. So, remember the 6 steps!

Step 1 – Goals & Hypothesis 
Step 2 – Project Planning 
Step 3 – Project Development
Step 4 – Project Delivery
Step 5 – Data Gathering & Analysis
Step 6 – Evaluation 

I hope that you enjoy reading this and put this into real use. 😉 

Before You Go, Check This Out!

Fast Forward Your Business with 
Growth Hacking

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Stanley Ip
Growth Hacker

Growth Hacking is a complicated topic. It involves many different components and each of them positively affects your business differently.

Growth Hacking Includes: 

Target Audience 

Marketing Funnel 

Sales Pipeline 

Sales Segmentation 

Post-Sales Campaign 

Referral Acquisition 

Product Development

And Many Other Areas of Your Business

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