It’s a spinoff from my business called Transportainments.
That business was originally an app based reservation system for unique and unusual vehicles to be reserved for experience seekers. For example, one could list their party bus and the app would facilitate the reservation. It worked … except that some of the providers (those creating the listings for their vehicles) were all across the board regarding the legalities of their business, such as insurance. Some had almost no insurance others were over-the-top with their homemade contracts to avoid any liability. They had another problem, which was they were not on top of checking their email and missed new inquiries. I tried to fix it by adding a text notifications when the new emails came in but still they had a hard time being consistent. This lead to customers calling to complain that they were not getting replies. And some lost sales resulted. I realized there more to learn about how current providers ran their businesses rather than have them conform completely to my model.
I knew I needed more time to develop the provider side of things, especially in the areas of liability and professional development. I made a business pivot. I took the app down and became a boutique service which would have all customers calling me personally with their transportainment needs and I would hand pick the providers. This gave me an opportunity to get quicker and better customer service, but more than that, I was able to work closer with the providers and learn their nuances and coach them on how to be a better providers. And this worked…. but it was really time consuming. It was like moving a beach one spoonful at a time. I was not in a position to hire help because I’m bootstrapping my business until my proof of concept is fully demonstrated and solid. I’m in the belief that you prove your business idea before you ask for investor or go in crazy debt. That said, I do have interested investors but I won’t take their help until I flush out some of these undiscovered issues.
Then it occurred to me, I was going to market too soon. And what I need to do is develop the culture of transportainment from a more fundamental approach, which turns out to be blogging about it. I get to be the voice of an emerging industry, sculpt the culture and grow my vision. Thats where I am today; its my second business pivot. I created the blog in October 2019 and I’m piggy-backing on the momentum of the earlier efforts to grow it.
The app will reopen but not as a reservation system. Instead it’ll be a simple free directory for providers to handle their own reservations. This gives me an opportunity to watch it in the wild and to see trends that providers and customers actually produce, rather than my own experiences and presumptions. I also get the benefit to grow the directory and offer a valuable service for free to my audiences. At some point, I’ll monetize the the directory back into an app but in the meantime it’ll be a place for me to learn trends and collect providers from all over.
I’m feeling great about this decision because I can work on the things that I do best like growing and influencing a community.
I still do reservations. It’s more of a consulting and broker type of service for the customer side of things. I still cultivate providers. It’s more of business coach approach. I charge by the hour for these services now which gets better respect from those receiving my genuine expertise. Plus It all ties together neatly with the blogging.
That’s my update. It’s a journey. I love it!
AND….I love to hear your feedback and ideas!