Laura McLoughlin
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How to Split Your Business with the Rules of Propagation

Laura McLoughlin

August 19, 2020

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When it comes to new business ventures and expanding your company, sometimes it’s best to think of new veins the same way you would your overgrown plants. 

Following similar steps to successfully propagate plants, splitting businesses isn’t uncommon, with the likes of Disney doing the same with Touchstone – now transformed as a part of ABC – as well as Ryanair with its country-specific airlines, including Maltese airline, Malta Air and Polish airline, Buzz. 

Just like the ideas you have for your business possibilities might be endless, so are the roots of a healthy, ever-growing plant. Follow our tips on how best to propagate your business and watch it flourish.

Step 1: Understanding Propagation/Splitting a Business

From a plant getting a touch overgrown and crammed in its pot to too many ideas going in lots of different directions, it becomes difficult to sell your business as a whole. Whilst we know Disney to be a company home to wholesome family entertainment, featuring nostalgic Classic Animations inspired by some our favourite fairytales, as such a huge corporation that does entertainment across Film and TV so well, it makes sense to branch out and offer different genres of shows and films that perhaps don’t entirely cater to the Disney brand. 

This is where splitting a business comes into play. Rather than trying to cram all different kinds of entertainment or a product under one brand, ending up with a rather vague idea of your demographic and it becoming somewhat confusing of how you talk to them and market the brand and its products, splitting a business allows you to subsidise and create new areas under the umbrella of your company, and better strategies and market to that specific brand.

In plant terms, this means having the benefits of two or more beautiful plants to enjoy in your home, rather than one slightly out of control one, with the added bonus of being frugal and helping boost the environment – for plants, that is, not so much your company necessarily.

Step 2: Signs You Might Need to Propagate Your Business

As it goes, you can propagate a plant, or, in this case, split a business, at any time. Whether you’ve outgrown the space you’re in, or you simply have other new, fresh ideas you wish to explore, splitting a business can happen at any point, though there may certainly be signs you need to consider it.

Whilst a plant in need of some TLC might look like its outgrown its pot and has whole new spruce of stalks and leaves bursting out of it, on a page business in need of refining may have many different areas drawing from the same mind map. 

At the point where you feel your business is getting too complicated and multifaceted to sell under one guise where products don’t necessarily complement each other, this is the point in which you may want to consider creating a whole separate entity that can function within your overarching business. 

Step 3: How Best to Propagate

Whilst it may be clear there is a need to tame the beast, you’ll, of course, need a good idea of how to go about it, what the best methods are, and actually know what you want the outcome to be. As it goes, there are multiple propagation methods for different types of plants, whether you choose to take a leaf sample, take a cutting of a stem, or use the water propagation method.

Choosing the Right Method

Cramming all your roots into one pot, or business ideas into one product can have a detrimental effect on the overall thing you’re trying to sell with confusing messaging and trying to encompass something rather broad. Similarly, not all ideas are good ideas or all methods one-fit-all.

You should pinpoint exactly where you wish to take each business venture, decide what you want it to look like in terms of image, and, of course, who it’s for. 

How to Market It

Whilst any given product can have somewhat of broad scope with different people into a variety of things, like any brand it’s good to have a concept in mind of who will enjoy the product you’re looking to make, what their interests are and what their lifestyle is like. From here, you can market in a way that is actually going to reach those people.

For instance, with RyanAir, they decided to create a brand that signified its geographical location with Malta Airplanes incorporating a red and white design like the country’s flag. This might be considered a stem cutting, root, and all with a base for the company's branding.

Splitting a business also potentially means adapting the way you market, choosing a design that appeals to your pinpointed audience in terms of color schemes, text, and imagery, to the mediums you’re going to focus on to get your brand seen. For a younger demographic, this may mean utilising social media with targeted adverts or short-form content like with Tasty videos, a stem off of Buzzfeed. 

For people more likely to pick up a newspaper or switch on the TV than they are to scroll through Instagram, this will be an entirely different ball game with traditional media being the focus.

How this Impacts SEO

By splitting your business, as well as targeting an audience, this also simplifies SEO with the ability to utilise focused keywords to better rank for the search terms you want to be ranking for. Without splitting your business, you may spread yourself too thinly and be unable to be competitive for specific keywords.

Of course, depending on what you are selling, certain products will fit certain formats, much like certain plants require certain propagation methods to grow and expand.


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