One of my favorite audio books is The Hard Thing About Hard Things, by venture capitalist legend, Ben Horowitz, and I had two key takeaways from it:
- The only difference between successful and unsuccessful CEOs is the successful ones never quit. That’s it. Not being super-smart, or having the best product or service. Just not quitting.
- When a CEO is struggling with her business there is always a move she can make that might turn her fortunes around. She just has to be persistent enough to discover what the move is, and have the fortitude to make it.
It’s the second point I want to talk about in this post.
The move before the move
A few months back, I wanted to offer new products to users that they were already familiar with that could generate cash flow to give myself more runway to turn my little-known company, WeMontage, into a household name. To help, one of my mentors introduced me to the COO of a company owned by Zazzle, which is on my wish list of acquirers.
The COO explained to me the benefits of running Groupon deals, like a quick cash pop, new customer acquisition, and increased product and brand awareness. The latter benefit was intriguing because the biggest issue I have with my business is lack of consistent and credible exposure. This must be why you hear about some companies getting in touch with the top digital marketing agency in their area for help. Brand exposure in its simplest form like handing out Custom Water bottles with your branding on is important, as well as online advertising which is so vital for a company to thrive now. Perhaps an agency might be worth looking at to see if they can help boost my business. Credible PR also helps like from the TODAY Show segment, which happened twice. This resulted in healthy sales. If you’ve just started up, having the momentum and finance to have a segment on the TODAY show may be a bit too much this early on. There are smaller ways to expose your brand and create sales, like using custom yard signs from MyCreativeShop. This is an efficient way to get your brand and message out there; passersby on foot or in a vehicle could all be potential customers that will view your brand exposing sign.
The COO has a good relationship with Groupon and made an introduction, who then forwarded me to the right person for national Groupons.
The downside of running Groupon deals is it’s basically advertising expense. Meaning, Groupon forces you to cut your price in half, then splits the cash generated from the sale with you.
Despite this deal structure, I’m rolling the dice. I’ve got friends who have had great success after using services like https://www.ngpimc.com to boost their brand awareness, but i’m keen to hustle for it on my own. Which is why i’m giving this a shot.
Starting September 3rd, Groupon will test two offerings of my product in ten cities. The offering that performs the best will then launch nationally in the fourth quarter. I’m hoping this Groupon campaign will give me momentum going into the holidays, and will result in lots of sales.
Here’s what one of the deals looks like on Groupon’s site:
It’s possible the Groupon deal will flop and do nothing for cash flow, or product and brand awareness. But if I don’t make this move…I’ll never find out.
What’s your move to take your business to the next level?
[Tweet “#Entrepreneurs: What’s Your Move To Take Your Biz to The Next Level? #SMB #Startup”]