Yummy gluten free carrot cake.
I was rather proud of the one I made at the weekend. It was the first time I had used this recipe and, it tasted good. There was just one slight problem, it was crumbly. The only slices that held together were at the ends!
I should have added some xanthan gum.
But it was my first try and I had halved the recipe so no big deal.
I can use the gluten free aspect as an excuse but in reality my cooking has always been a bit hit and miss as I adapt recipes and substitute ingredients.
So if I was going to cater for a larger group, I would want to use a recipe I had tried and tested, even if it was recommended by an expert. Perhaps not only one I had practiced making but also one others had tasted and given me their reactions to.
Just like the technician testing the microphone before the audience arrives.
It’s the same in business. When we start out, it is all an experiment. Even if others swear a process works for them, there will always be differences as you apply it to your situation.
We start with an idea, a marketing process, a product, and we try it out, practice and refine. And then we decide if it’s right to scale-up.
As Kevin Harrington says...
"...this is a business...not everything's gonna work, you've got to test... and I say 'test before you invest'"
We may of course have issues with the scaling, just like needing to adapt the cooking time for a larger cake, but these are easier to handle because of our small scale practising....
- We have less variables to test. Already knowing the basic process works, we are only considering the parts of the process that have changed so it is easier to spot where problems lie and address them.
- Our budget has not all been spent on the full works, small scale testing might have meant an initial investment of our time but it is more cost effective in the long run.
- Small scale usually means more personal contact and with every interaction, we get immediate feedback and we learn about our target audience, their preferences, values and concerns. It's on-the-job market research.
So why do I see people who are going Self Employed immediately worrying about setting up funnels, ads and memberships when they haven’t yet proved the concept of their business- what they are going to deliver to who for how much?
Sadly, I also speak with people who are putting off transitioning to Self Employment because they haven't the up front investment needed to launch big.
Perhaps they have been seduced by the figures? They know the earning potential of the scaled business and have seen the problems encountered by those who stay small.
We do not start small scale because we want to stay there, we start there because it is an essential stage of our growth.
However I think there is another reason new business owners want to jump this step...
There’s an intimacy to small scale.
If you are sending an email to a big group of people, you can hide behind your screen persona. Very different to an email exchange with 1 person or a conversation with a potential customer and hearing their situation and views.
Whilst talking to potential customers you risk hearing negative feedback, seeing disapproval in the eyes of the human opposite you and even receiving a ‘no’.
We might have all sorts of fearful thinking about this exchange. We have this new ‘baby idea’ which we feel we want to protect. We worry about taking negative reactions to heart and losing our motivation.
But look again at the process, positive or negative feedback is really valuable to us. It is just what our baby business needs to develop.
The chances are, if you were working for someone else, this would be absolutely clear. It's just because it is our idea, our creativity and our business that we give that feedback all sorts of personal meaning.
We need not add that layer of judgement to the data we receive. We can focus on the bigger picture, take the next step and make sure our business is totally ready for the growth ahead.
I explain more about how to approach and effectively use data in your business in this video....
Consistently clients feedback that my coaching helps them to take a step back and review their progress more objectively which helps with spotting the issues to address, any unhelpful thinking patterns and the successes to celebrate and scale-up.
To explore how my coaching could work for you, click here to book your Free Initial Conversation.