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Failures

Posted by Luke McMeeken-Ruscoe on

I have really been touched by all the emails and message I receive from these emails. Lots of them are about business, startups, and motivation. It is no secret that I am a big advocate for people to start their own businesses. 

People seem to think it is near impossible. The tactics to start your own business are very easy to learn. The art of having the business work is more important and something I am still learning. 

This week I would like to quickly share some (the complete list would take too long) of the things that I did wrong, or that didn't work out as well as they could. 

Marketing

This whole post could be about my marketing failures. 

- No email sign-ups - You want to get ways to communicate with your audience. At the start, I didn't have any way to get people who were interested in Straightface a way to learn more about us. 

Now I have an email pop up, email lead generation campaigns, and there is an email sign up on the site. 

- No automation - Once you get that email address, you want to communicate with your audience. Tell them about you. How great you are. Your views on the world. What problem you can solve for them. With technology, you can create automated emails for different customer groups so that everything just happens rather than having to create and send emails every time a customer does something.

- Marketing support - I have never done marketing/adverting before. One of the teams I hired to help, I was spending more on them than on the ads they were making for me. It was a huge waste of money. I have spent time learning more about the back end of the advertisers to make smart ads. 

Customer Experience

- Sign up issues - We tried to make the amount of clicks less so that it was easier to sign-up. Thanks to modern technology this caused some users to get caught in a sign up loop so that they couldn't ever get to the check out page. Obviously, these people had a bad experience and didn't buy from us.

- Some people are dicks - you get rude people that want everything and are not self-aware. I do my best to be empathetic. But sometimes people really push that goodwill. It is a work in progress. 

Touch Points

- Goodie Bags - We thought that getting our product into the hands of people would be a great idea. This came with a number of issues. We never learnt who they were. 

If they come onto the website, we can retarget them. Giving away product to them gave us no information about who they were and what they liked. 

Secondly, people don't value what they don't pay for. There is lots of interesting work on price psychology. Why do people value an expensive product over a less expensive product even though they serve the same function and do the exact same thing? So when we gave the product away people don't feel it was valuable.

I Screwed Up

These are just a few of the things I did less than perfectly. But that is life. You jump before you know you are ready because if you jump when you know you are ready it is too late. You try things, you learn, you adapt, you change, you grow. It is exactly like life. 

I encourage anyone to start a business, there is no better time than now to help solve someone else's problem, and hopefully, get paid for it. 

Keep the emails coming.

Moment of Gratitude

This weekend I again helped out at the city mission with food parcels. With these lockdowns, there are people in serious need. I am not in a perfect situation but it's moment's like these that put your own luck into perspective. 

I have my health and I was able to help a family member who was unwell this week. 

I am in no way rich, and this business keeps taking my little money, but I have enough to pay the bills. 

Even though I am in lockdown by myself I talk to many friends every day. 

It is a challenging time to be alive but there are often many great things we just take for granted and fixate on the less than perfect things. 

Shave well, be awesome, go start that business

Luke

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