How One Elementary Mistake Cost This Entrepreneur 9 Months Of Business

Anand Srinivasan Consultant, Independent Consultant

Posted on June 18th 2014

How One Elementary Mistake Cost This Entrepreneur 9 Months Of Business

ImageLike all entrepreneurs, Nic Franklin launched his business in the industry he was most passionate about. Oil and gas is “boring” to a lot of us, but as an attorney who was born and raised in the Texas Panhandle, Nic had terrific knowledge about the local oil and gas industry. He had himself developed wind energy projects, run a title company and had been involved with the oil and gas industry since launching the Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law. It then comes as no surprise that this is the industry he was passionate about.

Nic noticed that the land records and titles in three counties had never been digitized before. He realized that digitization of records could help his clients to examine evidence, build title policies and close faster than they could through the traditional route. It was a literal goldmine that he had stumbled upon. It had to be done.

So over the next 9 months, Nic and his team spent every waking hour digitizing land records from the three counties. Then they screwed up something so basic, they would be ruing about it for the rest of time. Nic says:

“This is embarrassing to admit, but the biggest mistake we’ve made so far was waiting too long to get a sign. We were getting quotes for big fancy LED signs, but we had been open for weeks before we ended up getting vinyl lettering and our logo put on our door for $100 as a temporary fix.

We had a huge jump in business that same day, and we get compliments all the time on how sharp it looks, so we decided to forget the $10,000 LED one. There is nothing that feels worse as a start-up than hearing someone say they wish they had known about you weeks before so they could have sent you their business. Here we were, completely changing the way oil and gas and real estate deals are done in the Panhandle, and we had people not knowing we existed. They were walking past our door for weeks, waiting months for data that we could’ve given them in five minutes.”

So there’s it – Nic spent nine months making the most perfect product for his business. But nobody knew he existed. As a start-up, your funds are pretty limited. So any cash inflow can do wonders. While Nic’s company ‘Digital Abstract and Title‘ is doing wonderfully well today, they will never be able to forget that one elementary mistake that nearly cost them the business.

This article contains excerpts from my recently published ebook, “How To Find Your First Customers – 75 Entrepreneurs Tell Us Their Story.” You can download a FREE copy of the book by clicking to the source of this article


Anand Srinivasan

Consultant, Independent Consultant

Anand is an independent market outreach consultant based in Bangalore, India.
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