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“Everything is too chocolate, it doesn’t happen”: how TITANOF reached $1 million in revenue in a year of operation

Business without investment, pain Analytics and chemical personnel training-or how to reach $1,000,000 in revenue for 1 year of work. Alexey Shanaev, a young Russian businessman and founder of TITANOF, shares his practical experience in creating his own business

Step # 0. Where to start, so as not to go broke?

The easiest way (which eventually became the basis of the business) is to resell products. But where is the guarantee that the product will be in demand? Before you try to sell, you can do a number of simple steps that do not require anything other than Internet access.

Step # 1. Find an idea. Anywhere

Always be on the lookout for new information on a variety of topics. The idea of using titanium tubes to filter water came about by accident. In the 50s, they were used in the aviation industry, and in 2016 they decided to sell them on an ad as unnecessary. A simple “googling”, a couple of expert consultations — and suddenly it was found out that titanium perfectly filters water. Does not wear out and small size. Okay, I have an idea. Does the market need it?

Step # 2. Market analyst. What is your pain?

Yes, first of all-yours. What irritates people about products or services on the market? For a good analysis, you need to face the problem on your own experience and open Google. In our case — a variety of brands of water filters and the same customer stimuli.

That made people mad:
permanent expenses for replacement of consumables and their rapid wear and tear;
high cost of serious cleaning systems;
large dimensions of filtration systems;
“human robots” in the technical support of manufacturers;
difficulties with refunds.
Step # 3. Create a basic USP and try to get a trial order

So, our product solves the problems of operation: it is small, eternal and cheaper than serious cleaning systems. We need to try to sell it and see what happens next. The only expenses were 200 rubles for Yandex.Direct” is the easiest ad. A couple of days to study — and the campaign is launched. This is available to everyone with Internet access. The first order was received and paid for. With these funds, the first filter was purchased and delivered. Repeat until the first million rubles. Joking, it was still a long way off.

Step # 4. Create a USP based on all your needs

Even an objectively good product is not enough for mass sales. You need to close another “pain”: change the scheme of interaction between the seller and the client. What did we do:

Broke the template for working with the client. We have ensured that each client receives expert advice, regardless of whether our product is suitable for them or not. If not — we will give recommendations on the range of competitors.

The result: people so appreciated and remembered the involvement in their problem (despite the lack of sales) that they began to bring relatives and friends to whom the product will fit. The decision paid off: 35 % of sales were made by customers who were brought by those who were given comprehensive advice and did not sell the filter.

We have developed a new plan for dealing with complaints: finding solutions. When trying to return a product, we often encounter resistance and unwillingness to delve into the problem. Therefore, instead of a template of polite responses with the “send” function, we have developed ready-made ways that solve the problem, and do not allow you to “merge” and not return the money. As a result, the percentage of complaints is 0.1 %. Of these, returns are 0.1 %, and only after various solutions have been tried.

Payment on delivery-only after full verification of the order. Not all online stores provide this feature. It seems to be a small thing, but it helped to get closer to the client.

Broke the visual template: seriously rebuilt from the competition. Instead of the usual water-and — air pastels, there is a harsh military style.

We returned part of the money for the product when providing a real video review of the “before and after”type.

They organized their production after finding out the demand.

Step # 5. “Everything is too chocolate, it doesn’t happen like that»

After all the steps described, you can “stumble” in a completely unexpected situation. All of a sudden all these advantages seemed implausible. The technology was new for household needs and unfamiliar to the average consumer. Neither documents, nor data from independent experts ‘ analyses, nor advertising on the Internet helped. There aren’t many orders. It was decided to review the methods of promotion, taking into account the specifics of the situation.

Step # 6. Promotion is not quantitative, but qualitative

How do I convince people that an expensive unfamiliar purchase can improve their lives? Attracting actors or star bloggers at this stage would be costly and not particularly effective. What was needed was a true Titan of thought, a face known for its intelligence, erudition, and knowledge. We called the agent of A. Wasserman and sent materials about the product for review. As expected, they were not needed — A. Wasserman already knew everything about Titan. As a result, there is not just a famous person, but a person who understands what they are advertising. Together with him, we went to a program about repairs on Ren-TV. The explosion of site visits on the day of the impression was more than 600 %.

Step # 7. If everything worked out-make it yourself

The “buy-sell” scheme is only good at the beginning, at the time of studying demand. In the future, this becomes a problem: if you did not produce it, then you are not 100% responsible for the quality. Not to mention fakes. It was decided not only to patent the water filtration technology itself in this way, but also to develop its own technical specifications (TU 3697-001-98220802-2016). And launch their own production. This allowed us to provide a quality guarantee and not worry about possible dishonesty of suppliers.

Then there were a lot of interesting things: reaching the semifinals of SKOLKOVO Startup Village 2018, winning the main marketing award EFFIE AWARDS and entering its TOP 50 best brands, winning the Leroy Merlin Convention, etc.To get to these events, you do not need to pay bribes or have acquaintances — just open the search engine and fill out an application. Therefore, the first advice that we would like to give to novice businessmen is not to be afraid.

Tips for beginners and those who have started their own business:
Don’t be afraid to ask, declare yourself, consult, and lose.
Try to prioritize the expertise of each employee in the chosen field instead of “sharpening” to sell at any price.
Develop a plan for dealing with complaints as soon as possible so that they don’t come as a surprise.
As soon as the first orders appear: try to get feedback and live feedback from customers in all ways: cashbacks, gifts, and so on can stimulate people quite well.
Choose contractors from the regions. More quality, less show-offs.
Get as far away from your competitors as possible, first of all, visually. Breaking the well-established Association in the industry.
Participate in all competitions and exhibitions, where possible, for free or at a minimum cost. Be more determined. You just started, but that doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to win.

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