First Few Customers

Bootstrapped Companies Digital Marketing Early Stage Marketplace

Be aligned to the vision but be grounded with an activity

Naveen Lakkur is the Founder & CEO of (wwww.HomeConnectOnline.com). His one line introduction is “Converting Creative Concepts into Commerce with Compassion” He is an entrepreneur as well as an evangelist. With over two decades of professional experience spread worldwide, he has been instrumental in fostering over 50 concepts to have become commercial realities globally. He is an active public speaker and an author, spanning subjects such as Innovation, Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneurship. His book ‘Inseparable Twins ~ 12 Paired Principles to Inspire Young Minds’ is treated as ‘Labor of Love’ to inspire innovation & enable entrepreneurship. He has been featured as ‘Young Turk’ on CNBC TV18. He Believes and strives to “Love All – Serve All”. Visitwww.NaveenLakkur.com to know more.

Naveen recollects the early days of his young company when he used to meet his prospects. HomeConnectOnline.com is a two sided market place where it needed consumers on one side and the providers on the other side. It’s a chicken & an egg situation on which side to build first. Naveen decided that it is important that they have a few providers as that will eventually bring in the consumers and turned on his sales engine to find providers. He began meeting quite a few of them but the prospects showed resistance to join a new network that had no consumers for them to service. Through his extensive network, he also began scouting around for finding consumers with needs that he can connect the providers with. He chanced upon a family that he met up with and began discussing their needs to see if he can be of help to them. He found that there was a lady who had a need to get a spinal cord scanning to be done and was not sure about a reliable place to go to. His team began looking into some of the prospective providers list and began calling them and evaluated them. They found a perfect fit with one provider who had the right equipment at the right price in a convenient location to the lady and reached out to them with a value proposition that they had one consumer already with them and the provider has to get into the network in order to get engaged with this consumer.

The provider had an existing set of customer base they were servicing and hence there was no motivation for them to join, but now there was a clear path to why they should. Naveen, at this point in time, began selling the vision, instead of asking the provider to treat this as one more network into which they can find clients for themselves which got the provider with a long term view into the network. Acquiring clients is one thing and retaining them is the other and hence the vision of how the provider will benefit in the long run had to be stated. So, when the provider had so many services to offer, Naveen was able to create a small piece of a service with which the provider could enrol at an entry level and grew the provider for multiple services. He was able to prove to them that there was nothing for them to lose but all they had was to gain. Naveen says that the best way he could bring the first few service providers on board was to bring the first few consumers to the service provider and after that the providers stayed and got benefitted. He leveraged on contacts, friends, network, digital marketing and reached out to individuals who got back to them on their needs. The team at HomeConnectOnline.com, by observation, began the identification of needs at the individual levels and then began identifying the right service provider. When the lady checked with their doctor who also said that this provider was good, the lady, they got a discount and since they could pre book and pay by credit card in advance, they could just bypass the huge crowd and got her scanning done in less than five minutes of wait because they went through HomeConnectOnline. The next pleasant surprise to the lady was that the scan report can be delivered to her home at a nominal charge because they were HomeConnectOnline.com user. Naveen and his team keeps bettering the service levels by actively listening to the customers and giving them something that they wanted.

Naveen’s message to startup founders is to understand the context of their business and be aligned to the vision but being grounded on an activity to take them to the next step. Vision will help you to set the direction, but taking every step that is required in that direction is what get will you going and growing.

Now www.HomeConnectOnline.com has 6000 customers with 100+ providers providing more that 600+ services. Something on how HomeConnectOnline.com is setting up a strong foundation for growth.

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