Weekly Edge

Never Test the Depth of the Water with Both Feet

Heather Frame - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What do you think would happen if you went through life always testing the depth of a puddle, river or body of water by jumping feet first?

Sometimes everything would be alright, and sometimes you would land in the water waist deep, there is just no way of knowing the outcome until it is too late, and your shoes are full of water.

Most right minded people can see the wisdom of not jumping in too quickly and risking success or failure on a single action.

So why do so many business owners jump in and test the water with both feet?

By this we mean we regularly see business owners face significant decisions in their business and deal with it by jumping in with both feet.  Sometimes the outcome is right and sometimes the outcome is a failure.

The need to make significant business decisions occur on a daily or weekly basis. These are most often in the area of finance, sales, marketing, advertising or staff management.

Here’s some examples of the significant decisions we’re talking about:

®  how you follow up a difficult debtor or

®  should you run an advertising campaign or

®  how are you going to take disciplinary action with a staff member.

Often business owners stop making significant decisions because in their experience they often lead to failure. And yet it is these significant decisions that will propel a business forward.

The most successful business owners, regardless of industry, test all significant business decisions with one foot at a time. By this we mean instead of making an all or nothing decision to run 6 months of TV advertising on the spot they test the depth of the water by testing and measuring the result of a short advertising run. This gives them the ability to determine if a 6 month advertising program is a good or bad decision.

The secret to not testing the water with both feet is to develop a business plan, test and measure each decision in a low risk way, and above all to keep making the significant business decisions every week.

Until next week...

Heather & Marcus

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