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Sweat For A Cause

Web: www.sweatforacause.com
Class: 2013 Winter Accelerator

Company Description

Sweat For A Cause is a web startup that is taking the concept of fitness-driven fundraisers online

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10 things I learned from Surveys, Interview, Phone Calls and Rejections!

The last month has been all about doing surveys and getting answers, opinions and feedback and dealing with a little bit of rejection in the process! My surveys have come in all shapes and sizes. From in-person meetings to conference calls to email feedback to written surveys. While it's difficult to summarize all my surveying, I thought of blogging about the things I've learnt along the way -

  1. In-person meetings are the best!: They allow people to better express themselves. They also give the opporunity for follow-up questions which means being able to dive deeper into their thoughts.
  2. Asking for help, advice or guidance is the best way to get people interested in helping out
  3. It's important to keep your mouth shut and listen: It's easy to get defensive, but resist the urge and you will benefit immensely (I learnt this the hard way!) 
  4. People are more likely to respond if they feel like they're a part of the solution you are offering
  5. Written surveys are hard to create: Everything from the tone of questioning to initial description to number of questions and answer choices in the survey is crucial. Feedback on your survey from trusted individuals/professionals is important before sending out a survey. And even after all that, you may not suceed in getting too many responses.
  6. Get used to talking before a phone call: Especially before early morning phone conversations. It's a funny feeling when your mouth isn't in sync with your thoughts. More so in a phone conversation when your voice is all you have.
  7. If someone doesn't respond that doesn't mean they don't want to help: Put yourself in their shoes and their rejection will seem justified.
  8. Negative feedback is better than positive reinforcement: Negative feedback or constructive critisism forces you to think long and hard and dig deep to come up with solutions to the problem you're trying to solve. I went out of my way to push people to tell me how SFAC can improve rather than simply listening how great the concept is.
  9. It's ok to ask for references but only towards the end of a meeting: 50% of my meetings ended with the other person willing to make introductions. Ask politely and you will get!
  10. Follow-up is important (I feel like this is the key to any successful business interaction. Just need to figure out new ways to follow-up with each individual that I've spoken to besides a thank-you email)

 

I'm really glad the accelerator and my mentors have pushed us to prioritize getting feedback directly from customers/partners (both current and potential). I feel like our decision are well informed and making them has been easier as well. Next up - Going through the process of collecting all the information gathered, parsing it and taking action to move forward!