Trial-and-Error approach for small businesses

Nov 6, 2018 Blog  Small Business

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SME South Africa recently published an article about the trial-and-error approach in business, which is quite insightful.  In the article, it said that business degrees are often geared for large corporate business management teams where everything is tackled “with a highly structured top-down approach”.  This means that things are planned out meticulously and won’t start before the plan is 100% complete and signed off by all parties.

Small business does not quite work this way as things are constantly changing, and the entrepreneur needs to be adaptable – that is where the trial-and-error approach comes in.  Try things out and if it doesn’t work, move on and try something else.

“The key is to always let the market be the judge”.  To know if your product or service is going to work, you have to get it out there and see what the market says.

It says in the article that this is the rationale behind the MVP or Minimal Viable Product.  If you run a retail business for example and want to launch a new product, get a small run of the product out into the market as soon as possible, rather than doing a bulk launch.  If the market likes it, then you can throw your resources behind it, if not, move on to something else.  You can also consider getting a mini-version of your product out there and test the waters if you are running an eCommerce business for example.  Tweak it, test it, see if it is working, build a bit more, repeat!

“The trick is to be continually responsive to your customers”.  You have to get feedback and tweak and change as you go along.  This might mean building your product up from the ground organically, bit by bit, rather than blindly following a blueprint.

“Business built via iterative steps often prove more resilient than their top-down counterparts”.  The reason for this is the bottom-up solutions have been through a natural selection process and adapted to the environment.  Remember, in business, the market is always right!

For the full article, click here.

Image: Raymond Bradshaw via Flickr (CC 2.0resized)

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