Business performance can be assessed only if you can “measure” results.
You can’t measure anything without defining the strategy first.
The common way this happens is through the following workflow:
Vision -> Strategy -> Tactics -> KPIs
First off, devise the vision for the product development on top of the existing vision statement of your business.
You need to answer some pillar questions regarding the existence of the product, what purpose do you aim to serve, and what the future looks like.
Without the right vision, you can’t really devise a strategy to reach a goal.
Your product strategy determines a possible way to achieve your vision.
This really depends on the type of product, your culture, available resources, etc.
For instance, if you are a known entrepreneur in a given community, your strategy would revolve around converting first-level connections and their contacts into early customers and take it from there.
If your partner is great in paid marketing, you will secure the funds to continuously bring customers to the product.
(This is as far as lead generation is concerned, which is a part of your strategy).
In terms of implementation, you need to start with a minimum viable product delivering the core solution first and foremost. There are millions of bells and whistles you can add separately, but make a bulletproof starter kit that gets one specific activity solved flawlessly to bring your first customers.
I’ve devised a long guide covering a detailed process in building a bootstrapped MVP.
Once your strategy is in place, you need to break it down into more cohesive, independent activities across each discipline.
The strategy is broadly defined, such as:
We need to secure $500K somehow, hire 3 engineers and one marketer, get a couple of press releases going and close 300 customers in 6 months.
This is great, but this initiative itself has to be broken down into:
- Securing investments – with two or three different initiatives in parallel, such as looking into VC rounds, approaching angel investors, talking with banks re: loans, discussing with friends and family re: chipping in
- Product development – revising the existing state of the MVP, building a roadmap for a beta pilot
- Product launch – discussing the steps to get the work out there, generate media buzz, leverage the initial traction to keep the flow going after
- Ongoing marketing – starting with a website/blog or social media in the corresponding space
- Sales – discussing outreach strategies, how to connect with your target market, webinars, product demos
There are other areas you need to work on, but essentially it’s creating an action plan for each vertical.
Once the plans are in place, gather everything together and set the action plans you need.
This is a combination of Gantt charts (including both product development and marketing initiatives), metrics (investments, leads, traffic, press releases), and actual goals across specific time frames.
If the actual plan makes business sense (i.e. it’s realistic), this is how you can start to measure business performance.
Check out my business strategy guide and get more comprehensive strategies and resources. 🚀