Business mistakes exampleWe learned the cost of underestimating the complexities involved in entering new markets. After having been so successful in gin, we rather naively assumed we could just copy and paste the model into sparkling wine and everything would work out just fine. We soon discovered our lack of prior market research would result in problems.
Impact it hadIt meant we were much slower out of the blocks that we had hoped. To start with, growth came slowly and hitting our margin targets proved difficult, both of which meant revenue forecasts were missed.
In retrospectHindsight is a wonderful thing, and looking back now we did seem rather naive, so yes, we should have seen it coming. That said, the only way to truly understand about a market is by “getting onto the pitch”, so there was also lots gained by moving as quickly as we did.
Avoidance techniqueWe should have taken time to talk to more people in the wine industry in advance, particularly people in our supply chain – winemakers, importers, agents and distributors, to really understand the mechanics of the industry and the particular peculiarities of the market.
Resolution effortWe had to adapt and learn as we went, which made for a tricky start, as we were conducting research on the hoof, at the same time as undertaking real-time purchasing negotiations. We also had to tweak our product offering slightly as we went, according to what we were learning both about the wider industry and our particular consumer base.
Mistake learningsWe learned that booze retail is more complicated that we had imagined, and that success in one category doesn’t automatically mean you can be successful in another. You need to invest time and energy into really understanding what make each product category tick.
Next stepsBuilding and growing successful companies is all about taking controlled risks and making mistakes is a natural part of that. Going quickly means we will always get things from wrong from time to time – the trick is to recognise your failures quickly and to change course before the costs of any failure begin to rack up.
Read on for a first-hand experience of how new technology platforms can cause more damage than good.
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