16

5

Validating a Product for Guided Tours Market

Validating my idea - Please peer review this:

I am creating a tool that gets tour operators more revenue by giving their customers a tool to personalize their own tours. The tool is a widget that plugs into the tour operators existing website and can be launched with a click.

  • The benefit of this for the customer (end user) is that they can create their personalized tour in a fun convenient way with out ever needing to call in or email the tour company. They already know all of the companies offerings and can take action immediately. 
  • The benefit to the tour operator, who I will be paid by, is they will increase their custom tour request by making the process easier for their customers. Custom tours are far more profitable for tour operators then standard tours. However, custom tours currently take to long to produce involving significant back and forth and coordination with the customer. With custom tour leads essentially automated tour operators can tend to other activities in their business.

Below is the workflow for my app. The tour operator will receive a custom url which they can then plug into their website any way they would like. If you visit a tour website such Piccolina Adventure you would click on the "custom" link under "trips"  (shown in photo)

 

Inline image 1

My widget would open as an overlaid window and it would look something like this:

Inline image 2

My widget will allow the customers to look through all of the tour offerings of Piccolina and add the experiences and stops that they are most interested in seeing. The benefit to the tour operator is they have the potential to increase their custom tour bookings as the customer can now educate themselves and submit their personalized trip 24 hours a day. Additionally, the operator has saved themselves time not having to repeat the same information over and over again for each inquiring customer.

However, I still want to validate my idea by ensuring that customers would indeed see the value of this  widget to make a custom tour rather then speaking to a human. So far my primary source of information has been the operators who my widget would serve. I wish to get into the head of the average user of the widget, tourist who book guided tours.

I am reaching out to the organizers of meet-ups for travel enthusiast. I am asking them to share a survey with their members. The survey address questions like what information is most relevant when deciding to visit an attraction (e.g. pictures, yelp reviews, the tour guides recommendations). Also, for travelers who have never booked a custom guided tour what are their objections? Estimated cost, logistics in booking, or lack of inspiration when drafting a plan. Additionally I have an interactive mockup I can invite interested users to try out.

For the purpose of peer review please let me know how I can ensure that I have an audience who is ready to buy my product once it is released.  In other words how can I validate this idea within 48 hours.

Alternativelly if you are a talented web developer and like the idea, email me and lets talk about how we might work together. I am looking to hire or work with a web developer. If your not a web developer but now of someone talented please pass along their information.

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

Project #6 Craiglist Work I can do

http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/wrg/3840876222.html

This internship would give me a lot of valuable insight into the tourism industry. However, I am not sure I understand the premise of this activity, or have trouble directly applying it to my product.

Project #4 Presell EBook

Hello friends,

I am am considering producing an eBook on the topic of at home colonscopies based on the feedback of this email. Home colonoscopies is a subject I know a lot about however there is painfully little avaliable resources out there. I am confident I can produce a material if given a pledge. If you are interested in this subject and would like me to produce it I ask that you prepurchase the product today.

I am making you a special offer of $20, the real product will be twice as much. If you know of anyone who also may be interested in a book on home colonoscopies please forward this message to them.

Thank you for your support,

Your friend, 

Udoka

Project #3 Ebay Validation

Ebay could have been validated with a email new list. Every day people have the oppertunity to share what they are buying. The send an email containing a description of the product, an optional photo, a price, the email of the seller, and the time limit to buy.  Any interested in buying can respond back to the person selling and write the highest amount they would be willing to buy the product for.

Project #2 Business Learning from Mistakes

Having a major "failure" like launching a business that never takes off gives one many oppertunities to reflect. In 2010 I launched a business around selling a case for the 1st generation iPad. We had a small run of about 400 cases and we primarly sold through our own website as well as a local retailer in Seattle. 

The biggest learning lesson is the important of effective marketing. There are no products that sell themselves. You need to position it in a way that appeals to you target market and sell it's benefits, not features. 

I also did not take the time to engadge with my customers. I had plenty of oppertunities. I sold about 35 cases directly through my website. I had the email address and phone number for each of these customers. Instead of reaching out to learn more about them and their buying decision I stayed closed off and blind to the insights that would have given me so much value when writing the copy and marketing plan for my business.

I also would have been less afraid to try out new approuches. Try anything. DIfferent warranty gureentees. Different target customers. Advertising in different locations. Facebook was really hot and ads where cheap at the time but I never took advantage.

There were some factors outside of my control that I learned from. My manufacturer could not have supported another run of my product had there been a strong demand for it. I guess the lesson there is to have as much control in every aspect of your business as possible. I also learned about all of the difficulties associated with selling hard goods. Thats why for my next business I am shifting to SaaS. This allows me to change things on the fly, have a much larger profit margin, deliver my product electronically at virtually no cost, and scale as the business demands.

Project #1 Upload Photo with Stranger

When this challange was first described my first reaction was. No problem. I got this. I am not one of those socially awkward introverts that can't talk to another human being. Thats what I told myself at least.

I ended up waiting for 5 days before taking action. During that time different excuses ran through my head. I am too busy right now  I will get to this soon. Total BS. This is a 10 minute project and takes as long as closing a laptop and walking out to the street with a hand drawn note. It became something bigger and more daunting the longer I waited to complete the challange.

The morning I did this project I walked had already walked about a mile. This put me in a good state of mind and gave me momentum. I brought with me a pad and paper so I would be ready when the oppertunity arose. As I was walking and listening to a podcast I kept my eyes out for a good oppertunity to spring on someone and ask them for help with this challange. I made a point to approuch a group of two people. One to be in the photo and the other to snap the photo.

Once I approuched them and explained what I wanted it instantly morphed from a scary challange to one I could have fun with. Although they didn't mention it outloud I could tell the group respected that I was puting myself out there and taking a risk. The even asked what type of business I wanted to start and took an interest in my storyl

Comments

Please sign in or sign up to comment.