Entrepreneurs like to be in charge, which is probably why they are in that position in the first place. They typically like to make decisions and have projects follow suit. This is phenomenal when getting started or getting a company off the ground. BUT… this mindset can be disastrous if left unchecked as a company grows.
Every new project a company takes on is a test in some way. New growth initiatives, new product launches, pivots in ideal clientele, etc all require a bit of flexibility and a healthy dose of testing to ensure it’s the right move. Luckily there is a process that, once implemented, can help smooth out this experience and keep your business growing!
Why can’t the business owner just make the decisions?
No matter how much research a company has done into their customer they still can’t be 100% sure that what they THINK is right, will be right.
Everyone naturally sees things from their own perspective, obviously. And it takes active thought and active work to put yourself into the user’s perspective. Some people make this their entire profession. Even if you’re a pro at putting yourself in others’ shoes you can still get it wrong.
When company decision makers are “in it” for too long it can be extremely difficult to see where they’ve strayed off course. Herein lies the glory of Data Based Decision Making.
How to get back on course with your projects
By conducting tests and using data you’ll be better able to know with confidence that the move you’re making is the right one for your business. Data takes away the guess work and makes decision making more clear.
One big challenge is letting go of control and allowing decisions to be guided by the data. Data can and will prove you wrong in some cases, and you must be okay with that. This can be a tough pill to swallow.
Entrepreneurs often fly solo, which makes it exponentially easier to be drawn to swiftly making decisions on a whim. This is a trap though, tread carefully. It may seem easy to work in this way, but one wrong move and you’ll be back at square one, unsure of what’s wrong, unclear on how to move forward and entirely ready to give up.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. This is precisely why you must use data to make decisions for your company. If you want your brand to grow, you have to be open to the fact that you won’t always know what the best move will be.
The Data Based Decision Making Process
So here’s how it works.
Step 1 – You have to begin by identifying the key questions you’d like answered with your data. It’s important to be very specific here because too many variables here won’t give you clean results.
Question examples: Does this ad copy bring in higher click through rates? Does this button color lead to a boost in conversion? Will this adset be interested and engaged with this ad image?
The questions at this stage should help you to solve a specific problem, learn more about your target demographic, or improve a program or process.
Collect & Analyze
Step 2 – Next you will need to set up how you will be collecting and analyzing data. Depending on the nature of your questions you’ll need to find ways to collect direct data for each purpose.
We’ll be creating subsequent blog posts all about testing best practices in the future so stay tuned! If you’re unsure where to go with this step, schedule a call with us! We’re happy to help chat over this roadblock for your specific needs.
Step 3 – If applicable, the results of the data should be presented and shared with your team, a business partner, or a trusted mentor. We advise that another set of eyes be put on your data if at all possible. Like mentioned above, if you’re too close to the information it can be harder to see the bigger picture. Getting another opinion into the mix at this stage can be beneficial to gain additional clarity and add alternative perspectives.
Step 4 – Based on the results found above, you’ll need to make some changes. Once these changes take place, you should watch your data carefully to ensure you’re seeing the desired results. If not, your analysis may have been incorrect, or there may have been a missing factor that you didn’t catch.
At this stage, you will most likely have additional questions, or new questions you’d like tested… and the process begins again!
Data is a Necessary Evil
It may seem tedious, annoying, or like a waste of time to undergo this process for all major decision making within your company but it’s 100% necessary. #Sorrynotsorry get over that mindset… now.
Without this process you will never quite know if your trajectory is on course with what your customers want.
Eric Ries of the Lean Startup stated, “Many features that make the product better in the eyes of the engineers and designers have no impact on the customer behavior.” You never quite know how your customers may interpret what you’re putting out there. Stop making assumptions and start using data.