So we decided on a compromise for the 'stick with the path or blaze a trail' issue and it has seemed to work fairly well. The consequences are that we've spent a little more money than we thought and everything is moving just a little bit slower than we planned (cause we have added goals and projects).
I feel we are well on our way. We have gotten some great publicity so far. Articles in multiple newspapers were achieved with help from Mike Romanies, a great PR guy. Our biggest PR spot, a news story on us, I'll go ahead and take full credit for. It was the result of a total coincedence, a little help from a friend, and some quick thinking on my part. News 8 news crew just having coffee in a coffee shop (Summermoon, on S 1st) that I buy buld coffee for deliveries from. Turns out the on-air personality (Amy Hadley) is married to someone who works in the coffee shop and I know the owners of the coffee shop (went to high school with them).
I was already late to work, but figured it could be worth it to stick around and have some coffee, which I never drink. Owners introduced me and introduced my service to the crew. I continued the pitch. NIce and easy, just chatted for a while and as they were leaving I gave a hard pitch about them doing a story on us. They said they would pitch it to the station. Thought I might hear from them in several weeks or months.
The next Monday about noon they called and said they wanted to do a live story on us the next day.....the day before a huge conference and in the middle of a huge week for us (received our first dairy shipment that we then had 10 days to sell all of - 1200 lbs of it). I asked if we could do it the following week and they said they didn't know when they could ever do it again. So, Tuesday morning the alarm went off at 4:45AM and I couldn't believe I would ever get up at a time like that. We had to be there at 5:30AM cause the first shot would be at 6AM. It was cold and the sun was not up, but it didn't take long for me to be lively...I was about to be on TV for pete's sake. For the second time (I'll gloat a little here) actually, as I was on Central Texas Gardener back when I had my Landscaping company. News 8 did 5 live shots total, one recorded and they repeated on News 8 throughout the day and they also put a spot on their website: http://www.news8austin.com/content/your_news/?SecID=278&ArID=154306
We saw about a 20% increase in business for the following week. We're chugging along hitting our numbers, but each month we set larger and larger goals. We've been delivering on them each month, but each new month brings a new set of worries about meeting them. February I've asked for a 40% increase in revenue. We've been developing some commercial accounts that should start paying off this month and we're attempting some larger marketing efforts that should bring in some good business. We'll see. Like I've said before - every day is uncharted territory for me.
Oh yeah, Austin Ventures just signed up as a customer......I don't think we've got a chance at the 50%-70% ROI expectations they have, but hey, you never know what will happen.