Many people begin to experiment and fail to see the desired results. They’re often missing on the key ingredient: The Growth Mindset.
They want to grow and they have a vague idea of how to get there. But, they lack the key principles to achieve their goals. They lack of a general understanding behind the practice.
What if you could increase your Growth rate? What if you could finally start to optimize your processes? Growth is the answer to these questions…
This article is about to give you a few principles to help guide you into your quest for Growth. I hope it helps!
You want to create a Growth team? I’ve created a checklist to help you out. Easily go from a one-person job, to a fully-featured team generating maximum results. Click here to download it.
You must be busy. So instead of having you read a ton of text, I distilled the main principles in the following infographic.
Feel free to use it and there is a printable version if you kindly ask.
1. Learning from experience
Growth is all about testing hypothesis. “Testing hypothesis” means running a battery of tests to see what works and what doesn’t.
We test a hypothesis because we believe that no one else has the answer to our questions. What may work in another business, will not necessarily work with yours.
When you test something, you can either validate or invalidate your hypothesis. Most people see this through a success / failure lens.
There is no such thing as a failure in Growth because you want to learn. Success happens when you learn, failure when you don’t.
It’s that simple. If your experiment failed and you’ve gained a ton of new insights, that’s a success.
Learning allows you to make better educated guesses and to launch even more successful experiments.
Don’t expect to have a lot of success at the beginning but the more you understand your product & customers, the more successful your tests will become.
Running a digital business enables you to measure every step of the way. You can easily track what everyone is doing on your app.
You know more about your consumers than anyone else in business. Use these insights!
The best Growth people use that to their advantage. You need to use data in every decision you take.
When we speak about data, most people think about analytics tools such as Google Analytics or KISSmetrics. Never forget about other valuable sources of insights that you have available.
Customer interviews are a perfect source of insights, to help you drive Growth & Product Development.
Make sure that you invest into your Analytics stack early on to avoid learning about the wrong things… (Invalidating the wrong hypothesis will have disastrous impact on your business)
3. Innovative Testing
Growth is all about testing innovative and creative ideas.
Don’t limit yourself to what your competitors are doing, you have the freedom to do whatever you want.
Be innovative and challenge the status-quo: it’s not because you always had a 3-step signup process that it is necessarily the best process.
Look for flaws in your current processes and improve them until you’re satisfied with the results.
Growth is all about being innovative. If you just copy what’s going on in your space, you’ll limit your potential results terribly.
4. Always go further
Growth never stops. Even if you have a conversion rate from Trial to Paid of 95%, there are always things that you can improve.
When you think everything is optimized, take a one-week break. Go back to work and think again: Where are we losing most of our users? Where can we have more impact?
You should never be satisfied by the Growth you’re getting. You can always go further.
5. Process first
Launching experiments in only one part of the story. The process is what actually makes everything possible.
You can’t really sustain your Growth efforts without a process. You’ll start to launch experiments but you’ll soon fail because you’ll lose track of what’s happening.
The process is what allows you to create a repeatable, scalable and predictable machine. Without a process, you’ll fail to show results over the long-term.
Design your processes early on. They won’t be perfect but iterate and improve them as you move forward.
6. Authentic & Sustainable Growth
As Brian Balfour said, “All Growth is not equal”. Are you looking for MAU (Monthly Active Users) or are you looking for long-term customers?
Don’t think about Growth as something that can yield enormous result for the short term. It certainly can. However…
Look at Growth as a way to build your business over the long-term. Launch experiments that can have a long-lasting impact on your growth.
7. Start Small – MVT
You generally don’t have to go through 100 hours of development to test your hypothesis.
If you want to launch several tests per week, you’ll need to launch “Minimum Viable Tests”. In other words: What’s the minimum test that you can launch to test an hypothesis?
You need to understand that Growth is an iterative process. Starting small will allow you to build up on your success (or lack thereof).
If you launch a small test and it fails, you’ll have a greater “Time to Learning” than if you redesigned your entire onboarding.
Starting small may be be counter intuitive. But it’s the only way that you can create a positive impact on your business.
If you fail to be customer-centric, you’ll only be able to drive short-term Growth. Your customers will be annoyed and you’ll fail to retain them over the long term.
Business needs to be customer-centric. The same goes for Growth. You need to deliver more value.
Increasing your Growth is only one part of the equation. If you squeeze out every dollar of your customer’s wallet without delivering more value, you’ll piss off more than a few people.
The best way to be customer-centric is to examine their desired outcome. Are your experiments helping them to achieve their mission, their goals?
From my perspective, that’s a very important point. Some people really don’t care about ethics and I think that’s a mistake in terms of brand image.
The dating sector is a quite good example. They’re basically creating fake profiles and generating discussions with you so that you start your paid membership.
A beautiful person of the opposite sex will strike up a conversation and show interest in you. You can only chat back if you start a paid subscription. But, wait! There is no one on the other side… It’s just a bot!
Even if this trick is increasing their Growth, are they delivering value? What would people think about that?
Having some sense of ethics is imperative if you want to seek Authentic Growth and avoid damaging your long-term brand.
10. Company-wide mission
Growth is a team sport and everyone should be involved. Everyone should be able to contribute their own ideas to your backlog.
Relevant people should also be able to get involved into discussions on specific ideas. You’re designing a new onboarding flow? Talk to the person who designed the last one.
If you don’t involve people within your company, you’ll get into political issues and they’ll slow down your efforts.
Involving them can only be a good thing. The worse that can happen is that they’ll share valuable insights and help you launch better experiments.
Growth. Growth. Growth.
These principles should help you to get started with Growth. Don’t waste too much time and start experimenting as soon as you can.
However… Make sure that you set yourself up for success by creating customer-centric, ethical and long-lasting growth…
You want to go further? I’ve designed a checklist to help you start a Growth Team. Click here to download it.
I’m Pierre Lechelle and I’ve been working in the tech ecosystem building businesses for about 10 years. I’m now focused on helping MadKudu to reach $100M in ARR. Connect with me on LinkedIn.