Use your projects to test new ideas

A little over a week ago I started some pea and fava bean seeds indoors using a new grow light.

I have two intentions with this system:

  1. give the plants a few weeks of early growth, ahead of the weather
  2. test the system out in a low-risk way before starting a bunch of rarer tomato seeds for this summer

With a week of testing, the peas are growing quite well and the fava has started too (fava grows slower). It's also helped me see how I need to tweak the heater placement to prioritize an area.

I was only able to do this sort of test by thinking through my plans back at the beginning of winter. I knew I wanted to start some tomatoes and peppers. I knew I'd need light and a heat source. I knew I had a shelf that should work well...

Working backwards I was able to plan how it would come together and give myself enough time to set it up and test it. There's even time to account for total failures and recoveries.

If your Shopify store following the regular ecommerce cycle (slow early part of year, busy late part of year), now is a great time for you to make similar plans.

Figure out what changes you want to make this year, start working backwards to figure out a reasonable schedule, and then come to a start date.

For example, if you want to have your SEO improved and that'll take six months for Google to notice, you'll want to have it done by May in order to be ready by Black Friday. That means you have a couple of months from now to plan and implement the changes. Not much time, but could be enough to see some results at the end of the year.

Or if you want to improve your repeat customer funnels, you might want a few rounds of development and testing. Say one month to develop a new loyalty program, one month to test it and collect the results (with Repeat Customer Insights), and then half a month to review the results. Since one cycle of that takes 2 1/2 months, you could do three cycles of development and testing if you start now.

By working backwards from your goal and timeline (e.g. summer tomatoes, tested loyalty program by Black Friday), you can figure out how much time's needed for each step. It's much easier than hoping and praying for a project to finish in time.

Eric Davis

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Topics: Planning

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