Written by Alli Price
So, at the start of the year I promised I would write about what I was experiencing in business, with total and complete honesty, as this can only help you lovely mums on your business journey and so, I knew had to write this post.
As you may or may not know, I have just launched a new business/event with a friend called PartyParents – which is a night out for parents and their friends.
The launch night is just over a week away and we need 300 bodies in the room for it to be a fabulous event, and, as yet – we haven’t sold nearly enough. If we have to cancel, we will owe the venue close to $10 000. Crap!!
But that’s not why I wanted to write this post. The reason I wanted to write it is because this difficult experience has led me to realise a few things that I thought would be helpful for you mums if you’re going through the same or if you’re thinking of starting out in business.
Take research with a grain of salt
Before we launched PartyParents I asked a crap-load of people what they thought of the idea and if they would come and the answer was a resounding – yes! The problem is that even if these people loved the idea and said they would purchase, when push comes to shove, they may not have the time, money or the energy to commit. So take research with a grain of salt!
If possible, start small and see if you can begin making money initially before growing or adding more products/developing your service etc.
Try and limit your risk like we should have. If we had started with a venue that only holds 100 and worked our way up to Bobby McGee’s (300) we would have had a lot less stress at this stage of the journey. And you know what? Turning people away because we are fully-booked is waaaaaay better than having a half-empty room.
Be sure you can bear the loss
Work out the worst case scenario. If all goes belly up, can you bear the loss of what you have invested in website, marketing, products etc. If PartyParents doesn’t go ahead we will have to pay the venue $5 000 each. While this will hurt, it won’t cripple the us and we had decided the loss was worth the risk of going ahead with PartyParents.
Another reason you need to be sure you can bear the loss is that if you are constantly focussed on the threat of losing everything, you are not focussed on running your business. This is a bad place to be – you need to be looking forward and creating, not looking backward and panicking.
I am a firm believer in law of attraction and have had this picture up next to my desk for the last month – meditating on it.However, I have found it difficult to hold that feeling of belief in our success because I was also desperately worried about the night not going ahead and losing the money. It wasn’t until I was able to let go of that $5 000 and understand it wasn’t going to break us that I was able to focus whole-heartedly on this event going ahead.
If you get desperate, you look desperate
A few times Max and I have considered giving people free tickets to come to the event – but do you know what this is? Sheer desperation!
After consideration, we realised that people hadn’t bought tickets yet because they just hadn’t gotten around to it or they had something else on that night or they weren’t keen. It was not because they couldn’t afford the $20 for entry.
But for some reason, whenever we are struggling in business or need to make sales it’s almost the business go-to, isn’t it? Give things away for free or discount heavily. However, the only people you will attract with this type of campaign are the cheap people – who will not be committed to your brand in any way.
So we pulled back and concentrated on good old-fashioned marketing – connecting with our market and communicating the benefits of what we’re offering. We may still not have a success but at least we won’t have damaged our brand by understating the value.
So that’s why I am pooing little bricks and have skidmarks in my pants! But at least it’s a great learning opportunity – for me and for you!
Wish us luck! And I would love to hear from you if you’ve experienced anything like this yourself,
Cheers, Alli x