Staving off failure. My fight to succeed!
So I wont lie to you, so far my start up “Photobooth Finder” hasn’t exactly gone as planned in so far as revenue goes. Certainly nowhere near the amount I have put into it and only a minute glimpse of the sun through the clouds to give me hope that it will all come good. Despite this I remain as committed as I was on day one and know quite the challenge lays ahead of me to turn this bleak outlook around and making this thing into the success I know it can become.
As part of the first steps at making some positive changes I recently engaged a business consultancy service for their guidance and advice. They were quick to tell me my “pay per lead business model” was flawed and some radical changes were needed to generate cash flow. They proposed a new business model based on “pay per month tiered listings” to replace the lead payment model. After much deliberation I came around to their idea even to the point of coming up with a much more refined version of the tiered model they were suggesting.
Initially I wanted to get this rolled out asap and start making the changes but luckily for me the whole process of engaging web developers can’t be done that quickly. This gave me lots more time to think and to talk to more people. In particular people in the tech space whom I have met whilst attending an Entrepreneurship 101 course at Steve Baxter’s River City Labs. I wont go into the whole journey but basically a web developer there had a look at the website and told me that whilst it’s very good it’s been written in an outdated method of coding which would limit the ability to upscale my business in the future. Fantastic! Just what I need another problem to solve….! In the end everything has a solution if you have the money which is also another one of my problems: limited cash flow! Arrgh!
After a few sleepless nights I have now decided to not even worry about fixing the source code of my website as this is simply not a priority let alone a real and immediate concern. Instead I have turned my focus to where it should have been all the time…. my two sets of clients; member photo booth operators and site users.
I threw together a long over due feedback survey and apart from being slightly disappointed by the limited number of people who responded I wasn’t all that surprised by the findings as I had been expecting them in an impending kind of way rather than the good kind:
Website users Feedback Findings
- They felt very disappointed as most of the operators they chose to contact declined to get back to them. (ie they didn’t buy the lead from Photobooth Finder so couldn’t contact them)
Operators Feedback Findings
- Most like having a free listing and don’t really want to ever pay anything much for it.
- Most would like leads to be cheaper.
- Most want us to generate more traffic to their listings and get them more leads.
So basically everyone wants everything for free or close to it but they want maximum results! Nice eh! lol
As an ex Photo booth hire operator myself creating Photobooth Finder has been done as much if not more so to help the industry I love so much and to stop me from having to work a normal job! I wished it was around when I was “boothin” week in and week out as it gives everyone a much fairer and more cost effective way to be found than other means of lead generation. I guess where I went wrong was thinking that operators would see the value I am bringing them with all the things I do that I don’t charge for like giving them a free listing, free competitions to promote, loads of content to share, community forums to engage in etc. Alas that hasn’t been the case and I have learned the hard way that at the end of the day they will take what you give and expect it if you keep giving more and they only pay for what they perceive is valuable not what you think or know to be of value to them. Ah the learning curves have been steep but what a ride eh!
That’s not to say that is the case for every operator. We definitely have a select handful of really supportive operators who get what we are doing and who not only actively support our effort but show appreciation for it. To those operators I say “thank you” and am eternally grateful.
To try and steer the ship back on a course for success I am writing a newsletter to my member operators to let them know the results of the feedback surveys and in doing so appeal for their help and support to continue. I am also going to offer all operators a discount on leads and see if that gets some of the fence sitters to give us a go.
Hopefully this is the start of my journey to success rather than the beginning of the end.
Ill keep you posted…but in the meantime, wish me luck!