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Here’s what you need to know: growth doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it requires a lot of thinking, planning, and time, and what’s important to remember is that it’s all about the process, not tactics. Just because a certain technique worked for a certain company, doesn’t mean it’ll work for you, too. In order to get to those tactics that will work for you, you need to sit down and come up with your very own growth machine.
A growth machine is going to help you figure out what works and what doesn’t, so don’t be afraid to experiment and fail, because you will ultimately succeed and find the tactics just right for your business. Naturally, before you actually get to creating a growth machine, you’re going to need to set your goals. Think of an objective, set a time frame for you and your team (how many days you need to make progress), and your key results (which will show whether or not you’re achieving your objective).
Once you’re done, you can move on to actually building a growth machine. It’s important to have documents for all of the phases in this process and keep track of ideas, what’s been done, what you’ve learned, and experiments that have been successful (a brainstorm log, a results document, experiment docs, and guides for successful experiments). The process of building a growth machine has six phases, which you can find below.
Brainstorm First, Act Later When it comes to brainstorming, your focus needs to be on the inputs, not the outputs. What does this mean? For example, if you want to improve retention rate, don’t ask yourself “How can I improve retention rate?”. Instead, break down this question into e.g. three steps and then go through each of them and brainstorm the ideas around them. This will help you get a large number of growth ideas, which will in turn help you answer your big question. Observe what other companies are doing, have your team ask questions to get answers, and connect with other growth hackers in order exchange ideas with them. Jot down your ideas in your backlog.
Prioritize Your Experiments With the brainstorm phase behind you, it’s time to decide what you want to work on first. When doing this, make sure to take into account three elements: what the chances are for your idea to succeed (probability), what kind of an impact will it have if it succeeds (impact), and which resources you need to test it out (resources). With this in mind, it will be easier for you to sort out your tasks. You might want to start with those ideas that require less resources first and then move on to others in your backlog. Now’s the time to create your experiment document.
Test It Out You’ve got your ideas, you’ve prioritized them, and now it’s time to move on to the fun part—testing. Before implementing your experiment you will want to create a Minimum Viable Test (MVT). This will get you the necessary feedback for your experiment and help you find out which results are the best and should be implemented. This is less expensive and much easier to do than actually implementing your experiment and then realizing that it doesn’t work and it’s not what you wanted.
It’s Time For Implementation There isn’t really too much to say about this phase in this process. Once you’ve tested out what needs to be tested, make sure to implement your experiment as quickly as possible and move on to the next phase.
Go Ahead And Analyze You’ve implemented the test and now it’s time for you to analyze it. This is probably the most important step in the growth machine process, because it will allow you to get answers to questions such as “Why did my experiment succeed?” and “Why did my experiment fail?”. You will learn more about your customers and products, and find out which experiment to do next and why. Write down everything you learn into your experiment document and use that knowledge for your future experiments.
Systematize Everything What’s left to do after you’re done with all the phases listed above is productize the successful experiments. Use engineering and technology to do this, and if you can’t, create detailed guides that your team will be able to use in the future. That way, they’ll be able to keep track of what’s been done and repeat the process effortlessly, without wasting any time.
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