Home – New Forums Starting your journey What am I missing?

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #995453
    zosomebiz
    Member
    • Total posts: 21
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi All,

    I am tech guy, who has developed a completely free to use app for business owners -esp. for cafes,restos,spas, store owners.

    What does the app do?
    The app can read text from photos of flyers,menus,offers, and make it searchable to all people across the city. So for ex: if a cafe has a board outside their place with text “Coffee Miffin for 5$” in simple,clear handwriting. if they take a photo of that in the app, the app will figure out the text. And if any customers search for either Coffee or Muffin, the app will show them their place along with the photo. This helps cafe owner as their board which had at best,street wide visibility, now has city wide visibility. Same for menus,flyers etc.
    Plus customers can anonymously chat with business owners to inquire,or provide feedback rather than going to some sites and write reviews.

    What is the problem?
    The app is free, has no signup , just a simple automated verification process & the whole process from downloading it to sharing your photos takes no longer than a couple of minutes.
    The problem I have is to reach business owners, and just to convince them to give it a shot.
    There are been few signup’s in the states , but here in Melbourne either most of the stores,cafes etc are run by someone else or the owners think it is some massive effort to download an app.The same owners are spending a couple of hundred bucks over social media and dont have a clue if thats working for them .

    In summary, I have something that is free,smart & useful (I believe), how do I get owners to just try it. I have tried giving flyers (hasn’t worked), have tried a meetup (barely anyone there), posted in few Facebook groups (views & likes , no real value there) .

    What am I missing?

    #1201994
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,739
    Up
    0
    ::

    ok my thoughts are

    1. Everyone has limited time to make decisions and download apps etc so whilst their is no cost for your platform the cafe decision makers probably prioritise their time. They are more than likely dealing with urgent operational items first and “business” management items second.

    2. I’m not sure how much research you conducted on the industry but cafe owners are notoriously “busy” and generally end up spending most of their time on operations (to reduce payroll). Yes this is a poor way to run a business and that’s why most cafes fail (that and there are too many). So you are trying to sell a management / business development tool to people that don’t generally devote resources (time) to that part of their business. So now you are battling against customary behaviour (swimming against the tide).

    3. If you don’t have much traffic on your site (customers) searching for cafe deals then what results can a cafe expect? Classic chicken and egg. And if you get cafe’s onboard have you got much money put aside to promote your website / platform to find those customers? Or are you doing this low cost and expecting some sort of fast viral (free) growth? In my opinion you need to have big dollars set aside (think hundreds of thousands) for marketing your website to get the traffic to make this valuable to cafes. Build it and they will come is a fallacy.

    4. I’m not sure about competing services and platforms but lets assume this is revolutionary – I think the challenges you are experiencing demonstrate that even good or great ideas need a plan and big budget for selling them. Building an app and platform is the easy and cheap bit.

    Hopefully it works out well. I’m sure you are learning a lot.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1201995
    zosomebiz
    Member
    • Total posts: 21
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks for the detailed response. I did do some research before starting out, and what you mentioned is very much inline with that experience. It is like swimming against the tide, not that I mind it. I just find it strange that given such a high level of competition that the owners would be on a lookout for something that makes their lives easier, and provides them with unbiased,relevant & no noise visibility without paying any money. Definitely learning a lot along the way :)

    #1201996
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Up
    0
    ::

    Just approaching this from my industry, not a week goes by that my inbox doesn’t get filled with yet another stream of business directories, or other advertising proposal, some are free (sorry nothing is free), some are paid, some are free tomorrow, but will cost me a fortune in the future.

    Some are deleted and never heard from again, others you get a phone call from why haven’t you signed up it will only take a minute, sure it really takes an hour to do it justice. How much will it cost, its free, how do you make your money, oh we will charge you later.

    Where am I heading, these poor business people are most likely been bombarded with some new hair brain idea every day of the week, and if they signed up to everyone off them they would be doing nothing else. Sure yours sounds great, but they need to see what benefit their time is to do it.

    I just did a google, and found pages of café /restaurant directories, etc.Not only do they have to sign up, than maintain them, oh and don’t forget the endless stream of upselling emails from them.

    The one important comment you made ”I did do some research before starting out, and what you mentioned is very much inline with that experience”, well I guess your market research is 100% correct and you are going to have difficulty getting custom. If your market research said this, why did you proceed?

    #1201997
    zosomebiz
    Member
    • Total posts: 21
    Up
    0
    ::

    All your points are bang on. and actually answer the reason I created the app:

    bb1, post: 239550, member: 53375 wrote:
    Just approaching this from my industry, not a week goes by that my inbox doesn’t get filled with yet another stream of business directories, or other advertising proposal, some are free (sorry nothing is free), some are paid, some are free tomorrow, but will cost me a fortune in the future.

    Issue#1:
    ********
    Flyers are a way local businesses advertise themselve. They cost money & effort to the owner and add little to no value with a conversion rate of maybe 5% or less. They irriate customers. The purpose of flyers is either to inform about a deal or about new menu or service etc.
    *******

    Solution#1:

    With my app all you do is take a photo of 1 flyer. If people across your city search anything that is present in the flyer they will find your place. No need to print multiple flyers and then pay someone to distribute them.

    With my app, you can literally write your offer on a simple paper and take a photo and even that will work.
    *********

    Issue 2:

    bb1, post: 239550, member: 53375 wrote:
    Some are deleted and never heard from again, others you get a phone call from why haven’t you signed up it will only take a minute, sure it really takes an hour to do it justice. How much will it cost, its free, how do you make your money, oh we will charge you later.

    Solution 2:
    I value time over money. I have timed how long it takes to install my app and then share ALL the contents in a store -which essentially is just list of items they stock. End to end it took less than 2 minutes. There is NO signup with my app. Just a very simple automated verification. I also hate the hassling emails that you have mentioned including unneccesary notificaitons , and therefore have no interest to bug any users.

    Issue 3:

    bb1, post: 239550, member: 53375 wrote:
    Where am I heading, these poor business people are most likely been bombarded with some new hair brain idea every day of the week, and if they signed up to everyone off them they would be doing nothing else. Sure yours sounds great, but they need to see what benefit their time is to do it.

    Solution 3: They take or upload existing photos is all time that is needed. The benefit is instant city wide visibility. The same value they get for having their place on google map. How much time/effort was needed to add it there and immense value has that added.

    Issue:4

    bb1, post: 239550, member: 53375 wrote:
    I just did a google, and found pages of café /restaurant directories, etc.Not only do they have to sign up, than maintain them, oh and don’t forget the endless stream of upselling emails from them.

    Solution4: My solution is designed to find things exactly in seconds.
    For ex: All the cafe that have Almond crossaint. Not the other way around where people search for a place then look at rating then settle for whatever menu items that place may have. Plus my solution isnt specific to resto/cafes,its equally relevant for stores,or for that matter any small business.
    The emails are a massive pain. No doubt about it.

    bb1, post: 239550, member: 53375 wrote:
    The one important comment you made ”I did do some research before starting out, and what you mentioned is very much inline with that experience”, well I guess your market research is 100% correct and you are going to have difficulty getting custom. If your market research said this, why did you proceed?

    Solution /Reason: There are large number of businesses that struggle & close down because they aren’t in the right location,they dont have a platform to share everything they stock, they can’t afford to advertise as much as maybe the next guy. On the other hand, customers care more about finding stuff they want quickly – most of the times. There are few platforms for that none of them is accurate. For ex: does the store near my place stock almond milk. I dont know, maybe.

    Add to that the mess of social media sites that aren’t purpose built to help small businesses . Review sites that are more harmful than uiseful for businesses.

    I mean there are threads after thread on how to do social media marketing and to hire specialists who can do it. If something is that difficult,to me its not worth it. And all this effort to just get visibility.

    The reason I did it is because the current setup is flawed, it can be a lot easier,simplier,cleaner,less expensive, & noise free . And that why I made this app.If it doesnt do all of this well at the moment, we’ll keep on improving it till it does.

    #1201998
    James Millar
    Participant
    • Total posts: 1,739
    Up
    0
    ::

    I don’t know that there is a problem with your concept (except perhaps limited marketing resources to execute) but you can’t change industry mentality and behavior.

    I’ll give it to you straight. Cafe’s and hospitality are the last industry that I would invest in or expend effort selling anything to. Maybe 5% know what they are doing and make money. The vast majority are in way over their heads and your app is the least of their immediate concerns.

    You have articulated perfectly logical well thought out solutions but that won’t change the fact that most cafe’s are in survival mode and making bad decisions.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. [email protected] www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
    #1201999
    zosomebiz
    Member
    • Total posts: 21
    Up
    0
    ::

    Thanks James for your insight.

    #1202000
    Rohan@TD
    Member
    • Total posts: 164
    Up
    0
    ::

    The problem I have is to reach business owners, and just to convince them to give it a shot.

    Hi zosomebiz,

    Just some quick additional points (the above are all great), I’m having some internet issues.

    I’ve just looked at both your itunes pages, website, facebook and twitter pages. At this stage, you don’t have an average customer rating or convey how many active users/visitors your apps/site has. How do the businesses you approach know it’s worth trying? How do potential users know it’s worth downloading?

    A trial desktop search for ‘Coffee Melbourne’ didn’t return anything – Which may be due to the internet issues I’m having or your sites.

    Without an android version of your app (yet), you’re missing out on over 50% of your target market.

    Both your facebook and twitter pages need work. For example: They both aren’t doing shout outs to businesses who have signed on or shared menus – this would help improve the confidence of other users and lead to greater exposure of your apps. I recommend you ad Instagram to reach foodies.

    Why exactly are you trying to reach business owners? I assume it’s linked to your revenue model. Priority number one should be users, which are attracted through content (e.g. menus).

    Since I can’t access your apps (Android barrier) – Do you need to reach business owners now? Or can you upload menus yourself and have them take over their business later? E.g. Through approaching them with targeted data on searches relevant to them.

    Finally, your user app is focused on bargain/deal hunters looking for the best deal. Can they upload images/ photos of the bargains they find? Does your app encourage/reward them to do so (e.g. a points system)?

    #1202001
    Dave Gillen – Former FS Concierge
    Keymaster
    • Total posts: 2,566
    Up
    0
    ::

    Hi [USER=86904]@zosomebiz[/USER]

    “What am I missing?”
    You’ve said you’re offering city-wide visibility, but nobody is using your app. So total visibility might in fact be 5 people, and actual visibility (people who trigger their keywords) is likely zero.

    Zero visibility = zero benefit.

    Rohan has some good advice. Instead of asking businesses to trial it, go and take the photos yourself. You could probably get 100 signs or menus in a day. That’s their trial, and you see if that becomes useful for users like you imagined.

    The value I see in the app is allowing a person to find specific individual items at shops in their area. Like there’s no way of me finding where I can get an apple turnover for lunch, or a lime milkshake, or a mushroom risotto, or a table tennis set. But it’s not useful if you don’t have 1000s of items uploaded.

    Dave

    #1202002
    zosomebiz
    Member
    • Total posts: 21
    Up
    0
    ::

    Great points Dave and Rohan. Thanks for the detailed response!

    #1202003
    bb1
    Participant
    • Total posts: 4,485
    Up
    0
    ::
    Dave – FS Concierge, post: 239663, member: 49676 wrote:
    apple turnover

    Beaconsfield Bakery do excellent Apple turnovers

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.