December 15 marked six months in Haiti for Kouzin Dlo! We've packed a lot in in those six months.

Here are some facts and figures:

  • Launched 3 sites where Kouzin Dlo distributes chlorine

  • Trained and hired 3 part-time community managers

  • Trained 27 women as sales agents

  • Sold 620 bottles of chlorine

Most importantly though we've learned. Every day from each mistake and with each new curve ball we've been storing away lessons learned. Instead of packing a bag of frustrations and set-backs we've been luck to keep churning out new ideas and solutions.

One good example has been tackling sales agent retention.

Step 1 was implementing regular meetings for sales agents in one of our communities. To that we added an ongoing health education curriculum as a hook. Then we agreed on a promotional price for repeat attendance (every 2 meetings they were present). Our goal was to retain sales agents assuming retention would equal higher sales over the long run. Our solution was creating a community and reinforcing the informal network of sales agents through management support. A couple months later, we found that the women were coming to get a deal on their chlorine not continue learning or check in with the manager.

Step 2 is an attempt to better target the desired behaviors through an incentive system that uses short, medium and long-term goals. Instead of targeting sales in a round about way we're simply rewarding specific sales levels on a weekly and monthly basis. But yet again, we don't just care about sales. We're looking to improve key services provided by sales agents. We thought, lets not just have the sales agents get all the fun, so community managers will similarly incentivized towards specific marketing techniques, to support sales agents to improve retention and to boost overall sales.

Do we think that our rewards will perfectly match the work? NO. Do we think that it's going to be effective on shaping behaviors and improving sales from day 1? NO.

Is it an improvement? YES. Most importantly...Will we learn something? YES. In a start-up, that's always something work working towards.