Last week I shared with you the magic of The Noodle Dream. I hope you have had some time to noodle and come up with some great ideas for projects and future successes.
What happens when your noodle gets overcooked? Burned? Soggy? Done? What do you do when you have to scrap your plan and start over?
Recently my husband and I took big risks, bet the farm and invested big money in our Noodle Dream. Just as we were getting ready to serve our dish to our customers, the cost of the main ingredient skyrocketed to the point we figuratively saw our dream go up in a crispy puff of smoke. It is heart breaking. We took care to add all the best ingredients into our dish. However, the thing that was not in our control was the thing that did it in. Now what?
We order pizza! While it doesn’t look like what we had planned to serve, we will have something to offer our customers. We were able to learn from what we did. We may not have the noodles we dreamed of, but we are saving the salad and moving forward.
The savory details of the problem goes like this. We had been seeing a per hour charge of 12 cents give or take a few cents for the server time with Amazon. Days before we were going to launch we saw a spike in costs. Not a little spike--a BIG spike. We saw prices as high as $7 per hour. Yeah. That’s what we said. OUCH! The prices did come down, but not enough. We pushed ahead and launched anyway. The good news--the customers came pouring in--almost 2,000 over the weekend. The bad news--the customers came pouring in--almost 2,000. We had offered a free trial and were hemorrhaging money on the backend. We had to shut down and regroup. We are still down. We are close to coming back up, but the plan we wanted to offer (a monthly plan offering “all you can eat” for one monthly price) will not be what we can offer. What we will offer will be a certain number of hours for a monthly price and an option to purchase more time. Even with this very necessary adjustment the business model (you know, the thing that is supposed to make us money) doesn’t exist. Any income will go to cover the costs of our backend partner. We will be the best volunteers ever to serve our customers, but we will be volunteers.
The noodling continues. When was the last time you had an ugly surprise in business? How did you handle it? Did you scrap the dish or reinvent it?