How do you know if what you are doing is actually working?
It's one thing to hunt down problems to solve, to find what your clients really want and then give it to them, and to find areas of your business to improve. And as we discussed in rule #2 it's also vital to act on those ideas and solutions rather than sitting around pondering and discussing them.
But there's a major step which sadly is often overlooked. You need to test and measure everything because you need to know if those ideas and solutions actually work.
They may look good on paper or during the brainstorm session or even while you were implementing them but when it comes down to it how do you know if they are any good? More importantly how do you know they are adding to or taking from your bottom line?
It is one thing to have a brilliant idea, no matter how big or small, yet another to know if it's actually any good. And the only way to do that is to test it and measure it's impact!
Here are three things to consider.
1. Figure out early what the key measures of success are.
That may sound very BRW or MBA speak but if you don't know how you're idea or solution has worked then how will you know if your idea or solution has worked. Is it by increasing sales and if so by how much? Is it by improving employee performance and if so what's the impact? Is it to boost production and if so what are the numbers?
2. Know early if it works or not.
As Eddie Geller CEO of 'Tiny Beans' said when I interviewed him for StartUp Australia, 'try to find a way in which you can get some early validation,' which is great advice because you want to know as quickly as possible if an idea is a goer before you invest too much time, money and effort in it. So test early because testing later can get expensive.
3. What is your M.V.P? (Minimum viable product).
The idea here is to work out what is the least amount you need to do in order to test whether or not your idea is going to work, rather than implementing everything before you test anything. As David Vitek of 'hiPages Group' pointed out, rather than taking 15 days to get an idea up, put it together in just half a day to prove if it is viable. For example if you were looking to drive revenue, you might just create a simple landing page and then test how many people click through.
Remember...business is a game of inches and it’s easier and less expensive to backtrack an inch than wait till you’re a kilometre down the road. It's also easier and less expensive to test on the go and know exactly where you are and where you need to go next.