February 22, 2013
Posted by on
Ever since we started ‘The Store’, we had no real competitors to threaten a loss of clientele or potential clients. We had nothing to rush us into the market or motivate us to work faster or harder. Now, however, things have changed a great deal.
Since the past month, a huge foreign business decided to penetrate the Egyptian market with an aggressive marketing campaign. This company is a giant which we cannot compete with. Hopefully, the situation will end up with us as it did with *David.
Instead of focusing on how we can be metaphorically sodomized by this new threat, we decided on thinking positively and using this new threat to our advantage. From the emergence of this competitor we can deduce the following:
There is a need in our market, since the competition branched into it
We work far better when competing with others, our efforts increased ever since we have been made aware of the situation
The triad of partners does not weaken by threats, our communication and motivation got accelerated by the existence of threat
It will be easier to find potential buyers or funders for the project, since we have a giant to compare ourselves to in terms of service
I hope that other small business founders would not be discouraged by the emergence of a strong competitor. Whenever facing such an overwhelming mind-numbing experience, take a day off and clear your mind.
*From David and Goliath.
February 16, 2012
Posted by on
As some of you know, I’m starting a set of new businesses, yes there are more then one now, and was wondering how you choose to manage your employees, this question is not only addressed to managers, but employees as well or, basically, just anyone reading this post.
Please let me know what characteristics you think a great or good manager has, and what type of company you would like to work in.
December 27, 2011
Posted by on
We launched about 10 days ago, so far things are going better then expected, with proper social media use.
In the reselling business, proper awareness raising is critical, since we have no direct formal competitors we require no marketing campaign yet.
We are trying to minimize the costs at this point, and peripheral activities that show no direct perceived increase in profits have been avoided.
A proper need has been identified and due to the low profit margin in this market, it is unlikely to face any direct competition soon, regardless of this estimation, we should be prepared.
I realized that I did not spend enough time thinking of a mission statement for the store, however, I have a general idea of what I want it to, eventually, be.
The following points are simplified objectives I seek to apply:
- Generate enough money to be able to cover expenses and grow
- Provide a solution to a current problem
- Help the world recycle
- Fill a gap in the market
- Give chances to people starting their lives, an opportunity to gain experience and to develop
I will be using these points as a reference to come-up with an official mission statement.
December 21, 2011
Posted by on
It’s been a month now since we started renovating the store, and the opening has been delayed a couple of weeks, but were oficially operating today. We originally planned a month to be spent for renovation, but hoped for less.
The marketing plan has reduced to social networks, the video campaign has been slightly delayed due to financial and time constraints, we decided that the limited resources we have are better spent on direct influencers to “The Store” instead of indirect ones, although I think that a large markeing campaign would do us good, we still need to get the hang of it before we expose ourselves to a larger customer-base. This decision was made to help preserve a certain image we hope to convey, and gaining experiance prior to such exposure would only benifit this objective.
We keep running into potential competitors, but after further research we notice their specialized base that we cannot compete with, we have the advantage of not being limited to any types of products.
So far we are ahead of schedule, but behind expectations, the plan was based on a worst case scenario and our expectaions were optimistic, so as a guess I’d say were doing ‘alright’, bearing in mind that we started from scratch.
December 19, 2011
Posted by on
When we first started planning “The Store” we went by the book, whatever we learned in college we applied. We started with a formal proposal and brainstorming sessions, we went with everything we learned but there was one problem, we were applying systematic processes to an unsystematic procedure.
The books certainly provided us with direction, but they limited our view, you can not learn to think outside the box if you’re thinking process is guided. Bit by bit we started identifying different opportunities that few people might have though of applying in a business manner.
Eventually a very well thought of plan and method was written in an organized manner, however, when it came to implementation, we had to improvise and slightly deviate from the original plan.
The major difference happened in the planed and actual marketing strategy, we had a marketing campaign regarding a mascot that was supposed to include a set of videos and photos to be spread via several common social networks, this plan was slightly delayed and, at this point, has a small chance of being completely abandoned, the decision has not been made yet.
The end result was about 90% close to the estimated outcome, with the major difference being in the marketing plan and estimated budget, eventually “The Store” ended up being what we expected it to be.
December 6, 2011
Posted by on
About two months ago I got with a friend from college and were talking about a business he wanted to start, basically he wanted to make a pawn shop here in Egypt, but it was clear that it would face ridiculous amounts of cultural and legal resistance.
The idea then developed to another similar business where the potential threats are far less and the investment minimal.
The whole idea was how to start a new business that could make it big with the least possible capital, both short-term and long-term.
“The Store” sells used items that are brought in by, basically, anyone that wants to get rid of their old stuff, we display the items and look for buyers.
The major threat that we are expecting to face is not properly exposing ourselves to our target market, since we are trying to minimize costs we have only a few alternatives to market ourselves.
We plan to market ourselves primarily by word of mouth and via internet social networks.
I will be updating you with the status of the store and any challenges we encounter, I will also post our decisions and solution regarding these situations.
“The Store” will open on next Sunday, 11 November 2011.