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  • #1000205
    DanielW
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Hi All

    I joined the forum a couple of days ago and have only just got around to introducing myself. There is a lot of good information and advice and I got lost in it for a bit.

    About me, My educational background is in business management, marketing and HR. I have worked in a number of industries over the years, Consumer electronics, property maintenance, I.T., and field service logistics, but have always felt the pull to walk my own path instead of joining someone else on theirs. So, over the years I have toyed with various ideas and concepts, most lacked long term viability until Olluvo settled in my mind. Olluvo is still in its early stages with a ways to go until it is market-ready. In our current times validating the concept is very hard because speaking to B2C business owners is hard, to say the least. I had to find another way and this is why I have come here to mingle among you and learn, both from your insights and advice, so that I may glean helpful information to help me in my validation process during these COVID times.

    My aim is to create Olluvo with the assistance of those that would use it. If you want to have a look at the website I have in place (though not fully completed) it is olluvo.com.au

    I look forward to our future interactions and all the advice I can get.

    #1223382
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472

    I’m confused you say that you can’t get out to prospective clients because of the current situation. Why do you need to go to your prospects, if your product is that good, use it to sell yourself, if I read what you are offering, they will just come flocking to you.

    #1223383
    DanielW
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Hi Bert, the point I was making related to the design of the platform. I have a list of features that I am working towards implementing that I think is important to a business owner. As we know a lot of people say, “that’s a great idea, product, or feature”, but they will never use or buy it. With a limited budget, I want to provide the best platform I can, with just enough of the features implemented as possible to launch. So, talking to businesses in enough quantity to get feedback that is statistically relevant about the platform is hard to do presently (though getting better each week).

    In summary, I am trying to match what I think businesses need (the grand idea) to what businesses say they need as a minimum. The difference can be 10 of thousands of dollars in programming cost to get to a launchable product. I hope that helps clear it up.

    #1223384
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total posts: 8

    Hi Daniel
    Best of luck with your new business.
    I’m new to Flying solo as well and recently started my own business.
    Best of luck

    #1223385
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,115

    Hi and welcome to Flying Solo [USER=117997]@DanielW[/USER] – great to have you ion-board.

    If I can add to your idea. You might like it or not, I am not invested either way so no harm no foul:-)

    The grand idea is to have an opt-in service that delivers local offers daily via sms. Maximum 1 x sms based on users opting in.

    It would be supported by local point of sale collateral and specifically for local businesses with excess inventory. They would buy credits and they can set the number of offers to make.

    Restaurants, cafes, hairdressers, massage, make-up, nail salons, mechanics etc could assess there bookings for the day, or day ahead and load their offers into the system.

    For the business, it would enable them to kind of perform inventory management on how many seats they have open – a little like the airlines do.

    The user would register for discounts at point of sale ie, they are already a customer at a single business eg in a foodie type suburb.

    After all, who wouldn’t want to receive a smashed avo toastie for just $4.95 (1 day only) when you normally have to pay $10? :-)

    They would then be given the option to opt-in to receive offers and choose from a list of businesses you have signed up.

    They would get 1 x sms per day only (keep it fresh and don’t spam your own customers).

    The offers would rotate amongst the users so users were not getting the same offers regularly.

    I would support this by face to face selling, 1 suburb at a time initially and one vertical at a time.

    It would be something that work well to do PR for and maybe make it go viral once you had enough users at at least one location.

    #1223386
    DanielW
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Hi Chris and Paul, Thank you for the welcome.

    Paul, I appreciate the input and your perspective. It gives me something to consider and helps me improve my offering to both businesses and consumers. I am always open to quality advice and suggestions.

    Just as a side note, I am not a fan of sales and heavy discounts. I feel to many businesses get caught in a cycle of sales and discounts, leading to a devalued customer-business relationship. I am a firm believer in only discounting non-core or end of line products/services. I encourage creativeness instead of falling back on easier methods like sales/discounts but this is often a symptom of time availability for business owners and a few other factors. This is a simple explanation of course and goes to other business issues, and that is a much larger conversation.

    #1223387
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,115

    “I am not a fan of sales and heavy discounts.”

    Same here.

    I have a friend who owns a restaurant. he makes his pasta in batches at a cost of $2 and sells it for $17. This guy is a pro’s pro. If you dine in his restaurant, there is a very good chance you will buy a desert, at least to share and a coffee to finish off the dinner an possible an anti-pasta or garlic bread.

    His ultimate aim is to have long-term, repeat customers.

    Now, if he goes on to a platform like Groupon, there is a very good chance that first of all, he is paying a lot, some would say too much for the chair to be filled. Secondly, he will come across a LOT of pure bargain hunters – people that will never visit him again without deep discounts.

    But he has a dilemma. He checks his bookings for tomorrow and notes that he could do with another 10 or 20 patrons. He knows he makes zero from empty seats and sometimes loses money if food wastage increases for short periods because food doesn’t last forever.

    So on your advice, he uses xxx credits to fill the empty chairs he anticipates he will have and for the SMS coupon holders only decides to make the pasta $9.95, tomorrow only.

    Some of the coupon diners will buy cake and coffee or garlic bread or anti pasta and some will come back again and again (it really is good food).

    The extra vibe or buzz in the restaurant will make it attractive for passers by to dine in – people do often choose on the basis of how full a restaurant is.

    If you want to get nuanced with the business rules of the software, you can do some of the following:

    • Remove that offer altogether for customers that have redeemed it.
    • Set a time bound rule around sending an offer from the same restaurant to the same people eg, every 90 days, This would prevent spamming as well as a discount culture from developing.
    • Where a customer has redeemed an offer, send an alternative offer eg, not pasta but Pizza.

    This can all be hyper-localised eg, send me offers in my Region, My City, My Suburb, My Neighbourhood etc.

    To go next level and beyond, you could provide even more value add by sharing data and possibly even arranging for industry consultants to teach things like menu presentation, menu structure, wine pairing, up-selling etc, etc. And you could charge for all of that. As well, you could create a new platform that works entirely on turning coupon redeemers into repeat customers and sell that too.

    All of the next level stuff above could be (I would strongly argue should be) premised on making local businesses on your platform stronger and more sustainable.

    In my view, having a niche you can own vs being just another of something that already exists gives a rocket boost to the chances of anyone starting out.

    #1223388
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,472
    Paul – FS Concierge, post: 270078, member: 78928 wrote:

    Now, if he goes on to a platform like Groupon, there is a very good chance that first of all, he is paying a lot, some would say too much for the chair to be filled. Secondly, he will come across a LOT of pure bargain hunters – people that will never visit him again without deep discounts.

    But he has a dilemma. He checks his bookings for tomorrow and notes that he could do with another 10 or 20 patrons. He knows he makes zero from empty seats and sometimes loses money if food wastage increases for short periods because food doesn’t last forever.

    But thats where the problems start for what appears to be a well managed and respected business.

    From a few that I know who have gone down this path, they now get inundated with bargain hunting, low quality, often once off customers. These are the customers who will although having paid rock bottom prices, complain about just one of those pieces of pasta being the wrong shape or slightly short, and they wont just complain to management, they will post their reviews on every bit of social media possible.

    So suddenly this well respected business, which was trying to fill a couple of empty tables, is now on a spiral down to oblivion, just for a sake of maybe only making a couple of dollars instead of having an empty table.

    Then the next problem is because of slick sales techniques they suddenly have to sign up for everyone of this sites, because their opposition has seen them do it, so they are on a never ending spiral to oblivion. And it gives yet another one of these sites a chance to grab money for very little responsibility.

    IMHO

    #1223389
    DanielW
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    And that is why I am no fan of businesses like Groupon. I desire to put Olluvo (my business) in the happy and beneficial spot between your scenario and Pauls. A part of that process from my perspective is to provide a level of re-education with a view to helping business owners build a sustainable business. Competition is not about being the cheapest, it is about providing value to the consumer. Value to me doesn’t equal cheap – I will pay to solve my problem or satisfy my need. Sometimes that is the cheapest I can find and other times it can be an expensive option.

    #1223390
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,115

    [USER=53375]@bb1[/USER] – I agree wholeheartedly. I think the Groupon model is a good idea executed exceedingly badly – this has been written about extensively in the mainstream media.

    My idea, (which BTW, pre-dated Groupon) is neither Groupon, nor is it Google, nor is it an APP that will not be used. In thinking about the idea years later (now), I could never beat the first 2 and wouldn’t want to be the 3rd.

    The point of sale is one of the keys – the offer to participate would (at least initially), only be made to full paying customers.

    I believe it shares some characteristics with the old “Entertainment Books”, once sold by Woolies and I don’t think they created social media mayhem but I would need to check.

    [USER=117997]@DanielW[/USER] , a concern I have about your website is that I don’t immediately know what you offer, except for “local advertising on a mobile phone”.

    What form will it take and how will somebody spending money with you benefit?

    #1223391
    DanielW
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Paul, I have to agree with your concern. The website is a work in progress and I am currently working on the very issues you have highlighted. After a couple of very sobering conversations with people who have very kindly offered advice, I am reworking the website and the copy used to better reflect the benefits to businesses. I am also working on providing a more visual representation of what Olluvo is and how it works (videos). The outside perspective has been helpful in many ways.

    The downside of being solo, everything takes time.

    #1223392
    DanielW
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    I just realised I missed a golden opportunity to ask a question with my last post, so I will follow up and ask it now.

    As a business owner, what would the benefits or features need to be to get your business?

    #1223393
    Paul – FS Concierge
    Moderator
    • Total posts: 3,115
    DanielW, post: 270083, member: 117997 wrote:
    I just realised I missed a golden opportunity to ask a question with my last post, so I will follow up and ask it now.

    As a business owner, what would the benefits or features need to be to get your business?

    I once maintained the number one Google ranking for all of the key words I targeted.

    My business is B2B.

    Like any other business, I have had a lot of pitches to sell me advertising. My answer to the sales team has always been, When you can generate more clicks to my site than Google can, I’ll buy.

    The reason is, that they were offering less value than my organic ranking was ie, they were ranked below me so a user would need to skip my listing, select their listing AND, then would have to click in to their site to see my listing AND then click my listing.

    They were trying to sell me a solution looking for a problem to solve.

    #1223394
    DanielW
    Member
    • Total posts: 8

    Thank you for the insight. The good news is that what I am trying to build with Olluvo would avoid the scenario that you described. At present, your position or rank will be based on your distance from a customer. Other factors that play into it are the market you are in and the categories you place your advertising under. Olluvo for businesses is designed in principle to level the playing field and avoid having what you are willing to pay (or your budget size) be a deciding factor in who can see your business. My vision is to allow businesses to build a sustainable business based on the products and services they offer and not on their budget (or the size of it). Also, not on how much time they can dedicate to maintaining their digital presence. I should also add that my primary targets are bricks and mortar B2C businesses. It does not exclude online-only B2C businesses, they are just not my primary target market.

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