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Starting an Online Business All-in-One For Dummies®, 3rd Edition by Joel Elad, Shannon Belew

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Figuring Out What Worked and What Didn't

You can plan and research and make a great effort to present your company and your products to your customer base, and sometimes it just doesn't work. (Few people get everything right on their first try.) You can invest in a product line that turns cold the moment you try to sell it, and your marketing message can miss your audience completely or even attract the wrong crowd.

Mistakes happen — it's what you do about them that makes the difference. You can easily hide from missteps, blame them on something or someone else, and ignore their results. That strategy, however, is probably the worst thing you can do. You should instead look closely at every mistake and treat it as a learning exercise. Although the exercise might be expensive, if you analyze it correctly, it can make money for you down the road because you won't make that mistake again. Some people call this process “the most valuable education you can give yourself.”

images One way to know whether or not something is working in your company is to benchmark it, or compare your company's results to that of other companies. These benchmark reports can also be found as part of best-practices research, as we mentioned a few pages back.

Analyzing a failure

Admitting that you made a mistake is difficult. Spending time and effort picking apart your campaign and determining the root cause of ...

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