I’ve been working on my business, Snip Salon Software, since January 2011, between three and a half and four years. I have 8 customers, which I frankly find pathetic.
A mentor has recently helped me make some improvements to my online sales funnel, which include a) an Olark chat where about one prospect a week chats with me and b) a low-commitment opt-in on my home page that has collected a couple dozen emails over the course of a few months. Those things have been very helpful, and I’ve even go as far as to say they breathed new life into the business and my motivation. But…
I recently went back and re-read Paul Graham’s Do Things That Don’t Scale. It got me to thinking about the fact that 7 out of my 8 customers are local hair salons that I sold “manually”, by visiting their salons in person and establishing a relationship. Only one salon so far has become a customer via my online sales funnel.
So I’m wondering if it might be smarter for me just to go out and do the door-to-door sales again until I get enough customers to have, say, $1000/month in revenue (that would be 20 total customers), and then I could re-invest that revenue into PPC, trade magazine ads, direct mail, etc.
OR this: I had to visit well over 100 salons to get 3 customers, and the remaining 5 customers were referrals, plus the one guy who found me online. Visiting, re-visiting and calling those 100 salons was time-consuming and probably cost a lot in gas. So taking that into account, maybe it would be smart for me to do a small direct mail campaign targeted at salons in my geographic area. Interested salons could raise their hands and I could sell them in person so I’m only ever talking to pre-qualified prospects.
Basically, two weeks ago I thought I had everything figured out and I have solid plan and now I feel like an absolute beginner again and I have no idea what I should do. Any advice would be appreciated.
By the way, I know one obvious thing worth doing would be to build a better website. I’m planning to once I can afford to hire a designer. I’m apparently completely incapable of creating a good-looking site on my own, even with the help of ThemeForest, etc. So that one’s on my radar already.