Debra Russell

The Success of Your Business? It’s a Theory… by @artistsedge

by Debra Russell | Featured Contributor


Debra Russell

In last month’s article, Is it Failure or Feedback? I introduced you to a new paradigm – “there is no failure, only feedback.” That framework is the foundation for this month’s success skill:

How to Use the Scientific Method to Create Success

Do you remember the Scientific Method from school? Perhaps you’ve relearned it through your children. Or perhaps you’ve suppressed that along with most of what you learned in school – no worries! Let me refresh your memory:

The Scientific Method:

  1. Observe a problem, issue, or phenomena (For example, I never get to blogging.)
  2. Devise a theory to solve the problem or explain your observation (I don’t schedule it, so it doesn’t happen. If I schedule it, maybe I’ll do it.)
  3. Devise a test to determine the validity of your theory (I’ll schedule 3 blogging sessions a week at 3:00 PM on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the next 3 weeks.)
  4. Measure and Record your results (I did it on Monday and Wednesday, but Friday just didn’t happen. Every week, it was the same.)
  5. Evaluate your results and assess your theory in light of your data. (Don’t try to fit your data into your theory) Then adjust your theory as necessary (Well, maybe 3 days/week is too much. Or maybe by Friday, I’m too tired and stressed about other deadlines.)
  6. Rinse and repeat (New problem, I am not blogging on Friday. New Theory with Test: How about just doing 2 sessions, at 3:00 PM Monday and Wednesday. Let’s try that for 3 weeks…)

This is a great way to address time management issues (as I demonstrated above). But what has this got to do with your business?

In this world of lightning speed change and a challenging, not to mention, highly competitive business environment, a business must be agile in order to create long term success.

And with the limited funding currently available for most small businesses, you can’t afford to put everything behind an untested product or strategy. Unfortunately, just because you are passionate about your product, doesn’t guarantee that the marketplace will buy with equal passion.

However, if you approach each move you make in your business using the scientific method, you will be able to test before you invest. In business, this is referred to as “Proof of Concept.” And if your theory pans out, you can take that proof to the marketplace and use it to attract investors and entice new customers.

But if, as frequently happens, your theory is disproved (in other words, your idea/product bombs), then you won’t have invested your entire bankroll into this small test and you will be able to shift, adjust, or completely change your product or marketing strategy and test your new theory.

In addition, there are a few principles that underlie the use of the scientific method, that are intrinsic to being a successful entrepreneur.