Turn Red Ink to Black by Adding Companion Products, Services

Small businesses adding products and services

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#3. Food and Package Delivery:

If you can deliver a person, why not a dinner or a package? While new, this revenue stream is quite promising, including talk of some citywide “last mile” delivery contracts in Lahore and other cities.

#4. Selling Rixi Software:

I don’t know where Adnan finds the energy, but he’s resold his software to another transportation provider in Canada, the first of many potential customers.

Through relentless hard work and experimentation, Adnan closed the profitability gap and approaching breakeven.  With more rides, cities, and services, sustainability has arrived, awakening investors and over $120,000 in new funding!

What can you do?

Don’t have a rickshaw? What products or services will your happy customers be willing or glad to buy from you?

  • Does your product require pre/post-sale service, installation, training, support?
  • Might related products accompany or complement yours?
  • Is auto-replenishment a sales-enhancing service for consumable goods?
  • Can a dog walker offer trips to the vet, dog grooming, food delivery, training?

The easiest way to find these opportunities: talk to your customers!  Don’t sell’em, converse with them. Let them tell you how else you can help them. It could be your next giant step forward.

Postscript:

In-between selling ads and dispatching rickshaws, Adnan was awarded a Fulbright Social Innovation Challenge award. Hina also launched an award-winning energy startup that encouraged consumers to reduce peak hour energy consumption.  Together they launched Rixi’s parent company, Ideacentricity, in 2013.

Adnan had grown up in the middle-income family in Lahore. He had entrepreneurial leanings inherited from his father who was into glassware manufacturing business.

He later refined deep thinking and problem solving capabilities during his rigorous computer science degree program at LUMS (a reputable institute in the country). After a few devices, and in fact doubling the monthly income of Rixi’s most active drivers. Stints in telecom and technology companies, mostly in product management roles, he decided to launch IdeCentricity (the company behind Get Rixi) in 2013.

The idea came after a car accident in 2012, which made him frequent on rickshaws between office and home.

During this time he realized how a smart intervention may remove the inefficiency in matchmaking with the nearest rickshaw drivers and improve their incomes significantly. Although his father disapproved of his idea, at first, thinking it was too difficult to bring rickshaw drivers to understand the benefits of his work, he found a trusted ally in his wife Hina, a Cherie Blaire Mentee and 2nd prize winner for Ladies Funds award for her energy startup that incentivized consumers to reduce usage during peak-time.

The mentoring he obtained through Acumen’s lean startup program refined his business model/ idea further, helped launch his pilot successfully and led him to win multiple awards including the Fulbright Social Innovation Challenge, GIST Tech-I Finalist position and Pakistan Startup Cup 1st runner up position.

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Value Is in The Eye of The Beholder

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About the author

Bob Dorf

Bob Dorf is among the world’s leading Lean Startup and Customer Development experts, who trains and coaches startups throughout the world, with a particular focus on Latin America.  Bob co-authored the Startup Owner’s Manual, a global bestseller, with startup legend Steve Blank. Now in 18 languages, the Manual details every step in transforming an idea into a repeatable, scalable, profitable business. Bob focuses particularly on training programs for the startup educators, coaches, and investors, and has done so repeatedly in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and many more. Hes also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Columbia Business School. Earlier, Bob founded seven startups--“two homeruns, two base hits, and three tax losses.” His 30+ angel investments delivered 7 IPO’s and six disasters. Learn more at www.bobdorf.nyc or contact bob via bobdorf@gmail.com

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