The seven essential qualities for the moderate internet entrepreneur – 5

Try again give up

Being prepared to abandon lost causes

You do your market research. You diligently create the product. And then what happens? Nothing.

You do some more marketing. Maybe a few sales? But not much. Not enough to justify the effort.

It’s happened to me. It will happen to you.

So what do you do?

My advice is, just quietly drop it and move on.

If you are an ideas person you should already have something new in the pipeline anyway.

The fact is that (to use a revolting phrase) it’s no good flogging a dead horse. If people don’t want to buy your whatever-it-is, then there is no point wasting money on trying to sell it to them.

On the bright side

That doesn’t mean that the exercise is a complete dead loss. For example:

  • You can cannibalise it and use bits of it to make something else. For example, if your ‘learning to enjoy tripe’ recipes product has bombed, maybe you can use the material in an improved version of your ‘recipes from the North of England’ product.
  • You can bundle it with another product. “Buy our Recipes of the North of England” and ‘Learn to enjoy tripe’ ebooks together and get X% off”
  • You can use it as an upsell
  • You can give it away as a bonus product as part of a product launch. If it has been on sale at £X (even if you only sold two) you can (so far as I am aware) describe it as ‘worth £X’. No-one will know that you only sold two at full price.

It’s actually quite a good idea to have a number of ‘non-flagship’ products around to use for these purposes.

You may also want to shelve the idea to try again later, particularly if it is based on an innovative technology.  It may be more successful when people are more used to it.

Most importantly

You should learn from the experience.

Generally, you learn far more from your failures than you do from your successes. They are a valuable part of your entrepreneurial experience.

Remember also – there’s no shame in it.

If anyone asks you, after you have quietly dropped it from your product list “whatever happened to that online course you were doing on using tripe?” you can just say that it is undergoing re-development or that it is not available just now (but that they can get a lot of the same information in your (more expensive) recipes of the North course).

Don’t let it put you off

The important thing to take away is – it happens to everyone.

You probably don’t realise this as people don’t normally talk about their failures, just their successes.  But, believe me, they have them.

The important thing is – what do you do once your product has bombed?  Do you pick up, learn from it, and start again with something else?  Or do you crawl away and give up?

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