Archive for May, 2011
While in Alabama last weekend, I did a quick in-hospital run. We are trying a new approach to the direct marketing. We are dropping off “Scrubs Magazine” with coupons for our site and a few other advertisements within, at various hospitals (if you work at a hospital and want us to send you a magazine let me know!). Our attempts at in-hospital promotions in the past have not worked very well.
The goal with the magazines is to provide something aside from just a discount, the magazine itself has had some great reviews/response to this point (it is a new magazine). It will be interesting to see if any of our discount codes/advertising in the magazine are redeemed. Not only will it tell us if the effort of distributing these magazines is worth it, but it will also give us a small window into the value of targeted print advertising. You never know, if it works we may start looking into other similar options.
The tough part is making sure they are distributed at the hospitals. I have only visited two places so far. At the first I walked around and left mag’s all around hoping people will pick them up. At the other hospital I visited the HR department and left them a stack of the magazines for distribution.
We will see what happens. Hopefully it drives some business!
Last month I put together a 2010 annual report for a few of our “stakeholders.” To be honest, it was as much for me as it was for anyone else. It had the basic rundown of where we are, where we were, and where we want to be. While this was good to put down on paper, I always feel like I have a general idea of where I want to be in my head. Writing out projections and goals can be a good practice though, it gives you something to shoot for. I don’t have a board, investors, or anyone else to answer to. Nor do I have any real benchmarks of how a company like mine should look this far into its life. Thus setting goals at least makes me answer to myself. It gives me checks and makes puts some pressure on me to keep chugging along.
While all of this goal setting was great practice, the real point of putting the report together (and why I would recommend everyone do something similar even if, like me, you don’t have a true “board”) was to garner feedback from everyone I sent it to on the challenges that lay ahead. I figured I would throw a few of those challenges out here to see if anyone had any ideas for me! Thus, direct from the scrubadoo.com 2010 report:
How do we answer our ever present need for consistent development work? Do we hire full-time? Try again with yet another development company? Does anyone know anyone?
Should we create a scrubadoo private scrubs label? Is it worth the inventory risk? This would cost an initial investment of around $15,000. Where do we get that cash? What do our sales levels need to be prior to taking on this endeavor?
What are some creative, yet inexpensive ways to expand the brand recognition of scrubadoo?
How do we increase wholesale scrub orders? Specifically, how do we attract orders from Private practices?
When is the right time to bring on another full time employee (aside from myself)?
These are a few of our most pressing questions. None of them have a magic bullet but many of them can be improved. Any thoughts would be appreciated! On a side note I would recommend that everyone put together a similar report for their “stakeholders.” It helps keep people engaged and supportive of your endeavors. Keeping that conversation open is always important!