This could be a short article. Why? Well, often it seems I can’t always solve this puzzle. Nevertheless, a recent discovery shows this to be one of the most important issues any business could face.
Personal experience has come about through a new venture called PETiO DOOR. Our product is innovative in that pet doors are integrated into the glass of sliding glass doors which allow pet owners full use of their door and no need to cut into their wall. It’s very high quality and extremely functional. It also isn’t cheap. But hey, pet owners, right?
Well, the product suffers one drawback. It isn’t selling. With a tiny budget, social media is getting the word out there and people always comment on the need it fulfills. They refer the product to friends. They like the pictures. Potential customers love it. Everyone says it is an awesome idea.
Love is great. We need reaffirmation and love provides it. Maybe you too can’t afford a focus group, but if everyone tells you they love your product you would be certain you have a hit in your hands. People have even gone so far as to say, “You’re going to be rich!” in regards to the PETiO DOOR.
But the ultimate act of love toward your business is a purchase. You need that love to survive. To that end, here are a few lessons learned so far:
Beat the streets – Social media is great. A website is fabulous. Consumers have short attention spans online unless you are peddling in conspiracy theories. Find people you can partner with. The current focus for PETiO DOOR is in offering referral bonuses to pet service and product providers and it means being out there. Most importantly, remember that we are always selling in life.
Probe and learn – Finding a demographic that fits your small business is hard. You don’t just build it and they will come. One of the beautiful things of Facebook advertising is that you can create inexpensive ads for varying demographics and test responses. Facebook will tell you cost per click, engagement or video view. In the old days, all you could do was pay big money for print ads in magazines and test which one created the most business.
Pricing – Ugh! This must be one of the hardest things to do. Do you lower price to attract sales but at the risk of giving up revenue? If the price is higher, are you making more or losing customers? Without a prior history of sales, you don’t know. Your strategy is now to lower and raise price and gauge responses. Maybe they buy at this price. Maybe they don’t. Play with it.
Shipping – Keep it free. In the age of Amazon Prime, people hate paying shipping charges. Build it into your price.
Visit your local Small Business Development Centers – This is one of the greatest government programs out there. It’s always free and the people that assist you are outstanding. They have the benefit of having consulted with thousands of businesses in the past and can apply much of it to yours.
Copy, copy, copy – We all love to be original but no business in the world should pass on the chance to steal an idea or method that is working for someone else. If someone in the same space is doing well, grab any ideas you can and then innovate further. Don’t feel bad about it. It’s just business.
Don’t give up – Coca-Cola began in 1886 and in its first year only sold 25 gallons of syrup and an average of 9 servings a day. Now it sells 1.9 billion servings a day and is among the most valuable and loved brands on the planet. Remember, they may love you but it takes time to keep reaffirming your product, building trust and developing your brand.
So far these are the lessons learned. Hopefully, PETiO DOOR will move from love to buy soon. It is hoped that your product will as well. Just keep testing and keep at it until your customers show you the true love of purchases.