In the Que
In the Que: Validation
November 1, 2014
1

Validation

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
– Winston Churchill

As your company grows from the spark of an idea into reality, then the best laid plans must be checked. If your plans are not working, then it is time to correct the course and emphasize the tactics that do work.

How do you measure the activities that work? Simple, do they help grow your user base? Maintain the activities that drive users to your site or through your front door. The more people who are aware of your company, then there are more opportunities to turn people from admirers into customers.

If we review the first few months of Que Ventures, then we can notice some trends in our plans to develop and grow our customer base. Our initial strategy was based on generating content to help individuals understand basic business concepts. The Business 101 portion of queventures.com was created execute on this initiative.

From the SBA:

How will you measure success and how often? Marketing takes time to work, so don’t assume that a campaign isn’t worth the money if you don’t see immediate results. However, it’s a good idea to measure results quarterly and see which marketing tactics are working best (or not working at all). That way you can redistribute your budget as needed.

Every few weeks, we check on our web site statistics. At the end of every month, we record our metrics to evaluate the growth of Que Ventures. These are some of the steps we take to validate our strategic plans.

What we found was not that promising. Our monthly site visits remains stable, but the number of page views decreased from August to September (views were the same from July to August). As a new company in a fairly competitive industry, we will give the web site some more time to develop and mature, but it does make us question our strategy.

  • What have we been posting that has been successful?
  • When have our postings generated the most views?

What we found was that we have been inconsistent in providing content. We have not provided people interested in our content a reason to return to the site. Also, we did not promote new posts. In the age of social media, then we should be leveraging twitter (@queventures) and Facebook (where we don’t have a presence) to find potential people who are interested in learning about starting a new business and need help.

In essence, we have not followed our own advice. We have not looked to engage potential partners where they hang out.

However, we have grown unique users to the site. That means more new people are viewing the site and the page views are just our friends.

Why did this happen? Hustle.

We think it occurred because we did attend events, offline, where entrepreneurs were actively engaged. We attended local events (see Meetup to find groups with your interests to start) and sponsored events (such as MakerFaire) where people actively engaged in the new business community participate.

Que Ventures is still in its infancy, so it is very early to declare what strategic plans, if any, will ultimately be successful. As a new business, we think you should look for indicators of success. By attending events, we have interacted with people who have a creative passion and want help with the business operations. We have met our prospective target market. This is a positive sign.

As you look to evaluate your plans, then remember that validation is crucial to sustaining a successful business. At the onset, it is important to have actual discussions with potential customers. In this day and age, it is easy to stay behind the computer and hope that your brand will resonate on social media and reach your potential customers.

It is important to have confidence in your plans, but as your build your business foundation, remember that the footing is fluid and not stable. Successful business remain focused on that one thing and test plans to achieve their goals.

Trust, but verify.
– Ronald Reagan

We hope this helps as you are working towards your entrepreneurial venture.  If you have any questions or comments, then please reach out to us at joelwhipple@queventures.com.

Sincerely,

Joel Whipple
Que Ventures