You may be familiar with Rube Goldberg creations. Those big, clunky, silly on purpose creations use incredibly intricate and purposely exaggerated pieces to accomplish one tiny task.
Like, instead of just pressing a button on a toaster, you would (for example) have a marble that runs down a track hitting a brick that knocks a roll of pennies into a jar that then tips over and spills bananas onto a lever that then turns on the toaster.
So…what I’m going to talk about today is how to avoid that and focus on just pressing the button. The simpler, the better—that’s what I’ve learned (and I don’t have the patience to wait for toast most days).
When you have laser focus and the data, you can make smart decisions to build revenue without spreading yourself thin. You need to know your exact purpose and the outcome you want. Once you clearly define your business needs, you can move on to business planning and business strategy.
Don’t waste time working hard without understanding where exactly you want to go.
What Story Does Your Data Tell?
When you approach your data and understand the story it tells you, you’ll quickly see your most strategic action course. Look at revenue analytics, client growth, customer acquisition, etc.
Ask yourself regularly: What story does your data currently show you? What can you learn from it, and how can you leverage it?
A good start is to review your marketing and sales data from the last 12 months. Look for trends, areas for improvement, seasonality cues, and more. You may even decide to have a slice or two of toast to sit down with, as the first deep dive will take some time.
Look for Opportunities for Growth
Look for opportunities for growth and get going! By seeing the gaps in performance or areas ripe for expansion, you’ll be able to see and know what to do next. Without data, it’s all simply just trying to pin the tail on the donkey… in the dark… and the donkey is in the other room.
Data can also show you if you should double down in an area. Maybe 80% of your growth is coming from one technique or place. Do more of that! Get rid of the 20% that’s dragging you down. Go all-in on the most fruitful parts of your business.
Next step: focus. It’s easy to think business growth will happen using the “latest greatest new thing.” I totally understand; there are shiny toys everywhere. They’re so new! So fun! And so unproven. Go with what works for you and double down.
Create Your Roadmap
Create a comprehensive map to the place you want to go. I suggest having clear objectives and benchmarks you measure for progress. Something that will help is familiarizing yourself with the OKR system used by Google, Intuit, Twitter, and the Bill Gates Foundation.
Using a roadmap metaphor, your objectives/goals are your destination. Your key results are what you create to build your roadmap. Key results are the actions you measure to get you to your goal. Make sure you know where you’re going.
If you can clarify where the wins are coming from, you can get to the finish line much faster. Otherwise, you’ll be like that Rube Goldberg machine making the toast—and unfortunately, by the time you get to the bread, it’s moldy.
Stay fresh, stay focused, and build momentum with laser focus.