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How do you approach your last attempt?

My team and I have decided to give our project until mid-year.

Let's say June 30th. During the last three years, we tested several business concepts and had not, either, generated enough traction, or found (as of today), profitable ways to scale them fast.

Our primary area of focus is the restaurant and food & beverages industries. We expect the solution will apply to the retail industry, as well. We concentrate on these industries because of the amount of data produced on a daily basis. Every location dispensing food and drinks has a POS system and each item produced and sold is recorded.

We have interviewed, during the last year only, more than 150 individuals within the industry and have accumulated a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable. We are still developing, testing, and demoing, a solution to a fascinating problem, you can get a grasp of it on our website (roichecker.com), but I'd like to repeat it here.

Most restaurant operators struggle with inconsistent foot-traffic at some point. Other players speak of the challenges of anticipating customer behavior. Those are two faces of the same coin, one expressed from the Operations point of view, the other one from Marketing, per industry definitions. We believe we can make valuable contributions towards solving the problem by creating a layer of knowledge so far unseen in the industry.

One of our major roadblocks so far is talking to potential customers with the right level of decision-making ability. It has been challenging to get quality and volume within the timelines of a startup. We are active on LinkedIn, we have networked and continue to do so, but any advice on how to create these conversations is welcomed.

How do you approach your last efforts to make sure you did everything? We are not going "quietly into the night" and want to make sure we give these last weeks everything we can.


20 Replies

Rob Gropper
1
0
Rob Gropper Entrepreneur
Director at PetHero, SPC - Member at Eastside Incubator - Principal at Tuxedo Technologies Group
Lucas,
1. what does your team look like?
2. How did you decide to target the restaurant market first... notoriously difficult market to penetrate.
3. can you give us your 1 sentence value proposition?
Michael Barnathan
3
0
Michael Barnathan Entrepreneur • Advisor
Co-Founder of The Mountaintop Program, Google Alum
If you're "giving it until" a specific time, you've probably already decided it's not going to work. I'd recommend taking a step back, figuring out the fundamental issue or incorrect hypothesis that has been preventing it from gaining traction, and adjusting your efforts to fix the issue / create something that you think will be sustainable.

If you're approaching the venture from a position of despair, you're not going to be successful. Success takes time.

Don't get depressed. Just find the right course correction, test it out, and keep going. That's how you win! No one ever said entrepreneurship was easy - but it's worth it :)
Shobhit Verma
1
0
Shobhit Verma Entrepreneur • Advisor
building an adaptive recommendation engine
Man, I can relate with you so much.
Without getting into the details, I can tell you that I know the internals of a very similar startup which has several million dollars in funding and yet from my perspective are not doing very well.
It is not a good problem to work on. If the loss of opportunity cost is high, pivot.
I can talk details on phone if you wish.

Vijay Goel, MD
1
0
Vijay Goel, MD Entrepreneur • Advisor
Founder Chefalytics, Co-owner Bite Catering Couture, Independent consultant (ex-McKinsey)
Quick look at your site, I don't see a WIFM (whats in it for me) as a potential customer.

It's great that you understand there's a complex problem, but I don't see anything that says that you can actually do anything about it in a way that would be specific to my business model (e.g., QSR vs. diner vs. fine dining).
Michael Brill
2
0
Michael Brill Entrepreneur
Technology startup exec focused on AI-driven products
Definitely agree with Michael... maybe you spend this time thinking about doing something different rather than better. Try to build excitement into a pivot instead of grinding through the last months.

I suppose it's possible that your problem isn't getting enough conversations with decision-makers, but I doubt it... it doesn't seem like you'd be so keen to flush your company because you're not good at lead gen. That's a solvable problem.

You may get some great feedback here, but I'd recommend investing in knocking out a deck that gives plenty of context and describes the problem as you see it and sit down 1:1 with folks with product management experience (or see if you can grab a small group from FD and do a google hangout) and really ferret out the issues and ideas. I'm always surprised what outside perspective can add *if* they have enough contextual data.

Roz Biles
1
0
Roz Biles Entrepreneur
Business Development - Strategic Planning
Lucas,
I'd go after the food distributors on a national basis. Sell the value prop to them as a value add for all of the restaurants they serve. A strategic sale while you do restaurant sales. There are only a handful of national food distributors.
Roz
Yaniv Sneor
1
0
Yaniv Sneor Entrepreneur
Founder, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels; President, Blue Cactus Consulting, Trustee, ILSE
Lucas,

It is hard to give you advice without knowing all the details, so, in general, since you have so much already invested, I would try to understand why you are not getting any traction, to see whether a pivot were possible.

Contact me directly if you wish to discuss further.

Yaniv
Ema Chuku
1
0
Ema Chuku Entrepreneur
Designer. Product Developer. Founder @ NuPad
As @Michael mentioned. "giving it all until a specific time" is probably not a mindset you should have now. You are trying to solve a complex problem in a difficult industy. Its going to take time for success and you are going to learn along as you go. You will even learn better after you launched live. So I would recommend focusing your efforts after you are launched. No such thing as a success after you launched. You will learn and you will pivot. Focus on that.
Candida Seasock
0
0
Candida Seasock Advisor
CEO of CTS Associates, LLC
Lucas, all the advise is excellent , especially to step back. I read nothing about proforma and roadmap and market study or the message to the market.
Michael Beddows
1
0
Michael Beddows Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing-as-a-Service: Helping Marketers Increase Customer Acquisition, Retention & Expansion
Hi Lucas, I feel your pain. The first thought that comes to mind is - have you considered partnering with companies that have relationships with the right level of decision makers? You know your industry better than I do, of course, but I can think of several companies that might just have those relationships: Yelp, Seamless, Foursquare, Zagat, OpenTable. My bet is those companies must be looking for new revenue streams. Some of the best companies have succeeded at the brink of defeat. Hang in there, Michael
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