Coronavirus March 31, 2020

Addressing my investors and stakeholders during coronavirus

Rita Roloff @rita

eeek. Coronavirus has been hard on everyone, especially entrepreneurs. I wanted to be fully transparent and share the monthly update I just sent to friends, family, and investors I've spoken to. I'm doing this because 1.) People rarely see investor update newsletter and 2.) there's always a way to frame shitty things including a pivot. (Below is my family and friends monthly update copy and pasted.)

👋 Hey, friends of Full Reign!

What we're working on
Full Reign is a consumer company focused on curly hair care products. Full Reign is a WI-based Delaware C-Corp.

Pressing reset

What a month! After seeing how Coronavirus is disrupting supply chain and the economy, it forced me to creatively think about how I could provide the same amount of value to my customers without needing inventory or large amounts of capital. Furthermore, I wanted to create a business that could thrive in this current economic situation.

After talking to people on my mailing list and various online communities, I've learned that people are craving honest product reviews from real people. Curly-haired people are overwhelmed with the products out there and have a difficult time finding the right products. Currently, they resort to online communities (Facebook groups, subreddits, etc.) to crowdsource the right products for them.

🕵️‍♀️What’s missing?
Although review and recommendation platforms exist, none are 1.) powered by real every-day people, 2.) have great search and recommendation capabilities to help users find the right products, and are 3.) catered to the unique needs of curly hair.

The top product recommendation engine for people with curly hair lacks community, a great experience, and a way to find the right products (unless I read all of the reviews of course). Check it out below 👇

Naturally Curly

And this problem isn't exclusive to curly hair. It's a problem across all beauty products ...

Makeup Alley

Next steps
For the month of April, I’m creating an MVP that allows users to easily discover products based on people who have similar hair characteristics as them.

At the core, Full Reign’s mission has always been to provide uncompromising hair care products and experience to a market that has been historically underserved. What’s most exciting about this new direction is that it’s scalable, takes minimal overhead, and is able to influence how people buy products.

kpi

Alright, that was the update I sent. What do you think? Would love your thoughts on the pivot too.

  1. 3

    The problem that you were working on pre-corona will be there post-corona, it may just not be the most pressing issue on the minds on your customers at the moment. Also, the pain that your business is going through isn't unique to you, and your stakeholders are aware and experiencing shades of it themselves.

    So maybe a pivot isn't necessary, but some type of reaction is, as you've already identified. Taking quick evasive action is a far better reaction than giving up in the current situation, and all of your stakeholders should commend you for it.

    If anything, you're creating an additional product for your business, and then you'll have two when things turn back around. Wishing you the best!

    1. 2

      Thanks for that! My initial idea was to create hair care products which is incredibly oversaturated. Hopefully, the community I build and data I get from the recommendation engine can be a launching pad to building better products if I still head in that direction.

  2. 1

    i love that you're sharing your venture updates publicly! so encouraging!