7 Day Experiment: Contacting 10 Local Businesses a Day
Since I'm stuck at home during the COVID -19 Pandemic under stay at home orders, I want to reach out to local Austin businesses to offer help.
What is the experiment?
I will be contacting 10 local businesses in the hospitality industry for the week of 5/5 - 5/12. The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the 2020 pandemic, and I assume many local businesses would benefit from having an extra pair of hands, or an extra brain on their team. The idea I am exploring with this experiment is, "What happens when I reach out to others to offer my resources?"
My goal is to have a local business give me a problem they are facing that I can work on to come up with a solution they can implement. I guess I'm making myself a temporary consultant. Of course, this is the result I would want if I lived in a perfect world. I do not know how many business owners who would trust some random person in helping them solve a business problem. Still, I want to see what happens.
I will draft an email that tells the business who I am and that I am offering my resources (time and knowledge) to help solve problems brought upon them by the pandemic.
How do we measure success?
Success would be 1 business replying to me to tell me "yes" they would like my help solving a problem.
After emailing 50 businesses ( I failed to email 10 businesses on two days) I received a total of 5 replies. I emailed 30 restaurants, 10 barbershops/ hair salons, and 10 dog daycares. 3 of those replies were to thank me for the support. 1 response was a gentle "thanks, but no thanks". And the last response was from a restaurant owner presenting me with the opportunity to apply for their restaurant's street marketing team, or to invest money in the restaurant.
Although I did not succeed in the terms that I laid out at the start of the experiment, I did learn a few lessons.
1. Proof that less is more (maybe). The first email I sent out was 3 paragraphs long with an explanation of why I was reaching out and the skills I had to offer. I got no responses from those emails. My second email to the next 10 businesses was only 2 sentences long, and the next day I received 2 responses from this email. To me, this was proof that I should keep things simple, but it may have just been that those businesses I reached out to would have replied to any email I sent.
2. I should contact people I want to work with every day. Although I wasn't offered a job, I was offered the opportunity to apply to a job I did not know existed. This made me think that contacting people with the intention of working with them, could open up opportunities. I realize that this should have been obvious to me before, but the act of actually emailing people
In a nutshell, I failed to find a project I could work on, but I learned the value of actually reaching out to people I would not mind working with. Moving forward I will contact one person/business I want to work with a day.