Why most online panel companies will close by 2015?

online panelsEvery morning when I check my LinkedIn profile I happen to see a new panel company POPPING UP! I should have been HAPPY to see people jumping onto the ENTREPRENEUR BANDWAGON but ALAS! When I see the profile of these YOUNG TURKS I have serious doubts. In my beloved country – India, the problem of young, inexperienced people LURED by the call of QUICK MONEY are opening online panel companies RIGHT, LEFT & CENTER!!! Any business opened with the sole motive of making money is bound to fail if not build upon a solid foundation. The article illustrates 5 reasons why many of the online panel companies opened in India as well as globally will close in next few years.

REASON 1: HALF KNOWLEDGE IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN NO KNOWLEDGE!!

If you have a quick look at the profile of some of the ‘NEW KIDS’ it almost have the same pattern – worked 3-5 years in a good company at not a very senior position – VIOLA!! Now award themselves the fancy title of CEO or PRESIDENT in their own company.

You may ask what is wrong about it – well the reason is simple – MOST of them don’t have the sufficient experience in running a survey project end to end.

Imagine you are taking advice from a 10 year old kid to invest your hard earned money in the stock market – YOU ARE BOUND TO LOOSE MONEY!!!

2 probable reasons why I think people are jumping into online panel market are:-

1- They are stuck in their regular job and see no future (not realizing that they seriously need to increase their skill set).

2- Have heard people making quick money in the online panel market.

Whatever the reason it might be – I strongly abhor opening a business without proper training and thorough understanding of the market.

REASON 2: ETHICS BREEDS SUCCESS!!

I guess times have changed- I still remember in my growing up days (90’s) there was a word called “ETHICS” which was taught in my class.

Today in general across the globe imagery has been created that to succeed YOU NEED TO THROW ETHICS OUT OF THE WINDOW!!! – If that was the case then I guess looking at today’s moral standards all of us would have become MILLIONAIRES!!!

Whether your business is BIG or SMALL if not build upon an ethical ground is bound for disaster & failure. The very reason a person becomes an entrepreneur is that they want to make people life easier by solving problems – NOT CREATING ONE.

The reason why big brands like Apple, IBM, SAMSUNG or NOKIA have flourished and many others perished – they have strong ETHICAL business policies.

Many panel companies which have opened in the recent past are cooking a disaster recipe as they are not transparent in their deals.

My Grandfather once told me – if you can sleep soundly at night it means you have spent the day well.

REASON 3: GREAT IDEA CAN BE ONLY IMPLEMENTED BY A GREAT TEAM!!

A company’s CEO is like a TALENT MAGNET – you need a great team to implement a great idea!!

Most of the new online panel companies are facing UPHILL task when they have to hire talented workforce – reason is very simple – you need to be TALENTED yourself to be able to gather a team of talented people. Most of the good employees would not join you if they find you not having a credible experience under your belt.

Ultimately it leads to the new panel companies compromising on the quality of the workforce which inadvertently shows up when running the business.

2 funny incidents which have come to my notice wherein someone opened up a new panel company – hired someone and within few months the new employee has himself opened a panel company of his own!!!

Before selling your vision to your clients – you need to sell it to your workforce!

REASON 4: STAYING AHEAD OF THE COMPETITIVE CURVE!!

The basic principle of survival is the capacity and flexibility to ADAPT with changing environment. Most of the BIG companies are able to thrive even in a cut throat environment as they very quickly adapt themselves.

Most of the new panel companies are started by people who just have a VENDOR LIST + a WEBSITE. There is no VISION or MISSION of the company – your vendor list can be easily copied by one of your employee and next thing you know they have opened their own panel company.

I am not against panel aggregation but today there isn’t much competitive advantage left in aggregation.

You need to have a proprietary panel to survive in this business and to make one you need money and expertise.

REASON 5: YOUR CLIENTS ARE SMARTER THAN YOU THINK!!

I have come across many professionals who live in this FANTASY WORLD that they are SMART enough to take their clients for a ROYAL RIDE!!! I guess EASY CLIENT is a BIG MYTH!!

You need to constantly give VALUE to your clients to get repeat business.

The research industry is a small industry where everyone knows everyone else!!! In case a client has a bad experience with you the negative feedback will quickly spread like a WILDFIRE.

A good researcher will CATCH a bad data even when he is SLEEP WALKING – therefore I strongly recommend that AVOID DATA FUDGING!!

Now you have a choice. You can comment, share, or implement. I prefer if you implement, but I’ll appreciate all three – Akshay Kanyal

Comments

  1. Sandeep Singh says:

    Well said Akshay, your analysis of so called “panel” companies are bang on target. I would rather not treat these companies as panel companies – they are just a bunch of middlemen. The heading is a bit of misnomer!

  2. AMIT PUROHIT says:

    In complete Agreement with you, with regards to the new CEOs, ETHICS etc…but u know my experience from last 2 years of starting a new company has shocked me. the no. of frauds, kickbacks, client side employee attrition have been causing a lot of shocks…but chalta hai.. The most tricky part is…U dont get work if you aren’t big…and you don’t get Big if you don’t get big work…. this is the actual chicken and egg scenario…difficult to deal with !!

    • Appreciate your feedback! Amit.

      I guess that’s the whole idea of being an entrepreneur – to THINK DIFFERENT!! Lesser mortals get demotivated by the market dynamics but it’s the entrepreneur who change the existing wrong practices.