For many years I have been a fan of the Lean StartUp Movement
In simple terms it is: create a prototype and get it out there so clients and customers can start using it. “Launch, Learn and Re-Launch”
This can be quite scary for some people, especially the perfectionists reading this. Perfectionists are people who like things to be complete and working perfectly before they launch to market. I can understand how this might be one way of approaching business and life.
My question is “Will your offer ever be ready?”
Over time I have worked with people who might have made great progress if they had been prepared to “get it out there” and I have also worked with people who have experienced huge success by being prepared to “put it out there” even before it was completely ready
Let me tell you about my recent experience of this:
Some of you may be aware that I have recently launched the Healthy Numbers Expense and Income Tracker.
This was in response to repeated requests for a simple way for clients, people I meet at events, friends, to track their expenses.
“There must be an easy way, a simple spreadsheet!” a friend said to me a few weeks ago. Another friend in the same conversation said “Yes, use XXX, it’s only $35 per month and it does your BAS and ….”
“I don’t need something that complicated” said my friend “Ingrid, surely you have something I can use”
I certainly did; my trusty old Excel spreadsheet that I have used for years to reconcile expenses accounts. I thought maybe if I just “modernise” this a bit, it could be helpful for my friend and for other people who are creating their own business and are looking for an easy, less complicated and much less expensive solution than signing up for one of the accounting packages for $20 or $35 per month – that’s $240 to $420 per year.
And that’s how The Healthy Numbers Expense and Income Tracker came into being.
I have to say “It is pretty spiffy” now that it has now been road tested by quite a few people.
Taking you from this ….
to this ….
It is a real example of Lean Start Up. If I hadn’t put it out there, we wouldn’t have had the user feedback and it wouldn’t be a Fab as it is today. There have been a few versions of the Tracker as we trailed and tested and modified and I truly acknowledge the contribution of those who persevered and continued to give feedback – you know who you are – Thank You.
Are we 100% there? I believe so.
The website and payment side was a whole other “adventure” in Lean start up. My ever patient web design and development team at Bailey Street Design have been wonderfully supportive. E-commerce takes time and we have that working efficiently now, again after a few iterations.
Did I have moments where I thought it might never come together? Yes
Did I have moments where I wanted to give up? Yes
Am I glad I didn’t? You bet!!
My lessons and reminders?
- Keep calm and breathe
- Trust my Customers
- Trust my Team
- Trust my Product
- Everything takes iterations after all “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
- Value my tenacity; years ago my mum told me that she thought I was one of the most tenacious people she knows, and my tenacity sure was tested this past few weeks … which brings me to one of my key learnings
- keep the voices of those who support you in your head, hear their words of encouragement over all the other din and noise!
And, as they say as part of Lean StartUp Movement:
“Launch, Learn and Re-Launch”