“Are you having a problem visualizing your design plan? Don’t worry! With Merri, you get to take event planning to a new level!”
This episode had the pleasure of having the CEO of Merri and a speaker and sponsor at the Wedding Pro CEO Summit: Randi Bushell. Merri is an all-in-one platform for event designers, planners, anyone who wants to see their vision come alive before event day.
Before she founded Merri, she oversaw product strategy at e-commerce giants, including Jet.com and Walmart.com. After having a difficult time making design selections without the proper tools to picture her 2018 wedding, she formed an idea.
“I wanted to provide an opportunity for a shoppable experience for different wedding designs not just in one place but within the context of the venue. And then I would start facilitating the actual product from there.”-Randi Bushell; CEO of Merri
It took time to get there. Randi researched for 4-6 months, got in touch local great event planners, and talked to interior design companies focused on technology (specifically 3D visualization).
And in the end, Randi found an opportunity to combine all of these features into her present company. Along the way, she has encountered numerous challenges and gained a better understanding of the business world. And fortunately, Randi was kind enough to share some tidbits of what she’s learned from that journey.
“You must remember that not all ideas create good businesses.”
First, before you even start forming the foundations of your product, you must remember that not all ideas create good businesses. So put some real thought into it, and when you’re confident that your product may have a chance to launch successfully, start working on it.
Now, you’ve got your finished product. Great! But, oh, what’s this? Is it not going as well as you expected?
You’re never completely done when it comes down to your product. Even if you have no desire to expand or build more on your product, or even if you’re on the verge of finalizing it. There’s still more room to grow.
Randi encourages all business owners to don’t be afraid to try again and improve your product a little bit more. Ask for feedback from customers.
“I want to work with the best of the best, the vendors and businesses that always have my back.”
Later, Randi introduced this MVP concept and how it worked, which can pretty much change how you view the market side of the business. Start with a product with enough features for early consumers to use and provide feedback for future development. So, if you take too long for you to release your product to the market, two results will happen:
1.) You will not get any feedback – You can ask people, do research, or conduct surveys, but until it’s directly in their hands and they are constantly using it daily, you will never know what they want. So, there’s a big difference between researching and receiving feedback.
2.) You won’t show any progress – If you’re not getting something into the market, you can’t show that people are adopting your product and eventually paying for it. The saying goes: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first product you launch, then you waited too long to launch.” There’s no point in selling the best version of your product if you take too much time to make it. As mentioned before, there’s no problem with having a beginner mindset, and there’s no problem with getting easily prone to mistakes.
“It’s no surprise to hear that when the pandemic hit the entire world, it severely affected nearly the entirety of the hospitality industry, to the point that it nearly collapsed.
Now, it’s no surprise to hear that when the pandemic hit the entire world, it severely affected nearly the entirety of the hospitality industry, to the point that it nearly collapsed. This fact goes the same with Merri, and Randi was even on the verge of shutting her company down. But surprisingly, she didn’t give in.
Randi didn’t even find that situation as stressful or daunting as one might think. Instead, she saw it as another opportunity to learn something new. And in this case, she realized that when you’re not focusing on the customers and the demand side of the business, you get a chance to focus more on your product. And that’s what she did as a result. It allowed them to expand their business in a few more states.
In the end, Merri has come a long way and is still going strong. And that’s all thanks to everything that Randi Bushell has worked through.
So, in the end, if you want to take your ideas or designs to a new level, don’t be afraid to try!!! Who knows just how far you’ll go!?
Say hello to our guest Randi Bushell over at www.bemerri.com
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I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
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I have experience speaking at both live and virtual events, educating creative and wedding entrepreneurs how to step into their role as CEO. If you're looking for speakers for your next conference, workshop, event, or the next guest for your podcast, I'd love to see how we can collaborate!
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