Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. Thomas A. Edison
We hear it everywhere that success is just a step away, try again. Sometimes however one should understand that failure might be a better option. Recently I have been trying to build a service in a tier2 city which initially started as a great idea. We ticked all the checkboxes. Understanding the customer, doing market research building an MVP and finally connecting it all and selling our service.
After 6 months of hard work both mentally and physically we got no result. Not a single customer! .We used the AIDA model for filtering and assuming a 7% conversion rate we were expecting a hundred customers. We got the zeros but missed the 1.In the hindsight what were the factors behind the failure?
1. Wrong Location
Not every service is mass-marketed and not every market needs the service. You’ve probably heard the classic advice, “Location, Location, Location.” The importance of the location of your business cannot be stressed enough, despite the rise of technology, virtual communication and cloud businesses. A business’s address is an important factor in the way that business is perceived.
You find out life’s this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game — life or football — the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second. Tony D’Amato
Business more often than not are cyclical. We had launched our service in the offseason. Finding prospects was a real difficult task and converting them into clients seemed almost impossible. There would be calls at odd hours 6 am | 11 pm even after suggesting to call only during working hours. None of them converted as they did not feel the urgency to use our service rather a curiosity on what we are offering.
3. Customer Segmentation
Customer segmentation is the practice of dividing a customer base into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways. You can provide different value propositions to different customer groups. Customer segments are usually determined on similarities, such as personal characteristics, preferences or behaviours that should correlate with the same behaviours that drive customer profitability.
We had missed on this part. We used Facebook marketing to find prospects. What we got was a giant soup with too many ingredients. Also, a mistake was creating a WhatsApp group and putting them into a single group. It was chaos, we had people from age 18 to age 40 from 10th pass to an MBA graduate. We did not see it coming, the doubts asked by the younger guys annoyed the experienced ones and made them exit the group.
When you are starting no one has heard of you. Why would someone give money to some stranger nobodies for a service they would supposedly provide? Building credibility is one of the most important thing and if you are bootstrapped like us, time to get creative. Branding and street cred are one of the most important aspects. Even if you giving gold free to customers they are going to doubt you. This is the one aspect which we have not been able to figure out.
This one got us good! We were expecting a 100 customer and we got 0. If we had an estimated 10 customers maybe this wouldn’t have been a failure. We even overestimated the speed of our delivery. We expected to complete one cycle in 1 month. This leads to us choosing quantity over quality and even giving a substandard service. Estimating how much resources and time it will take is a tough task and can only be clear through experience.
Although there are many more points that are coming to my mind these are the top 5 reasons for our service to fail in the first attempt.Whenever I read a blog its mostly about what made someone successful. I hope my failure can be of some use to you.
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”― Eleanor Roosevelt