Creative Method for $35,000 in Two Weeks, Newbie/Experienced Friendly Method

by LMC
64 replies
Hey Guys,

Decided I would post a quick method that we played around with. This method is pretty solid, simple, and effective. The method produced $35,000 in two weeks!

The background:

If you don't know what OpenTable is, it is a reservation system for restaurants. Users search out restaurants in their city or town and if the restaurant is on Opentable they can book a reservation through the system.

What you don't know is, on average, restaurants pay close to $675 per month to OpenTable. The reason for this is every reservation booked through their system costs the restaurant $1.50 per head.

Thus, book a reservation for 10, $11.50 goes to opentable, this is not including the recurring costs OpenTable has for the restaurant to run the reservation system on site.

The Method:


Basically, what we do is build a mobile site for the restaurant. However, build it so it is an app.

You can easily find templates that can work with Wordpress for mobile sites here:

Mobile | ThemeForest

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We researched restaurants on OpenTable, we found 15 restaurants that besides opentable, they had a Facebook page, or Twitter page, or both. What this told us is that they were keen on New Technologies. They are willing to spend time and money making these new technologies work for them.

We found the restaurants, they usually have a website, we took the information right off their website and put it into the mobile app and published it on our server.

Placed it on the home page of the Iphone.

-------------------------------------------------------

We then went to the restaurant, personally I went into three restaurants. Had the sales team do the rest. I walked in with my phone and asked to speak to the manager or owner.

Usually you will see a hostess or someone behind the bar, they ask what it is about, and I let the product do the talking.

I said, we built this app for your restaurant and I want to present it to the manager or owner to see if they would like it. The product usually amazes the restaurant and sells for you.


My pitch was simple.

"I know you are paying per head on every reservation that you produce through OpenTable. Our app is to help you save costs by giving your customers a way to book reservations quickly and efficiently through your own app."

"We would like to produce 500 cards with an advert for the app, we would like you to staple these cards to your customer receipts, on the front of the card will be a QR code for the person quickly to download the app, otherwise they can go to, www.restaurantnameapp.com "


On the back of the card you present your web development, app development, and marketing skills.


An example of a QR code business Card:
Print Templates - Modern Company Business Card with QR-Code | GraphicRiver


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In the end, the restaurant agrees to utilize the app, we print up 500 cards which doesn't cost much.

It's about $50 for good cards, 500 prints. (vistaprint.com)

We ask for $200 for setting everything up, which usually came to me in cash.

-----------------------------------------------------

Where does the money come in....

From the back of the card. The goal is to get into the restaurants for the easiest exposure for your business, they also get to see a sample of your work.

We got into 10 restaurants and got $2,000 for our promotional needs. The cards cost was around $500 dollars, but can be done much cheaper, if you don't make them fancy.

From the 5,000 cards....

1,000 people downloaded apps from our server, so we reached 20% of the restaurant go'ers from the promotion.

The response, two weeks after we initiated the promotion, we received around 25 orders for websites of business owners around NYC, we received 5 orders for other restaurant apps.

All orders totaling around $35,000 in sales.

keep it creative'

Steve
#$35 #creative #friendly #method #newbie or experienced #weeks
  • Profile picture of the author techbul
    That's a great business plan. Do you think it would work without actually going into the restaurants?
    Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author LMC
    techbul,

    I think with you there it has a much more direct effect on the potential closing of the deal. Generally the manager (not the owner) can make a decision like this since it is low-cost and will be helping the restaurant. If you are calling them they may just see you as another pitch.

    The selling is done by the app, they just love watching you open up an app on the Iphone and it being all about the restaurant.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cabinfever25
    Great Idea!

    Does this mean that this is not recurring income?

    The only time you get paid is when the owner pays the initial $200.00?

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author LMC
    It depends on what you do on the backend, really the front-end only provided $2,000 in cash basically, minus $500 in expenses, about $1,500 in profit.

    However, the backend sales is what makes the money flow.

    You could do a Hosting package for websites you build and charge a monthly maintenance fee on them to create recurring income.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lexilou
    Hey LMC
    thanks for the great post. It caught my eye. I live in a heavily restaurant populated area. I will give this a try and let you know how it goes.
    Thanks again for sharing
    Lexilou
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  • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
    So you created a mobile website for each restaurant? I assume the customer filled out their information on a 'Contact Us' page and the reservation was emailed to the restaurant?

    A brilliant idea, I am in a great city for this, just trying to figure out exactly what you did.

    Thanks for getting the wheels turning.
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  • Profile picture of the author 100million
    Fantastic idea. show them,educate them and then let them buy. If you show them then you cut out all the sales pitch. and it makes it easy for the business owner to just ask questions, which is the easy part because now they are asking questions to re-affirm their willingness to buy. fantastic.

    Quick question: can you build mobile apps with word press? if so can you briefly shed some light on what you need to make the app.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Nice one, Steve.

      I see that OpenTable also has an affiliate program that pays commission on a per-reservation basis, so you could also embed your OpenTable affiliate link into the 'Reservations' button of the mobile app or site you build for them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
    Originally Posted by LMC View Post

    Basically, what we do is build a mobile site for the restaurant. However, build it so it is an app.
    Sounds like a great idea Steve, but could you clue me in on how you build a website as an app?

    Also, I assume when you say you build an app it's for iphones, but what about other smartphone users?

    All in all getting restaurants to distribute your business cards for you is a great idea! Congrats on your success and thanks for sharing!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Guys,

    There are plenty of websites out there that will allow you to easily (I'm talking within 5 minutes or so) turn any mobile website into a mobile app people can install on their smartphones.

    Here is one example for Android apps: Create Android App | Make Your Own Android Apps | Android App Maker | AppsGeyser

    I played around with that tool about a month ago using one of my mobile websites. I had the thing setup in about 10 minutes. People could then download the app on to their Android phone and every time they open the app they see your mobile website or it could just be a booking form page or whatever you want.

    The other great thing about doing things this way is every time you update the mobile site, those changes are reflected in the app. So you could easily come up with a one page booking form where you can put their logo at the top and then a booking form beneath, turn that one page into an app for Android using a tool like this, find a similar tool for iPhone apps, and away you go.

    I am guessing most people would probably then be concerned about having to upload the apps into the Android and iPhone marketplaces? I have not delved into apps myself so I can't confirm this, but I am pretty sure you don't have to put apps into the app stores for people to use them, you can just host the files on your own website for download, or in this case, on the customers main website.

    The Android app I created with that tool was just a file I then downloaded on to my Android phone and it worked right away. I believe this service is free for like the first 50 downloads of the app, or something like that, and then you pay per set amount, but I am sure there are other options out there as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Guys,

      There are plenty of websites out there that will allow you to easily (I'm talking within 5 minutes or so) turn any mobile website into a mobile app people can install on their smartphones.

      Here is one example for Android apps: Create Android App | Make Your Own Android Apps | Android App Maker | AppsGeyser

      I played around with that tool about a month ago using one of my mobile websites. I had the thing setup in about 10 minutes. People could then download the app on to their Android phone and every time they open the app they see your mobile website or it could just be a booking form page or whatever you want.

      The other great thing about doing things this way is every time you update the mobile site, those changes are reflected in the app. So you could easily come up with a one page booking form where you can put their logo at the top and then a booking form beneath, turn that one page into an app for Android using a tool like this, find a similar tool for iPhone apps, and away you go.

      I am guessing most people would probably then be concerned about having to upload the apps into the Android and iPhone marketplaces? I have not delved into apps myself so I can't confirm this, but I am pretty sure you don't have to put apps into the app stores for people to use them, you can just host the files on your own website for download, or in this case, on the customers main website.

      The Android app I created with that tool was just a file I then downloaded on to my Android phone and it worked right away. I believe this service is free for like the first 50 downloads of the app, or something like that, and then you pay per set amount, but I am sure there are other options out there as well.
      So if we used your mobile template package and made a mobile site for the restaurant then we could take "Reservations" page url of the restaurants mobile site (i.e. "m.anyrestaurantname.com/reservations.php") and convert that into a standalone app using the site you mentioned. Then people could download it and install it as an app on the homescreen of their Andrioid phones and when they click it it would open up to that same reservation page and content from their mobile website without having to go to Google to do a search for their url or type in their url.

      Is my understanding correct there?
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

        So if we used your mobile template package and made a mobile site for the restaurant then we could take "Reservations" page url of the restaurants mobile site (i.e. "m.anyrestaurantname.com/reservations.php") and convert that into a standalone app using the site you mentioned. Then people could download it and install it as an app on the homescreen of their Andrioid phones and when they click it it would open up to that same reservation page and content from their mobile website without having to go to Google to do a search for their url or type in their url.

        Is my understanding correct there?
        Correct. Just keep in mind though that people are not necessarily going to want to install separate apps for each local business they frequent. So you would have to suck it and see.
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        • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
          Originally Posted by WillR View Post

          Correct. Just keep in mind though that people are not necessarily going to want to install separate apps for each local business they frequent. So you would have to suck it and see.
          But what Steve is doing is exactly that making a single app for reservation for each restaurant and selling it to them for $200 correct?
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          • Profile picture of the author WillR
            Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

            But what Steve is doing is exactly that making a single app for reservation for each restaurant and selling it to them for $200 correct?
            Yes. You might be able to sell the app to the restaurant but you want to be sure people are going to use those apps or the restaurant will get no benefit from it and they won't be rushing back to do business with you again. I would first test it out with a few restaurants for free (as case studies).
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            • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
              Originally Posted by WillR View Post

              Yes. You might be able to sell the app to the restaurant but you want to be sure people are going to use those apps or the restaurant will get no benefit from it and they won't be rushing back to do business with you again. I would first test it out with a few restaurants for free (as case studies).
              Good point there. If they get no benefit from it then it would be a waste of money. But then again if these restaurants are paying like $650 a month to Opentable how is it really benefiting the restaurant and what sort of ROI these restaurants are getting by using this service on a monthly basis? How exactly are these restaurants benefiting from using Opentable if the service is not giving them more business or customers?
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              • Profile picture of the author WillR
                Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

                Good point there. If they get no benefit from it then it would be a waste of money. But then again if these restaurants are paying like $650 a month to Opentable how is it really benefiting the restaurant and what sort of ROI these restaurants are getting by using this service on a monthly basis? How exactly are these restaurants benefiting from using Opentable if the service is not giving them more business or customers?
                Yes but there's a difference between opentable and their own booking app. Open table is generally something they link to or integrate into their own website and allows bookings for their restaurant without putting the customer though any extra steps.

                An app on the other hand is something users have to download and install on their phones before they can use it. So these extra steps may prevent people from using the app. As I also said I can't imagine people would want to fill up their phone with different apps for each restaurant and local business they frequent.

                From a customers perspective it is much easier to just go to the restaurants mobile website directly. They can then just bookmark that website instead of having to install an app.
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                • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
                  Originally Posted by WillR View Post

                  Yes but there's a difference between opentable and their own booking app. Open table is generally something they link to or integrate into their own website and allows bookings for their restaurant without putting the customer though any extra steps.

                  An app on the other hand is something users have to download and install on their phones before they can use it. So these extra steps may prevent people from using the app. As I also said I can't imagine people would want to fill up their phone with different apps for each restaurant and local business they frequent.

                  From a customers perspective it is much easier to just go to the restaurants mobile website directly. They can then just bookmark that website instead of having to install an app.
                  Ya I agree with the customer just going to mobile site to achieve the same thing. So in your opinion then this method might not work as well as described and done by the OP?
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                  • Profile picture of the author WillR
                    Originally Posted by mrtrance View Post

                    Ya I agree with the customer just going to mobile site to achieve the same thing. So in your opinion then this method might not work as well as described and done by the OP?
                    No, I'm not saying that. The truth is I haven't tested it myself and one of the most important lessons in marketing is to never just assume anything. They are just my thoughts but I haven't got any real results because it's not something I have implemented.

                    If someone is using such a system and having good luck with it then that's all that matters. I just wanted to give people both sides of the coin. I'm definitely not trying to talk you out of giving it a go.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClaDax
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Guys,

      There are plenty of websites out there that will allow you to easily (I'm talking within 5 minutes or so) turn any mobile website into a mobile app people can install on their smartphones.

      Here is one example for Android apps: Create Android App | Make Your Own Android Apps | Android App Maker | AppsGeyser
      Hi there,

      1. Is there something similar for an Iphone app?

      2. Are there any wordpress mobile websites with real time validation booking systems?

      3. If there isn't such a mobile website, can we use a standart wordpress booking/reservation plugin for mobile websites as well?
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    • Profile picture of the author freeburd
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Guys,

      I am guessing most people would probably then be concerned about having to upload the apps into the Android and iPhone marketplaces? I have not delved into apps myself so I can't confirm this, but I am pretty sure you don't have to put apps into the app stores for people to use them, you can just host the files on your own website for download, or in this case, on the customers main website.
      To upload an app into Android market you need to pay Google $25.00 for 1 year. I paid but forgot about it. Will, thank you for reminding me. Now I will turn one of my websites (or more) into an app and will promote my services with it.
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    • Profile picture of the author TheAtHomeCouple
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Guys,

      There are plenty of websites out there that will allow you to easily (I'm talking within 5 minutes or so) turn any mobile website into a mobile app people can install on their smartphones.

      Here is one example for Android apps: Create Android App | Make Your Own Android Apps | Android App Maker | AppsGeyser

      I played around with that tool about a month ago using one of my mobile websites. I had the thing setup in about 10 minutes. People could then download the app on to their Android phone and every time they open the app they see your mobile website or it could just be a booking form page or whatever you want.

      The other great thing about doing things this way is every time you update the mobile site, those changes are reflected in the app. So you could easily come up with a one page booking form where you can put their logo at the top and then a booking form beneath, turn that one page into an app for Android using a tool like this, find a similar tool for iPhone apps, and away you go.

      I am guessing most people would probably then be concerned about having to upload the apps into the Android and iPhone marketplaces? I have not delved into apps myself so I can't confirm this, but I am pretty sure you don't have to put apps into the app stores for people to use them, you can just host the files on your own website for download, or in this case, on the customers main website.

      The Android app I created with that tool was just a file I then downloaded on to my Android phone and it worked right away. I believe this service is free for like the first 50 downloads of the app, or something like that, and then you pay per set amount, but I am sure there are other options out there as well.
      A responsive WordPress theme could definitely be a solution - as it would render regardless of the device or screen size.

      Another option is partnering with a company like Bizness Apps - Mobile Apps For Businesses Made Easy that provides a comprehensive set of tools, resources and a drag and drop site builder - white label ready.

      That would be my choice.
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      • Profile picture of the author DexterGallagher
        Jump Mobi can act as an app and creates awesome wp mobile sites.

        But I do have some concerns, as the initial 10 restaurants paid $200 each - working capitol. Out came the printing costs $500 =profit $1500.

        Out of the 'trial' the Op gets 25 websites and 5 apps totaling $35,000, so can we take it that the op sold each site/app for $1166.67 each? ($1167x 30=$35,000)

        I understand that they are paying opentable $645 per month, so in 2 months the restaurants save this fee, is this how it is sold?

        I am struggling to come to terms with the maths, but a cool idea.






        Originally Posted by TheAtHomeCouple View Post

        A responsive WordPress theme could definitely be a solution - as it would render regardless of the device or screen size.

        Another option is partnering with a company like Bizness Apps - Mobile Apps For Businesses Made Easy that provides a comprehensive set of tools, resources and a drag and drop site builder - white label ready.

        That would be my choice.
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        • Profile picture of the author craftziner
          Originally Posted by DexterGallagher View Post


          I understand that they are paying opentable $645 per month, so in 2 months the restaurants save this fee, is this how it is sold?
          Yes... the $200 is a one-time pay. Most of the money he made this way actually came off the ads that he prints on the back of the cards, where he details the other services he provides... Ideally he's just using the restaurants' "traffic" to get him more business... a very cool idea
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          • Profile picture of the author DexterGallagher
            Thanks for that, I did not pick up on that part in his thread.

            Dexter.

            Originally Posted by craftziner View Post

            Yes... the $200 is a one-time pay. Most of the money he made this way actually came off the ads that he prints on the back of the cards, where he details the other services he provides... Ideally he's just using the restaurants' "traffic" to get him more business... a very cool idea
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  • Profile picture of the author D6BL
    Hi Steve. Thanks a lot for this great share. Your strategy sounds pretty good. I will try to think how I can use it in my city Will let you know if it's working for me !
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  • Profile picture of the author amoladora
    @Will Thanks for the heads up. Although I think there is more to it than that for iPhone - you need apple licenses and all sorts of BS.

    @Steve can you please share how you develop your app and how you integrate it with their booking system?
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  • Profile picture of the author steve-wilkins
    This is something very similar to what I am doing right now in the UK, I have started by targeting restaurants and use a cheap lead generation software to dig out leads by nearest location and literally work my way through the restaurants city to city offering a multitude of services including mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, QR codes, Facebook fan pages and many more. Mobile marketing is such a huge market now and if presented right it really can make even a one-man band such as myself, a small fortune in a small space of time.

    I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
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    • Profile picture of the author rugman
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      I would to take a look when you are done - thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author ballanrk
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post


      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      I would appreciate a copy also.

      Thanks
      Ballanrk
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    • Profile picture of the author ADukes81
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      This is something very similar to what I am doing right now in the UK, I have started by targeting restaurants and use a cheap lead generation software to dig out leads by nearest location and literally work my way through the restaurants city to city offering a multitude of services including mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, QR codes, Facebook fan pages and many more. Mobile marketing is such a huge market now and if presented right it really can make even a one-man band such as myself, a small fortune in a small space of time.

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      Hi Steve,

      If you don't mind, I would love a copy as well when you are finished.

      Thank you
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    • Profile picture of the author kimberly Aita
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      This is something very similar to what I am doing right now in the UK, I have started by targeting restaurants and use a cheap lead generation software to dig out leads by nearest location and literally work my way through the restaurants city to city offering a multitude of services including mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, QR codes, Facebook fan pages and many more. Mobile marketing is such a huge market now and if presented right it really can make even a one-man band such as myself, a small fortune in a small space of time.

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      I would also like to have a copy of this when it's available. Thanks!

      BTW, fantastic and inspirational post. Now I just have to look into some of Will's suggestions and learn how to do an app. I didn't realize you could them them for free at all.

      As a matter of fact, I spent over 2 hours on a webinar and only at the end did they let us know it would be $995 to get started. Not quite there yet lol.

      Anyway, thanks for this thread.
      Kim
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    • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      This is something very similar to what I am doing right now in the UK, I have started by targeting restaurants and use a cheap lead generation software to dig out leads by nearest location and literally work my way through the restaurants city to city offering a multitude of services including mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, QR codes, Facebook fan pages and many more. Mobile marketing is such a huge market now and if presented right it really can make even a one-man band such as myself, a small fortune in a small space of time.

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      I'd appreciate a copy if you don't mind. Maybe send a PM to us when it's ready.
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    • Profile picture of the author Legacy3
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      This is something very similar to what I am doing right now in the UK, I have started by targeting restaurants and use a cheap lead generation software to dig out leads by nearest location and literally work my way through the restaurants city to city offering a multitude of services including mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, QR codes, Facebook fan pages and many more. Mobile marketing is such a huge market now and if presented right it really can make even a one-man band such as myself, a small fortune in a small space of time.

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      I'd like a copy when you get done. Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author ClaDax
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      I am also interested. You said that you actually built an app. I hope it will also work with a mobile wordpress theme including a free reservation plugin...
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    • Profile picture of the author Benc102
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      This is something very similar to what I am doing right now in the UK, I have started by targeting restaurants and use a cheap lead generation software to dig out leads by nearest location and literally work my way through the restaurants city to city offering a multitude of services including mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, QR codes, Facebook fan pages and many more. Mobile marketing is such a huge market now and if presented right it really can make even a one-man band such as myself, a small fortune in a small space of time.

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      Will like a copy also.

      Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      ...
      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      Hi Steven, I'd also like a copy if you're still giving them out (added you on skype a few weeks ago but not heard from you yet).
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    • Profile picture of the author Khemosabi
      Originally Posted by steve-wilkins View Post

      This is something very similar to what I am doing right now in the UK, I have started by targeting restaurants and use a cheap lead generation software to dig out leads by nearest location and literally work my way through the restaurants city to city offering a multitude of services including mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, QR codes, Facebook fan pages and many more. Mobile marketing is such a huge market now and if presented right it really can make even a one-man band such as myself, a small fortune in a small space of time.

      I am actually putting together a small package of templates including sales material, contracts, pricing structures etc so if anyone is interested in having a copy, then just let me know and i'll shoot you over a copy when it's finished
      I would also like to have a copy please!
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  • Profile picture of the author KabirC
    My one question with this is, how do you know if they have space available for that time? Wouldn't that need to be coded into the site?
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  • Profile picture of the author britnla
    wow, very informative post... I'm actually in the hospitality field as well as internet marketing as a side income, and think you have a great idea
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  • Profile picture of the author mrtrance
    Hey Steve,

    Very good information you have presented here. Can you elaborate a bit more on how you set up the App, how people download it, what about booking times on the app, etc.?
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  • Profile picture of the author rugman
    Good point Will - Maybe better have a "town rest reservation app" that would take you to a page that had several places listed on it with reservations available for each one?
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  • Profile picture of the author 4webmaster
    I don't get it here is it an iphone app or a web app? If it's a real app, I don't think it's a good idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author Legacy3
    Steve,

    Does it actually have to be an APP for this to work? Or can it be bookmarked mobile website that looks like an app icon?
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    • Profile picture of the author queen bee
      Originally Posted by Legacy3 View Post

      Steve,

      Does it actually have to be an APP for this to work? Or can it be bookmarked mobile website that looks like an app icon?
      Well this is exactly what I've been thinking ...

      Great presentation, though!
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  • Profile picture of the author Legacy3
    While I'm waiting for LMC's response about apps vs mobile websites and thinking this through I'm considering the fact we have to appeal to two totally different audiences:

    1. The business owner / manager who probably thinks having their own APP is the coolest thing since sliced bread
    and
    2. Their customers who may be reluctant to add one more app to their already crowded phone

    ...and oh yea...US - the Tehcno Savvy Internet Marketers who live on the edge of the curve and have seen it all / heard it all and probably don't really believe apps will work in the local market vs other IM devices.

    Its tough, but we must find some balance that appeals to the DESIRES of our customer (the business owners / managers) while still addressing their longterm needs.

    This is still a great idea!
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  • Profile picture of the author LMC
    I'm not going to go through every step of the way.

    But, an HTML5 application can be utilized on all mobile platforms, act as an "app" to the user, but really simply be just a mobile website.

    If you want to play around with some native app development and have no programming experience, or have programming experience, head to:

    http://www.genuitec.com/mobile/

    or get more advanced with Mobile app platform for building mobile apps from web technologies for Android, iOS, iPhone, iPad and mobile web.

    --------------------------------------------------------------

    I think people are missing the point of the "income". The income did NOT come from the APP. The income came from the advertisements on the app.

    The app was simply an open door to walk in and advertise to the restaurants high paying customers who like to wine and dine. It's a good market for people that are doing "alright" in this economy and want some new technologies in their personal and business setup.

    The money was built from the post sale attack, that is, people viewing our app as a cool phenomenon and calling us to inquire about their own developments.

    also... the app had other features such as:

    - Save and Rate what you last ate (which went into a database so you can see peoples favorite meals, same concept from seamlessweb)

    - The booking system simply was an email system, separate from OpenTable, that connected to their computer, those that turned us down did not want to deal with "yet another reservation system".

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    In the end the main push was simply the fact that the restaurant owner can go home and show family and friends that he has his own app. Just like they have their own facebook page, or their own twitter page.

    It's just cool.

    And for $200 cash, it's not a "business" investment to them, it's more like petty cash that adds a tiny bit of value to their business.

    It's about the angle.... remember... the money was made from the adverts, not selling these apps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Legacy3
      LMC, What is your price point for the follow up sales?
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  • Profile picture of the author nickhumph
    Great story! But I don't understand a few things

    1) Were you selling a iphone/android app or a web app accessed by browser?
    2) How much were you selling the mobile websites for, $200 each? And each subsequent purchase made by other restaurants who found you through the QR Code was $200? Isn't that pricing a little low and why didn't you set up a monthly recurring fee?

    Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author alfid
    That's pretty inspiring! Congrats on your success. What a great and innovative idea. I know a lot of food places in my area would go for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author swd123
    sounds like a cool idea - may try it locally
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  • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
    Great concept! I'm currently wrapping up a local directory site for restaurants/bars here in town and this postjust helped me think of of an idea of yet another service I can offer these establishments.

    Rather than have people download individual apps, I'm thinking of creating and offering a reservation system for any and all restaurants that want to accept reservations through my directory itself. All I would have to do is setup a simple contact form on each page and route it to the e-mail address that the establishment owner provides. Takes less than 5 minutes to implement, yet I could charge something like a measly $25 or $50 per month on top of other services.

    Thanks for getting the creative juices rolling! This should be an easy sale for restaurants who are hungry to get more people through their doors.
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  • Profile picture of the author thetaspark
    This is a lovely idea, looking at all the restaurants in my locale, there is really an opportunity to make something tangible with this approach... The way used to scout for information is a great insight.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kevin Z
    Great concept guys. This can work even with Mobile optimized websites which works on all platforms and can be SEO'd.

    Many times its even worth giving away a free mobile website to have popular restaurants expose your business to their clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author phweb
    I am an American living in Asia, I am not a programmer, how can I use your tools to sell to restaurants here? Thanks in advance.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aysha
    Wow thats a great concept, will this work in any country?
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  • Profile picture of the author midrockdigital
    Fantastic idea and something that restaurant owners would go for if priced right. Excellent.
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  • Profile picture of the author NewParadigm
    I'm shocked opentable has succeeded w/ that business model. Are they actually driving traffic to restaurants? (more justifying leadgen/newbiz $$) or are they providing an online reservation for more existing customers?(a very expensive one). I wonder what value the restaurants are getting here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cabbey
    This is an awesome idea.

    The potential to build a customer base with this method seems realistic, and quite profitable.

    Good one. Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author jimma2k
    Wow talk about getting my creative juices flowing with this. Now to implement a strategy.............
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  • Profile picture of the author goriggs
    Holy crap! That is brilliant! Thank you so much for this valuable information.
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  • Profile picture of the author nwatson
    Very creative method for producing some cashflow and to think it produced as much as it did kinda blows me away. Great job!
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  • Profile picture of the author hbsjcd3
    Originally Posted by LMC View Post

    Hey Guys,

    Decided I would post a quick method that we played around with. This method is pretty solid, simple, and effective. The method produced $35,000 in two weeks!

    The background:

    If you don't know what OpenTable is, it is a reservation system for restaurants. Users search out restaurants in their city or town and if the restaurant is on Opentable they can book a reservation through the system.

    What you don't know is, on average, restaurants pay close to $675 per month to OpenTable. The reason for this is every reservation booked through their system costs the restaurant $1.50 per head.

    Thus, book a reservation for 10, $11.50 goes to opentable, this is not including the recurring costs OpenTable has for the restaurant to run the reservation system on site.

    The Method:


    Basically, what we do is build a mobile site for the restaurant. However, build it so it is an app.

    You can easily find templates that can work with Wordpress for mobile sites here:

    Mobile | ThemeForest

    -------------------------------------------------------

    We researched restaurants on OpenTable, we found 15 restaurants that besides opentable, they had a Facebook page, or Twitter page, or both. What this told us is that they were keen on New Technologies. They are willing to spend time and money making these new technologies work for them.

    We found the restaurants, they usually have a website, we took the information right off their website and put it into the mobile app and published it on our server.

    Placed it on the home page of the Iphone.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    We then went to the restaurant, personally I went into three restaurants. Had the sales team do the rest. I walked in with my phone and asked to speak to the manager or owner.

    Usually you will see a hostess or someone behind the bar, they ask what it is about, and I let the product do the talking.

    I said, we built this app for your restaurant and I want to present it to the manager or owner to see if they would like it. The product usually amazes the restaurant and sells for you.


    My pitch was simple.

    "I know you are paying per head on every reservation that you produce through OpenTable. Our app is to help you save costs by giving your customers a way to book reservations quickly and efficiently through your own app."

    "We would like to produce 500 cards with an advert for the app, we would like you to staple these cards to your customer receipts, on the front of the card will be a QR code for the person quickly to download the app, otherwise they can go to, www.restaurantnameapp.com "


    On the back of the card you present your web development, app development, and marketing skills.


    An example of a QR code business Card:
    Print Templates - Modern Company Business Card with QR-Code | GraphicRiver


    -----------------------------------------------------

    In the end, the restaurant agrees to utilize the app, we print up 500 cards which doesn't cost much.

    It's about $50 for good cards, 500 prints. (vistaprint.com)

    We ask for $200 for setting everything up, which usually came to me in cash.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Where does the money come in....

    From the back of the card. The goal is to get into the restaurants for the easiest exposure for your business, they also get to see a sample of your work.

    We got into 10 restaurants and got $2,000 for our promotional needs. The cards cost was around $500 dollars, but can be done much cheaper, if you don't make them fancy.

    From the 5,000 cards....

    1,000 people downloaded apps from our server, so we reached 20% of the restaurant go'ers from the promotion.

    The response, two weeks after we initiated the promotion, we received around 25 orders for websites of business owners around NYC, we received 5 orders for other restaurant apps.

    All orders totaling around $35,000 in sales.

    keep it creative'

    Steve
    Very unique method. how do you go about scaling this to different cities around the US? Is the method still producing you cash after these 2 years since you posted it?
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  • Profile picture of the author ehsanmahmood
    That's a great business strategy. Building solution to problem is always successful. I think so we need to identify small problems is give solution to that problems and sell your solutions.

    What do you thinks so ?
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