It is OK to be Judgemental when leading a team.
How do you assess situations that you face without making bets on how things turn out? How they turn out, totally depends on people that drive it. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses helps mitigate the risks involved and results in success.
Being judgemental is not the problem but not knowing that you are judging is. If you are not open to expressing your opinions to people around you and be able to take their inputs and form a new opinion, then it is a problem.
After all, the world judges us by assuming that all the right moves were made when successful. Otherwise, NOT.
“Lean Startup” model is an approach for launching businesses, products and ideas that rely on validated learning, scientific experimentation, and iterative product releases to shorten product development cycles, measure progress, and gain valuable customer feedback.
Going live with “Minimum viable product” would be the first step in the process. Your offline retail model took years to built, so cannot be made online immediately, therefore, understanding what is possible within few months is very important. It is to test fundamental business hypotheses (or leap-of-faith assumptions) and begin the learning process as quickly as possible. Best way to find out what it is, is to have competitive analysis done on your business and then coming out with minimum features necessary for existing customers. For example, we may want features only which our existing customers are willing to use online.
Installing Google Analytics would give clear understanding of what features are being used and where the customers are coming from and going to. Conducting customer surveys and mapping usage to the sales funnel will give where the exit points are will lead to the next version of the product. “Continuous deployment” results in a reduction of website and business development cycle times.
Companies, especially startups, can design their products or services to meet the demands of their customer base without requiring large amounts of initial funding or expensive product launches.
If you do have bigger technology investments to make, here is a good article on “How much ecommerce startups should invest in technology?”
Ofcourse, we are always there to help you go online.
Retail has arrived. Well for me it arrived 10 years ago from when my battles to not only keep it just profitable but cash profitable has been an ongoing challenge. Here are my takes and you could call them learning by practice….
A Lean Startup Model works. For me the ongoing mantra is customer discovery, validation and the consolidation cycle. The best way forward is to choose a customer target group that is active on the Internet and customize your retail model for them. Tempt them, interest them, incentivize them and validate your model. Then, think about new customers. First the old ones then the new.
Traditional Retail understanding helps run Internet Retail better. Now whoever thought retail on internet is not about actually running a shop and being a shopkeeper. Frankly, we have learnt that Inventory management and Shop floor metrics which play a key role in traditional retail formats still apply to the Internet Retail model. It is only about understanding what those metrics are. If it is revenue per sq. ft. in Retail then it is revenue per category / page in Internet Models.
Demand Aggregation before Demand Generation. Know your customer an old adage. We have met success when we have understood our customers thoroughly. Understanding what their needs are, is important than what kind of customers you want coming online. You could focus on converting offline customers coming online and buying rather than investing monies creating demand from new market segments or target groups.
Metrics play a key part in making it profitable. No metrics, no data, no bankable way forward. Focus on metrics is especially easy, given that web analytical tools are standard now and the features they offer help us collect a lot of data that could be converted into dashboards to track and measure oneself. Here is my choice set for retail internet – - Gross Profit (Revenue – Cost of Acquisition) per customer; Customer Retention (Coversion Rate, Retained and Attrition Rate); Inventory to Sales Ratio.
All the best and speed up your journey to becoming the best shopkeeper on the web…