The main goal for the month of September is to work on lead generation. Easy to do if you have an established product, a nice, fat mailing list and know exactly what you’re look to gain.
Unfortunately at the moment that’s not quite us.
The last couple of weeks have been tough, snail-like progress. It certainly felt tough as working on lead generation was a slog and wasn’t flowing as smoothly as it should have been. We tried a number of activities, SEO, content marketing, advertising, Facebook ads, other social media promotions such as ‘course cost discount for groups’ and a large email campaign (by our current standards) to businesses to encourage survey responses for ‘How important is staff training in your business?’. Btw, the survey is opened until the end of this month if you want to fill it out and be entered into the prize draw.
Internally, progress seemed very slow too. The product development schedule seemed to go at a snail’s pace and take backward steps at times too due to mis-communication. And 1 person was on vacation which made it more challenging. We’re a small team of 3 individuals (not all full-time) all different nationalities, diverse and working remotely together for the first imt. We’re still learning the ropes on how to fully function as a team.
The advantage of feeling the pain early on means that we get to gel as a team and if we can get through the hard times then the good times will be full of song. As we struggle on through, lessons learnt will make it easier the next round (that’s what we tell ourselves). I would say we’re at the ‘storming‘ phase.
During last week I had the opportunity to spend one whole day away from the desk for a whole day. It was very much needed. I met up with other business owners at Cranfield Venture Day and sat in on various sessions throughout the day ranging from getting oven ready for investment, keynote speakers on scaling, to listening to pitches to angel investors. And the ever present classic ‘squeeze the lemon’ term reminded me to take more action. The day out really helped break the gridlock and raised my low mood as it gave me the thinking space which resulted in us tweaking our direction.
After coming back from the event, I narrowed the focus right down (again) and decided on the statement that ‘companies and not individuals would be our paying customers’ and to take it from there.
And that’s been helpful. Very helpful. Deliverables have become clearer and at last (maybe a slight exaggeration as it was only a week’s brainstorming) we have a suitable product name, TEAM. That’s been quite a relief as ‘staff training records compliance manager’ doesn’t exactly roll of the tip of the tongue.
So the last couple days has been re-aligning ourselves and starting over with our lead generation activities. We’re looking forward to testing our product within a pilot program before the end of September and see how validation of it goes during October.
Rollercoaster score: 6/10
- Lead generation comes in all forms, shapes and sizes.
- Measure more realistically. For example, product development progress at the end of each week instead of each day.
- I need to get out more!
Luckily everything we’ve done so far is still valid and of use. We’re just looking at it from a different, more focused, angle. If you would like an invitation to join our pilot program let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.