I Count Mushrooms

By Britt Malka / September 9, 2012


I have a confession: I count mushrooms.

No, it’s not a pastime thing of mine. I only do it if I have toΒ [amazon asin=B003XJG7Q6&text=rinse mushrooms] and cut off their roots. This is a very boring task, so my mind goes busy by counting them.

Will that help my business grow?

Nope, but there are other numbers to obsess over. This is what you can read about in Seth Godin’s blog post today. These numbers will help your business evolve.

What to Obsess Over

This is a snippet from Seth’s blog post:

They use stopwatches at McDonald’s. They know, to the second, how long it should take to make a batch of fries. And they use spreadsheets, too, to whittle the price of each fry down by a hundredth of a cent if they can. They’re big and it matters.

Small businesspeople often act like direct marketers. They pick a number and they obsess over it. In direct mail, of course, it’s the open rate or the conversion rate. For a freelancer or small business person, it might be your bank balance or the growth in weekly sales.

The second e-book I ever read asked an important question:

“How much is your conversion rate?”

I had no idea! We already sold a few e-books online, but how well did they convert? And what if it was 10% – was that good or bad?

We had to go into statistics to find out. We had to find out how many visits the sales page had, and how many customers had bought the book.

For the latter, we had to go through PayPal messages and count them. We didn’t have a system to add customers to a list back then. Yeah, I know πŸ˜‰

These numbers are important to know, because if you don’t know your conversion, how can you improve it?

You have to know what level you’re on to grow.

You also have to know your open rate. Do you have a list? Do you know how many people read your mail?

If you don’t know that, you cannot tweak the subjects or content to augment that number.

But Seth takes it one step further:

I’d have you obsess about things that are a lot more difficult to measure. Things like the level of joy or relief or gratitude your best customers feel. How much risk your team is willing to take with new product launches. How many people recommended you to a friend today…

What are you tracking? If you track concepts, your concepts are going to get better. If you track open rates or clickthrough, then your subject lines are going to get better. Up to you.

What do you obsess over? Are you counting the steps from the ground floor to the apartment you live in? Do you count mushrooms, like me? And do you check your conversion and open rate?

Do you measure how much trust your readers have in you?

I might just have a free comment opportunity for you. Check it out below πŸ˜‰

Warren Contreras - December 4, 2012

I think it was wise to put it early in the post before other advertising. I would suggest one further step, rewrite the copy so it all appears on one line for greater impact and to eliminate the big space between the words. Nice connection and I hope you sell lots of brushes.

Britt Malka - December 4, 2012

Thanks for leaving a comment, Warren πŸ™‚ I didn’t like the way the text showed up, either, so I got rid of the top advert. Now let’s see how much of a difference it makes.

At any rate, I like this format better, so thanks for your input and good wishes for my brushes πŸ˜€

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