One thing that is critical to success is learning the art of testing and measuring.

Testing and ensuring gives you much more clarity on the likely success of implementing improvements and changes within your business. There are any number of different scenarios of how companies react when they are considering something new… some go all guns blazing, pile loads of money and resources without really understanding what the outcome might be. Whereas at the other end of the scale, others are far too cautious about the unknown, aren’t brave enough to take the next step and so miss the opportunity to grow.

There should be a level of compromise and this is where testing & measuring becomes essential so here are a few of our top tips:

Start small and on a low budget
Depending on what your company does this could be trying out a few new products with a limited range and stock levels to start with, or if expanding a service based offering consider just opening up a new region.

Ask for support from suppliers
If you are thinking of trying out a service eg. advertising on a new website. Then have a conversation with the supplier, tell them it’s a trial and that it needs to be successful for you to continue to invest… it’s in their interests too if they want to keep you as a customer.

Measure fact & truth
It sounds obvious, as I guess it is but you’d be surprised how many people aren’t always honest when they are analysing whether something worked or not as they either have a preconceived option, or are so desperate for a particular outcome that they only listen out for the anecdotal evidence that supports the decision.

Set budget & expectations
You need to know right from the outset how much this is going to cost you and what you want success to look like at the end. Don’t be tempted to get carried away and blow the budget… make sure it at least gets close to your expectations before throwing more money at it.

Implement properly
Do your research and give your new project the time and attention that it deserves, don’t expect it to be successful if you haven’t set it up properly from the outset. Make sure you do enough to get a realistic sample of results.

Go and break stuff
Not everything you try will work, so don’t be scared of failure. You might learn that although your initial plan didn’t quite work out that in the process you learnt what might work instead. Or you might just realise it was something that you won’t bother doing again (I’ve done this recently and for me personally I’ve realised attending big national exhibitions aren’t a good investment for YRH).

Make sure the process works before rolling out further
Use the pilot launch to perfect and define the process, learn from any mistakes you made initially and reuse and improve on the things that went well.

Use information to make better decisions
Trying out something new is always going to be a learning experience, and with every success or failure that you encounter you gain more knowledge… make sure you use this information wisely to make more informed decisions on future investments.

Take advice from and use the right people
Don’t try to do it all on your own, especially if its brand new. There are experts in pretty much all fields out there so talk to them, ask questions and if needs be use their services to help ensure that you give your investment the best possible chance of success.

Ask someone to with the right skills to do your measuring for you
In order to measure outcome you often have to capture data properly much further up the pipeline! And if you aren’t an excel guru then give the job of collecting and collating the results to someone else who is.

Benchmark your results
Ask other people what results they’re getting from similar activities and how they’re doing it and what results they’re getting. But watch out for unqualified opinions that aren’t based on measuring the facts – otherwise you may find yourself taking action that hurts your own results!

Do it!
Finally, sometimes you just have to just get on and do something to get a different result – don’t stop doing it, just make sure someone is measuring the results for you and you’re looking at them.

For help in testing & measuring your business please email or call 01252 820002 and speak to Jennifer Raines, Tim Johnson or Trudy Murphy. We’re always happy to help and offer a free two-hour initial review to help you understand how to make valuable changes to support your business.