After the buzz of the last few weeks, we finally feel like we have caught up with ourselves again. Launching in the US, followed quickly by Black Friday week really pushed us and tested everything we have put in place over the last few months. For frequent readers, you know how much we pride ourselves on our customer service and over the last couple of weeks that has been our focus as order volumes have increased. It is so rewarding to see loads of new people experiencing the same service that people did when we first launched.
We have learned so much from this last period and perhaps some of it might be not be too interesting as it is behind the scenes business stuff. But it all affects how the customer experiences our service and product. The most important thing we learned is that, during this time of the year, no matter how good you set yourself up, your service is not immune to external factors. Every other company is out there trying to sell which means shipping our products and couriering them to customers can be delayed. Setting expectations with partners and customers is crucial in making sure everyone is happy. Christmas is coming soon and there can’t be any mistakes with presents :)
Launching into the US was such an incredible buzz. How many times do you get to say that sentence?! Our approach to the launch meant that it was done in an organic, sustainable way as we don’t have the budgets to shout from the rooftops. Using our community to help us spread the word felt like the right approach and it also got us some amazing introductions and results. Once again, the help, advice and favours we have been offered and given while building this have been unbelievable. As we said in our blog, there is always a feeling of ‘Oh god, it’s just going to be tumbleweeds isn’t it?’ and so, on the first day after our launch, to see orders coming in from New York, Texas, San Francisco, Wisconsin and Michigan amongst others was such an incredible feeling.
There’s a funny emotional mixture here too. On one hand we are so proud and happy of our small steps, watching orders come through and knowing we have so much potential ahead. However there is an unrealistic expectation you put on yourself too, and when we are not bigger than Nike within 2 weeks or when we are not completely exploding stateside, you can’t help but think, what have we done wrong or should we be doing more? However, we’re looking at the bigger picture for ourselves and as long as we’re moving in the right direction and achieving steps (no matter how small) toward our long term goal then we’re doing a great job.
We have such big ambitions for Gym+Coffee, to spread even further and to morph into different things, but at a very basic level to watch the website and see our brand connect with people in a city or town far away, it’s hard to describe that feeling and sense of pride.
We are not ones to rest on our laurels though. We are under no illusions also; we are nobodies in a market of over 300 million people. We have a mountain to climb over the next few years. This is going to be a long road where we slowly build Gym+Coffee up to what we want it to become. The start of 2018 will be a significant time for us as we expand the team, expand the product range, enter new markets and increase our marketing presence in the US. It’ll be tough but thankfully, it’s easier to keep the ball rolling than to get the ball rolling.