Since reading “Little Bets” by Peter Sims, I’ve changed my daily “To Do” list to a daily “Experiment List.”
Peter’s book highlights how important it is for entrepreneurs to make little bets in their businesses. A little bet might be considered a mini-experiment where you try something new and see what happens. The key is not to bet the farm on your mini-experiment. You don’t want to make a big bet, until you know, without a doubt, that you’ll win your big bet. I’ll give you an example of how this might work in your business simply by layering little bets on top of each other below.
The cool part about little bets is you can make them in any area of your life. Read Tim Feriss’s book, “The Four Hour Body” to see numerous examples of how to make little bets with your health and fitness. Or if you’re a parent, you can conduct mini-experiments with your kids. Right now, my wife and I are experimenting with a new reward program. Our daughters can earn sleep overs, fun activities and more simply by being cool to each other. You can also make little bets with investments. Experiment with different investment opportunities on a limited basis and see what happens. Invest in one tax lien and sit back and see how your investment goes BEFORE making new investments.
One awesome mini-experiment that I suggest you conduct is to create a daily “Experiment List.” Try a new mini-experiment each day. I’ve been doing this for the last week or so and I absolutely love it. It really opens your eyes up to some cool possibilities. In addition, it puts a little fun into everything. As an example, over the last few days I’ve been experimenting with a new marketing campaign for my business. On a high-level here is how my mini experiment looks:
1. Create website for new marketing campaign (I do this myself with UnlimitedSqueezePages.com)
2. Email my new idea and website to a few business associates, friends and past clients to see what they think of the idea and to get feedback on improvements.
3. Draft new lead generation advertisements for this website and post them on Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn, Bing and Google Adwords.
4. Track each advertisement to see which one generates more activity. Track the website to see how well it converts. If the website isn’t converting well, make any changes and continue to test with the first round of advertisements.
5. Take the best pulling advertisement from my tests and turn it into a banner advertisement and/or classified advertisement for my local newspaper.
6. If the classified or banner advertisement works in the local newspaper, turn the advertisement into an advertorial advertisement or an insert. Advertorial advertisements and inserts are more expensive and would be considered a big bet. This big bet is only made after making a series of little bets. You only make a big bet when you know the advertisement works and the website converts.
The idea is to build upon each mini-experiment and adjust as you move forward. You don’t have to invest a ton of money in the beginning of a new marketing experiment. In this example, I created the website on my own. I advertised in-expensively in platforms that can be turned on and off very quickly. Only when I have a winning advertisement and website, would I spend money to run the advertisement in the newspaper or other more expensive media. If my initial advertisements bombed, I would simply stop running them and test a new round of advertisements inexpensively until I found a winner.
This process of making little bets will help you find new opportunities quickly without having to bet the farm. You do, however, have to make your little bet a priority and you have to track everything so you can see what works and what doesn’t. A little bet provides no value if you can’t track it. Also you should know, in advance, that most of your little bets won’t work. This doesn’t matter, because each experiment is a fantastic learning opportunity.