Experimenting and expanding.
I think this is a concept a lot of us have trouble wrapping our heads around.
At least when to do one vs. the other.
And so in this latest episode, I talk through this concept on when you should try to add something new to your business.
Whether it’s a new offer, new service, etc…
I learned this from a friend, and he gives a really good analogy and it goes a little something like this.
You’re in your kitchen.
You need something from your pantry and it just so happens to be on the top shelf, but you can’t reach it on your own (we’ve all been there, right?).
So we grab a stool that only has 3 legs.
And as we stand up on that stool and reach for that top shelf, we notice we’re a little shaky and we start to wobble.
I feel like a lot of us try to add and reach for things too quickly without making sure our foundation is solid.
You need to make sure you have a solid foundation before you even think about adding an additional service or offering to the mix and that’s what we talk about in the latest episode.
In the latest podcast, I break it down for ya.
Transcript / MP3
EXPERIMENT AND EXPAND
What’s good, everybody. Greg Hickman here. And in this episode of the scalable podcast, we’re going to talk about when you should experiment and when you should then expand. Let’s get it going.
All right guys. So welcome back to another episode
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about this concept of experiment and expand.
And I learned this actually from a friend Jay Mac. And this is kind of his version of research and development.
And so Kudos to Jay Mac on this analogy and his example on when should you try to add something new to your business? For example, a product or a service and when would be the right time to actually start, start doing that?
What I’ve seen with a lot of our clients and ourselves in our own business is that I’ve tried to add things too quickly when the foundation, if you will, or the core program or offering that we had been working on wasn’t actually stable in the moment.
Well at least in my example or my history or my situation, rather, I felt like we had this one offering we had been serving and delivering it for almost a year and a half. It was pretty stable.
We started adding the next thing and we didn’t actually feel the pains of adding the secondary offer. They were very complimentary.
And then we made another change and we made another change that came way too quickly after having not stabilized the combination of the products.
And so kind of the analogy that Jay Mac brings up is, imagine you go into your kitchen and your kitchen and in this pantry, there are multiple shelves and at the top of the pantry is the thing you’re trying to reach for.
You can’t reach it on your own because maybe you’re not tall enough. So you pull over a stool and this stool has three legs and as you to reach and extend yourself to grab the can off the top shelf, the stool begins to tilt, right?
And it’s kind of hovering really on like one or maybe two legs and feels really wobbly right.
And that would be kind of the analogy of like, look, if you’re, if the foundation that you’re trying to set, um, puts you in a position where you’re trying to add the next product or reach for that next new opportunity and the foundation begins to wobble and go on to say one or two of the three legs of your stool, it’s going to be a little shaky, right? It’s going to be a little wonky and the risk of falling and hurting herself as much greater. And that’s how we need to look at this stuff in our business and really ask ourselves like, like, am I on one or two legs of the stool right now when trying to catch or to capitalize on this new operation?
So, uh, where I see this happen a lot for, you know, agencies and service providers is you introduced the next service or the next offering too. So, uh, I guess to bring it home for my use case, we have a program called foundations and it’s like our flagship program. And we served and delivered it for uh, about a year and a half before really introducing our next level program, which is called leverage. It’s a 12 month coaching program, kind of picks up where foundations left off and probably within, you know, four to five months of having both foundations and leverage as a product suite working together. We added something else and that came too quickly and the repercussions that came from that for us, we’re, we’re actually pretty massive that we didn’t realize for a couple months, but it came and hit us pretty hard. Uh, and I should be talking about that in another episode because I think this is another, that situation was actually something that happens very often in online businesses as well.
But the, the moral of the story here is you, you know, it’s okay to experiment and expand. So first to experiment, if that foundation is stable, right? Um, can you reach for this new opportunity without the stool tilting onto one or two of its three legs? Like, if all of those legs are not stable and that’s not wobbling around, that’s an indicator that you’re probably able to at least experiment with this new thing. Now another thing that uh, Jay Mac talked about when it comes to this experimentation, kind of beyond the stool example, is when you go to experiment, you have to understand that in most cases you’re going to be utilizing existing resources that you already have that are probably allocated to other parts of your business. So for example, um, we have foundations, we have leverage and say we wanted to create a third product and in order to create that, I’m going to tap into one my own bandwidth to create some new training and market it.
Uh, and then I need to capitalize on Lisa and Megan’s time in our business and they already have other obligations and responsibilities, right? So in order for me to experiment, not only does the foundation need to be stable, but it needs to be stable to a point where when I want to at least experiment with this new thing, that there’s bandwidth from the existing team members to pull it off. Because with an experiment, it doesn’t always work when you go, you can’t just go build an entire new team just for the experiment. It’s usually not that that’s going to probably create more complexity. So we’ll, when I reached for this new opportunity or to go create this new product on this stool, do we have the foundations stable enough where one, the stool won’t tilt and two, that the members needed to, the resources and members of the team needed to kind of pull off this experiment, have the bandwidth to pull it off.
Right. And in many cases, yes, the, the, the resources will be stretched a little bit tighter during that experimentation. But that’s only during the experimentation. If the experiment goes well, the foundation remains stable, that’s when you can then expand into this new opportunity. Hey, so can we execute this experiment without blowing up the foundation that the, the pieces of our business that keep us, keep the lights on, keep everything running? And can we do that in a way where, uh, while we, maybe we stretch ourselves a little bit thin in the beginning, it’s a proven experiment that will allow us to go buy more into it and put more resources into it. So in this case, if we go launch a new program or an experience, we did this one day event for example, and it really kind of took the, the, the focus and attention away from all of the stuff that we were doing in our business.
And, um, honestly when we went and did that, we didn’t have as much stability as I would’ve liked. Thus the, the core offering, the core effort, the goals that we were aiming for in regards to, you know, the main, the primary mission were derailed because of this experiment in our world. So I kind of point this back to you. Um, there’s probably things that you could be doing and you want to be doing that you will do in the future and heck, you probably should do in the future, but you need to ask yourself, when I go to put my time, my bandwidth, and even kind of request the time and bandwidth and energy and capacity of my team and my other resources, will that stool begin to tilt and wobble? If so, you shouldn’t be experimenting yet. Um, and another mentor of mine, Taylor, he always talked about the worst time to experiment is when you’re in a Rut.
So like, uh, if your business isn’t going the way you want it to and things may maybe you in a slump so to speak, that’s not the time to experiment. That’s the time to refocus in on the foundational things that you’re doing. Stick to what got you there. And that’ll actually be the thing that gets you through the slump and only experiment when you’re on the top. Like don’t experiment when you’re, when you’re on the bottom, you know, desperate experiment. When you’re already successful, things are going smoothly and you have the capacity and bandwidth and ability to tap into some of those resources without making that stool start to wobble, right? Because we don’t want you to fall. I can fall and hit you on, hits you on the head, then you’ve got a nice little bruise. I Dunno where this analogy is going, but you get the point.
So experiment and expand, experiment and expand. Are you in a position to actually experiment effectively and did the experiment go according to plan that you should even expand, right? Ask yourself that because if you’re like us, we were experimenting way too soon and it took our eyes off the prize of our main. So I leave you with that today. If you’re enjoying the show so far, we would greatly appreciate a review in iTunes. Um, I’ll leave the link below for you to do that. Otherwise, you guys know how to leave a review. Most of you should know how to leave you and iTunes. If you’re an avid podcast listener, someday I’ll have a URL to tell you to go to, to do that. But until then, you guys take care and we’ll see you in the next episode. If you’re an agency owner or a service provider and you want to transition out of doing, done for you services and finally launched your own high ticket coaching or consulting programs, then we’d love to help. We’ve put together a program where we will hold your hand and walking step by step to the exact same process that we’ve used and hundreds of our clients have used now to develop and transition their agency services into their own leveraged and scalable business model where they package up their expertise and can work one to many instead of one to one. If you want to learn how we can help you visit myscalablebusiness.com for more.