2016 will go down as the summer of heat. Record breaking temperatures inspires a lemonade stand moguls dreams to come true. Arriving home one recent hot Friday, I noticed a lemonade stand as I turned the corner onto my street. A smile on my face grew when I realized it was one of my kids promoting her thirst quenching products. Ice water with slice of lemon- 25¢, Lemonade – 50¢, and duct-tape wallets- $3.00.
Pulling into our driveway was not happening since the lemonade stand was well positioned near the street in full visibility of passerby’s. To her credit she realized people needed to see her and the simple homemade sign showing products and prices appropriately displayed. “How are sales?” I asked. “Ok- we made $42.50 so far” said my daughter. I was so happy for her and her fellow partner. She undoubtedly had over 80 customers visit her pop-up kiosk in about 4 hours.
I was grumpy because no new sales occurred that day in our business and wondered how the heck did she outsell our company. Being a newer brand I realize zero sales can occur until word of mouth and awareness are established. That does not mean I like the fact that a lemonade stand outsold us even if it is my daughter. So I decided to look at our website just to be sure no technical issues exists and blown away with what I saw. The good news was the site was there and visible. The bad news is it took 19 seconds to load the site on my mobile phone – Yes I measure the time. In today’s instant response, need-it-now world, 19 seconds is the kiss of death.
My research shows 95% of web traffic abandons the site for a webpage taking over six seconds to load. To put it in the context of my daughters lemonade stand, it is the equivalent if she setup shop in our backyard garage with the door closed, midwinter, open from midnight to 4 am. Lesson learned- find the right web-host service- (email me if you want help based upon my experience.)
Fast-forward to a recent trip visiting a bike shop in the northeast US. I recognized an opposite visibility issue yet ending in a similar net result. This particular shop was unmistakably visible with bikes out front and a small sign above the door. They also have a great website accurately reflecting location, hours of operation, services provided, and the history of the shop.
After entering the store I was taken aback by what I saw. While waiting for the proprietor to meet with me, I perused the store eyeing for the pedal section scrutinizing who they presently support. Hundreds of products, signs, visual stimuli of all kinds “Pedals are in the back corner near the shoe section” he pronounced. The issue was the visibility was lopsided by the excess. New items mixed with old clearly visible by products which were dust-free and those which were not. As a first-time visitor I was a clearly lost, yet could understand what they were attempting to do by satisfying as many customers needs as possible.
Visibility is an important attribute to a great product/service. The purpose of this is not just to bring awareness to our company, but bring visibility to the many great ideas unseen. Our office once resided in a business incubator radiating with passionate people filled with creativity and perseverance. Incredible ideas evolving through the startup eco system in hopes to be seen through the merits of their respective virtues. It was so fun to see the many unique ideas and the struggle to bring distinguishability. We’ll strive to do a better job sharing our developments and improvements making sure we are clear and not lost on the shelf or invisible. We raise our lemonade glass to all entrepreneurs making the world a better place and clearly seen.