Most businesses fail within the first few years. While there are financial and other issues involved typically persistence and inquiry are part of the process of building products successful that can be sold on the international market.
Let's look at an example. I sell practice mallets for around $70 dollars with free shipping. Most people love these mallets and I have repeat buyers. There are a few who don't like them and I get an occasion return. Personally I believe these returns are based on perception and personality but I must do my part to ensure I'm avoiding misalignment between customer expectation and the offering.
Persistence and Inquiry #1: I Changed the Listing Information: Customers sometimes think the $70 mallet is the same as a $200 mallet. They are different. One is used just to teach the skills of the game and is a little lighter. The other one is of superior quality with a heavier head and perfectly straight shaft. So I adjusted the listing so that people know the difference between one and the other. That doesn't mean people always read the listing so I include a liberal return policy for the rare occasion there is a mismatch.
Persistence and Inquiry #2: Things don't necessary stop there. I have to develop a professional mallet and be able to sell it for a price lower then my competitors. That will be able to offer a comparison product in each of my listings. Something like, "This is a practice mallet if you are more interested in a professional mallet please check out......" Thus, I went in search of straighter canes and figured out a way to create a heavier head. Now customers can choose between a $150 professional mallet and a $70 practice mallet.
Customer confusion declines.....
Persistence means we don't give up on our business simply because we run into a few problems. Problems is what business is all about. As a matter of point, the goal is to solve as many problems as possible for your customers to increase their satisfaction. Make things easier, make them better, do more, and raise the value of your business through problem solving. Just be sure that you are focused on the goals of your business. Sometimes solutions have no market value.
Inquiry helps you find new ways of doing things. I went out and searched sources for new shafts that are straighter and within my price budget. Now I found where I can obtain the resource and have made a purchase to see if the quality will be good. Furthermore, I used inquiry to find a way to weight the head more to give it a little extra kick on the ball. That wouldn't have happened unless I explored ideas and looked up possible solutions.
As you work on your micro-manufacturing business think about persistence and inquiry to find new solutions.
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