An important goal for me in 2014 is to expand my consulting practice to include the development of a product and/or create content that can be used to provide an additional source of revenue from my business.
I’ve been kicking around for a long while now the idea of putting together a set of technical products that enhance the ability of ski and snowboard instructors to generate more business from their clients. Increasing their income through a higher return rates, more private request lessons and bigger tips. As well as increasing job satisfaction by generate enough business where they have a choice of clients. At a high level the concept is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for ski instructors. With the system being fed by a mobile app used by the instructor throughout their day. I decided a few weeks ago to pursue this idea which has been given a name SnoCoach.
This post outlines the tools and process I’m using to present my product concept to potential customers, capture their feedback to product definition as well as generate interest and enthusiasm as I approach product launch.
Why am I telling you this now? I’m not gong to be launching the product for 6 months nor even start building it until I build up some support. Isn’t new product development suppose to be secret? Conventual wisdom is you shouldn’t tell anyone
what your doing unless its under strict Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA). I’ve purposely decided to have a completely open process so others can learn from what I do, but more importantly to generate interest from potential customers and a sense of buy-in and participation because they have helped formed the product with their feedback and support. Keeping it secret maybe good for existing companies with current revenue’s to protect and top secret is good for the big boys that gets fight lots of copy cat products. But for a startup the following post make a good case to talk about your startup idea with everyone http://www.softwarebyrob.com/2012/07/31/tell-everyone-your-startup-idea/ !
The first task I took on was to select a domain name. I used my domain name supplier http://hover.com and found that snocoach.com was available. I use Hover to manage all my domain name registrations and also they are my email provider. I have a professional email account email@example.com on day one, not something from gmail. I love using Hover with an easy to use interface, they provide excellent service, including concierge where they can handle on the technical stuff for you and they don’t play any games in making it impossible to cancel and change services.