Entrepreneurship

Plumis (Part A): Customer Discovery

It was late in the autumn of 2010, and William Makant, CEO of Plumis Ltd., was sitting in his cramped London office asking himself what he and his co-founders could do to ramp up sales and reverse a flagging cash position. The company, which had started in 2008 with a £25k prize from a business plan competition and later raised £80k from an incubator programme, now had a cash balance of just £2,365. This would not go far even in the low-rent offices the company had taken, on a decommissioned battleship moored on the River Thames. Since launching its product Automist, a hassle-free fire safety device for the kitchen, onto the market early in the year, Plumis had sold just 3 demonstration units at an average price of £400 for a total revenue of £1,200, as compared with a sales plan of 27 units, in a price range of £500- £800 per unit, targeted for the year. The latter was the sales target announced to a group of angel investors who had agreed two months earlier to invest £100k, but the cash hadn’t yet arrived, and it looked as though more would be needed, sooner than planned.

Entrepreneurship

Plumis (Part B): Subsequent Developments

After happening upon a customer whose problem of non-compliance with building regulations could be quickly and economically solved with Automist, Plumis did not completely turn its back on its old target markets, but it did shift its main focus to developing a new one. The company had to find a way to reach its new potential customers and learn about their tastes and needs at the same time.

 

Topics/Industry: customer discoveryengineeringmarket entry

Publication date: 01/12/2016

Published by: Imperial College Business School

Authors: Sabrina Kiefer

Length: 25 pages

Teaching notes: Available

Geography: UK

Supplementary materials: Pdf

Internal users

External users

This case is not available to external audiences at this time.

 

Topics/Industry: customer discoveryengineering

Publication date: 01/12/2016

Published by: Imperial College Business School

Authors: Sabrina Kiefer

Length: 6 pages

Geography: UK

Internal users

External users

This case is not available to external audiences at this time.