Monday, August 22, 2011

Whither Goest BeadEnCounter?

I'm going to write this once and then distribute it, because I've had some inquiries and I've been contemplating myself where the program has to go from here.

We're nearly 4 weeks into launch for BeadEnCounter, and sales are...disappointing to say the least.  Tragic would be more like it.  Like any new project, one hopes for that miraculous "crash the servers" response from the public. It's quite deflating to realize we're going to have to settle for the normal "build over time" business curve.

But it is early days yet. I've found in other ventures that three years is about the normal time to get a new business established.  I don't have the capitalization to hold out quite so long on this project, I need the cash flow in order to pursue the future I'd like to see happen for the software.

Since I was pushing so hard before and during the beta testing program, and then to get the whole website up and store revamped and installers made, etc. I kind of got used to a frantic pace and constant work on the software. Now I feel a little at loose ends. But I continue to fine-tune the website, and to seek optimum marketing opportunities.

So here's what I see happening:

  1. Marketing drives the universe. This is my entirely new and original thought. Yeah. Right. I had thought print advertising was the way to go, in national publications.  Well, perhaps I'm being way too impatient, but I expected a better response. Turns out that repetition drives people to be aware of ads, and for print ads in monthly publications, the repeat rate is realllllllyyyyy lowwwwww.  So we'll be redistributing some of our long-term money commitments from print to online venues.  I've got one lined up, others will follow.  Repeated viewings happen a lot faster online. Hopefully click-throughs will happen faster as well.
  2. Refine the website. I'm working on photos/images to convey the concepts in the software to the visitors to the website. Something that shows how using the product assists in organizing, and creates productivity and profitability.  Abstract concepts conveyed in concrete images. Any suggestions to improve the website are welcome. 
  3. New features in the software. As has been noted by testers and commenters, the Consignment area is particularly underdeveloped, and the Inventory process needs fleshing out. Currently we don't have true inventory management. I want to add much more functional Vendor tracking features, and incorporate some very clever feature requests by early users.  As with any software product, there comes a point where you have to freeze features and just ship the darn thing! Otherwise you just develop eternally and never get a product out the door.  Once again, suggestions on features are welcome at any time at the forum we've set up for just this purpose. You can see what others have suggested, add your own, and discuss with other users how they use the software. Some of our users are very clever.
So that's our future focus. I had expected that after our launch, work, meaning marketing,  would continue. I didn't anticipate that it would be nearly full time!  

If anyone is considering buying BeadEnCounter but is hesitating, or has considered it but rejected the idea, I would dearly like to hear about the reasons why. I want to make BeadEnCounter the best product it can possibly be, and offer an irresistable bargain to artists, beaders and crafters everywhere. My testing group can tell you I take criticism well, and am very willing to listen and adapt. 

Visit us on the forum, and join the conversation!

5 comments:

  1. I just started using the software, and I love it! Thanks for developing it!!

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  2. Wow. Wow! WOW! Thank you soooo much for your comment. You can't imagine how great that made my morning. :D

    With your permission, I'd love to use your comment as a testimonial. If you haven't already, come join us on the forum, http://beadencounter.freeforums.org/ so you can share in the continuing development process!

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  3. I just noticed your ad for the first time in BeadStyle. With all the hunting I've been doing for software that's the right fit, yours never popped up in Google. This may be a route worth investigating. Also, one of my "wants" as a at-home mom of two little ones is the flexibility to of an iPhone/iPad app that syncs with the software. With my limited time for anything ME-oriented, I'd like to be able to have this added flexiblity. Any chance this is on the horizon? Thanks!!!!

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  4. I'd love to bring out a version with iPhone/iPad integration. Continued development depends on good sales, though. I have been thinking about Google Adwords, so maybe it's time to move on that.

    Join us on the forum to contribute your suggestions to the New Features topic. http://beadencounter.freeforums.org/index.php

    I hope you'll try the demo, and if it does what you need, enjoy the software!

    Lynn

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  5. Hello there..... I too have been searching for a good inventory/sales software. I couldn't believe the one I found was for over $200! Who has the money for that?

    I did find one that was pretty basic, very inexpensive but had no inventory tracking.

    I realize now that yours does not (inv. tracking) offer that as well, but I do love the other features. So this is my question; you say there are a few features you hope to add and some blips you need to fix, that being said, do I have to pay to have these updates?

    If so, how much? Also, I am very interested in this price you have now as I am disabled and only have an income of ssi ssd which is a wopping 895 a month, so I could not pay the original price, so how long will this sale be on? please, time is of the essence, if you could please email me at sherri_herrmann@hotmail.com asap, I would appreciate it.....you just may have a sale and some free word of mouth marketing here...I would also love to feature you on my blog, for "Featured Artist" Tuesday, I have added slots for suppliers, you would fit perfectly, and I also belong to a few groups that I could spread your info around to.....

    Ok....this is pretty much a novel now..lol....I look forward to hearing from you..


    ~Peace~

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