About 6 years ago, I had the idea that we could simplify the process of tailoring from measurements to designing. I found the best tailor in Malaysia and put together a website for this purpose. Users could see the design their shirt and see a prototype on screen. They could measure themselves. I provided a guide.
Growth was always weak. The site was built on PHP and JQuery. Making changes on the site was difficult. I understand code, but I am not a professional developer. After paying for development and all expenses, it became tougher to break even.
It was tough to trade off margins for growth. These were some practical challenges and I intend for this post to record some of these.
First, it was difficult to keep track of the fabric that was still in stock. The tailor would run out of fabric from time to time and I had to switch fabric pictures. It created a lot of pain for customers each time I email them to inform them ofstock outs.
Second, after considering logistics costs, the margins were too thin. We often underestimate cross border (Singapore-Malaysia) logistics costs. Customers don’t always see this.
Third, I was bad at marketing our services. I paid Facebook dollars, ran twitter and all major social media accounts. I spoke to friends. The highest conversation was word of mouth.
I had emotional moments when I was frustrated with coding issues and software problems. I reminded myself that I was a minimalist. I turned this pipe of problems off today. It was always painful to kill a project. Dealing with sunk cost mentality was painful.
Today, I channel the time and effort saved on this project to getting better rest and to other ideas.