“Honest case from a business incubator graduate”


In 2018, I happened to be in the business project of a graduate of some fashionable “business youth” at that time.

Later, the “success story” of this entrepreneur was actively promoted by the same incubator, saying, “these are our successful graduates, sign up soon for our new stream.” And since I was a direct participant in those events, I decided to rewrite that case for you, only without embellishments.

And although this site is not entirely about marketing and similar stories about infogypsies, perhaps someone will be interested in this format.

Stage 1: Believe yourself!

“Hello everyone, my name is Artyom, I am a graduate of the Young Entrepreneurs “Business Youth 2018” stream.

During the training, I realized the main thing – you need to believe in yourself, and I believed in myself! And my dad also believed in me, who paid for my education and allocated 1,500,000 rubles to start his own business – a cleaning agency.

I have already rented an office in the center of Moscow and hired cleaners. And he also hired girls from our institute to answer calls. True, they have no sales experience at all, and many even have no work experience at all. But for me this is not a problem, because the main thing is that we are a team!

Moreover, at the advanced level of our stream there will be sales training. True, the advanced level costs 500,000 rubles, but this is an investment in the future of my business, so I already paid for the training this morning.

And our curator also offered me the development of a unique super-converting landing page for only 300,000 rubles – I have already paid for it, because if you want to earn a lot, invest a lot! Therefore, expenses do not frighten me: I am here to earn millions, and not to count some pennies.

I almost forgot about advertising – after all, I will need applications from the site, but I have already found a solution: I hired a freelancer for 6,000 rubles, who launched an ad for me in Yandex Direct. I plan to spend 200,000 rubles on advertising, and get at least 500 regular customers from this.”

Stage 2: Go to premium!

“The result of the first launch brought only 30 clients. I tried to understand why it happened, but I don’t really like numbers. Again, my idea is to make millions, not to dig into these reports! So he told dad, to which he replied that he would not give a million and a half more, but would give only 500,000 rubles, and that it would be better for me to start making a profit.

He also told me that nothing would come of it if I came to the office after 18:00. And I didn’t become an entrepreneur to hang around the office all day! I work with my head, it’s more convenient for me to relax at night, and let the employees sit in the office.

It’s good that now I have a plan: I will conduct an audit of the business together with mentors from our training. For some 200 thousand rubles, they will check all the processes and metrics of the company, the name of which I don’t even understand, and they will also conduct a “diagnosis of staff burnout” – all of a sudden, my girls really burned out because it’s so bad to close applications in orders.

As a result of the audit, the mentors of the course told me that I have the best project on the stream – such feedback is worth much more than the spent two hundred thousand! They also said that it is necessary to work with the premium segment, because people with a good income and cleaning use more often and do not require discounts.

That’s what I really like – to work with the elite. Rather than fumbling in cheap orders, I’d rather take expensive orders from owners of elite apartments in the center of Moscow.

Corrected the messages on the site (added the word “premium” to the title and removed the prices). He explained to the girls that now we will call prices by phone, after we find out whether the client belongs to the middle premium class or to the elite. The rest of the money was spent on advertising.

The result, however, was not very good this time either: attracting a new client still costs more than 5,000 rubles. And today I caught managers stealing: I arrived at the office before lunch, and some of the cleaners left to fulfill orders that are not listed in CRM. Talked to the girls not to do that again. But somehow the feeling that we are a team is no longer so strong.”

Stage 3: I achieved everything myself!

“Dad still gave another million, but he imposed his marketer on me to help me. The marketer explained that the conversion rate from an order to a completed order has decreased from 35% to 15% due to our new “premium” approach, and that this idea should be abandoned before it’s too late.

Premium supposedly does not buy cleaning at all, since there are very high requirements for brand reputation, which we still do not have at all.

I called my dad and said that I would not refuse the premium segment, because I had already promised all the employees that they would only clean in elite apartments!

Dad explained that if we don’t start making a mass product for people, my employees won’t clean anywhere, but will look for a new job, since this agency will simply go bankrupt. I had to do what this “marketer” advises.

Landing for half a million was simply thrown out – instead of it they made an ordinary multi-page site, as the marketer explained, for some kind of SEO.

Advertising campaigns have also been redesigned: they removed the mention of premium, added prices to the description, and added more promotions for new customers. The site also posted average market prices – it now looks not at all premium, to put it mildly. True, this seems to be giving a result – for several weeks now we have had a record in the number of completed orders.

The agency is finally making a profit! And I began to understand how this business works. Now I arrive at the office by 10:00, and not before 20:00: I hold planning meetings with marketing and sales, monitor the quality of our service, study reports, and sometimes answer calls myself.

By the way, the managers whom I caught stealing eventually quit themselves without waiting for the increase in orders. It’s a pity that I had to fill so many bumps while I was taking the company to the plus, but this always happens when you achieve everything yourself.

Today, by the way, I was invited to speak at a presentation for young entrepreneurs in a new stream. I will tell them honestly how important it is to believe in yourself, and that you can achieve any success if you are hardworking and do not expect help from others!”

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