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What Gets Measured Gets Done

The Fizzle team has been hyper-focused on growth over the past month, and we’re seeing encouraging results.

As a team, we select a different “theme” each quarter to guide our project work. Our current theme is simply membership growth. We always care about growth, but these themes give us a chance to turn all our attention to one specific thing for a while to make new breakthroughs.

When the growth theme began, I started by creating an all-new metrics dashboard (we use a great tool called Geckoboard to monitor our most important stats). On this dashboard, I added some basic measurements: number of signups per day, week, month and over six months, and top signup sources. It’s simple, direct and to-the point. Here’s a snapshot of three of the metrics:

signups

The entire team bookmarked this dashboard, and we look at it daily. I look at it multiple times per day, and have a pinned tab open all the time.

This simple dashboard gives us instant feedback on how our efforts are impacting the main goal of this quarter’s theme. Having different views (daily, weekly, monthly and every six months) is important. With just one view, the data would be either too granular or too course. You need small time frames to stay focused on day-to-day improvements, and longer time frames to see trends.

What gets measured gets done is an incredibly powerful phrase. By focusing all of our extra efforts on growth for just a month, we’ve already seen a doubling of our rate of signups.

Of course, it’s not good enough just to measure and watch your metrics. You also have to break down your goals into hypotheses and actions. You also have to measure sub-goals. In our case our sub-goals involve conversion rates, click-through rates and top-line growth of traffic, downloads and email subscriptions.

But the dashboard is where it all starts. It keeps us focused and provides external data-driven validation. Instead of high-level philosophical discussions about what we should be working on, we all agree after brief conversations: “let’s test it and see what happens.”

If you’ve been floundering recently, wondering what to focus on, and whether your efforts are having any significant impact, try this: choose one specific metric to improve for a while. Subscribers, sales, traffic, followers, comments, consistency of publishing, anything that contributes to overall progress in your business.

Then, create a basic dashboard that breaks down your primary metric by different time periods. Use Google Analytics or Clicky or Geckoboard, or whichever tool can help you unlock the data you need with the least amount of wrangling.

Make sure you review your progress daily, and focus on the goal long enough to have an impact. Break down the goal into sub-goals and corresponding actions.

You might be surprised how such a simple strategy can have such significant influence over the direction of your business. Give it a shot.



The Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business

Every week we talk with entrepreneurs. We talk about what’s working and what isn’t. We talk about successes and failures. We spend time with complete newbies, seasoned veterans, and everything in between.

One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.

These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide.

Download the guide

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