This is a second part in series. First part can be found here: Small Business Problems – Part I
Issue 2: Sales and Marketing
The partner who runs the business believes he knows the market. Not only he is further from the truth as he is from making his first million off this business, he also misses any feedback his own employees providing from their workings with clients. Which, to recall his trust issues, isn’t really surprising. Business’s web site is a single image with outdated address (he moved two times already after that), obsolete prices and graphics circa year 1999. However, this doesn’t prevent him from spending some significant amount on pay-per-click advertising to lead prospective customers to that awful site. Additionally he runs some commercials on TV and Citysearch. Obviously, he has no idea which channel brings him people who call company’s number, so he’s throwing all he can to everything he can cover.
Once the call is through to the cell phone and given it won’t drop, the employee who handles the phone this week is scheduling a free consultation. This is essentially is a sales session, but since the procedure concerns various places of (mostly) women body it has to be done in private. However, the managing owner had entered the room on numerous occasions when consultation was in progress under various false pretenses. One of the examples – he wanted to post his employees’ certificates on the wall, so he came in with hammer and nails and started hammering away while sale was in progress.
Seeing low prices as his only competitive advantage, he sets them extremely low. The way the commissions are distributed leaves his employees with pay rate per hour only slightly better than minimum wage. Given that average hourly rate for these procedures is somewhere in the vicinity of $25/hour or more, it’s not hard to imagine how happy his employees are to sell their services at those prices. It’s not uncommon that they just cancel people’s appointments because it’s not worth for them to travel to place of work and waste a few hours of their time to earn $20 for the whole day.