1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Cheezus Thread - A Startup Journey

Discussion in 'Careers, Employment and Professional Development' started by randomshenans, 18 Jan 2021.

  1. Yaayuh!

    Capodecina

    Joined: 5 Nov 2010

    Posts: 21,847

    No worries, thought i'd have a look-see :)
     
  2. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    The best month I've previously had for iOS downloads was the first month of launch where I made people download it lol that was a mere 34 downloads (you'd think I knew more people right?) today we have passed that and got to 35 for iOS in this month so far. General app downloads are up 18% this month. I'd love to get to 25-50% growth but need to see how that goes with all the social / community building. I'm very happy with the progress from the last 2 weeks so far, it's been a really interesting process.
     
  3. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    It's Friday, and I'm making the most of blocking out my calendar at work :p

    How are stats for Jan?

    Insta: 6% up to 658
    Linkedin Company pages: 217% up to 38
    Twitter: 10% up to 54
    Facebook page: 151% up to 4462
    Web traffic: 308% up to 55

    App downloads, where it matters: 22% up to 382! Only 2118 away from first target and 9618 from big goal :D

    I have the work being done on the wordpress SEO ($17.50) and the app store SEO done for $12.50. Will see what the quality is like... pay peanuts get monkeys etc. but it has to be better than ZERO from me.

    Got an estimate from the guy who did all the first app development, he's from Egypt and currently in the military, so a pain for him to work but I like the guy and he's good, and communicates nicely which is big for me. He said it might take him a bit to knock it all out due to his work, but would be $850 (3xc.$280) for delivery of:

    - Localisation of the app (both translation services for local country and URLs shown just for country you're in if they exist)
    - My Cheeses section work (currently they're not clickable, don't look nice. The tiles should be clickable to take you through to that cheese details page. If you scan a cheese and correct it to the correct name, it should show you the tile for the corrected name cheese. If it's a new cheese not in the system yet, it should, when loading, check against that cheese and when it's there in the backend, show that cheese tile in that section)
    - Homepage - (adding a list driven carousel at the top of the homescreen, so presents opportunities to link this to pairings of the week, cheese of the week, deal of the week etc etc.)
    - Scanning cheeses - (a small change in the UI around the correct this cheese if it’s not right, so it stands out a bit more. Also, the field to correct the name of the cheese, could this be an auto complete field that looks up from the cheese masterlist in the background, so they start typing che… and cheddar shows up and they can just select that. If it’s a cheese not in our list, it should allow you to submit a new name.)
    - Adding amplitude SDK to monitor the user journeys through the app so I can understand how people are using the app etc.
    - Cheese Buying - same as above with the buying options for pairings in the right country, add this option for actual cheeses too.

    I don't think $850 is bad for all of the above at all. Lots of work for it but big steps forward for the app too! This knocks out so many features I was looking to get done, so that's really good.

    Baby steps.
     
  4. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,641

    Location: Higher Walton

    I suppose my main question which i don't think i've seen answered is what's the end goal?

    I often see a lot of apps where i question their ROI, do you expect it to turn a profit at some point. Would advertising/referrals alone ever cover this? Presumably somewhere there's an ever increasing demand for server capacity to handle all the photos/databases?

    Want it to become the Vivino of cheese/Untappd of beer which has a huge following and kind of defines itself?

    Or is it just a fun side project where a couple of grand gives you something to do because you're not happy unless you're developing stuff?
     
  5. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    This.

    Business model has multiple revenue streams I'll be pursuing as mentioned right at the top. Yet, to make any of these worthwhile in the long run, you first always need customers/ app users. My aim to go to producers/ suppliers etc. will come soon, but the sell being "Cheezus can help you reach new users" when you have 300 of them yourself, doesn't line up. Like most companies, the strategy is building a community of people, whether that's on the app or on all your channels, and then you monetize those channels. There would be a break even/ profit crossing point, but again, you'll need X number of users for this to likely happen.

    I did some rough estimations on LTV of customers, and assumptions but it all comes back to growing numbers first before you monetize the channel. I think about it like people running big youtube channels. They build a channel by creating content people find valuable (in our case, it'd be our app but also content on our social channels) and once they get to 100k-10m subs, they start to push merch, get sponsor deals etc. but it happens mainly when they're bigger.

    Make sense?
     
  6. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    To keep myself accountable, it's the end of January and we're into Feb. Here is what Jan gave us:

    Cheezus Jan in Review!

    Number of Cheeses up 15% to 282
    Instagram Follows up 8% to 667
    Twitter follows up 163% to 129
    Facebook Follows up 246% to 6143
    LinkedIn Page follows up 433% to 64
    Website views up 450% to 66
    Cheesy Leads (people contacting me about partnering) up from 0 to 2 Leads!
    App Downloads up 26% with 81 new downloads of the app last month. The best month EVER!


    Actually 3 leads are very interesting. One cheese maker, one marketing person in Ohio who is also an award winning cheese maker with ideas (call planned this week), another beer sommelier (I know, right?) who is in the cheese industry, so we're chatting about collabs on cheese/ beer pairings.

    My wife and I are doing a PoC on some packaged offerings, to see how we could put together such things as pairing boxes etc. and what it would look like. A few things going on in this space.

    Dev work is on going for new pieces of the offerings too... which will make all the above come together.

    Adding a shop to the website (simple WP site with WooCommerce) so I can look to add FB/Insta sales into the mix eventually.

    Cheezus Update - ✅

    Happy with that progress. Spent 3hrs last night scheduling my cheesy posts for the week and we're ready for February.
     
  7. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    Been working on the business models as I continue to knock out some other things. Numbers still increasing and had a decent first week of Feb, but need bigger download numbers still, so working on those plans as well.

    I came up with a model that helps with growth of Cheezus users, while adding value to both Cheese shops/ producers and all companies we could work for, as well as not costing them or us a heap of funds (I understand the plight of cheese companies and shops in general being hammered by COVID this last 12 months).

    You can find the very rough PDF here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mX_EKWOR__TBOz2zAzuBvLS0jGXT_8pz/view?usp=sharing

    I'm working with a few people in the cheese industry at the moment to get feedback on this and then the important factor is getting the development work done to match the plans. I know my dev dude is busy but he seems to have gone AFK with no comms which is ideal for me lol fffffs as soon as I get the tech up to where I need it, I can start implementing this plan for growth. That's my next thing to solve anyway...

    I'm also in the process of putting together some documentation, not just like above for partners, but a pitch deck etc. for potential investors as a lot has changed since I did one last.
     
  8. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    [​IMG]
    I added a FB messenger widget on the site and got this through last night. Which is nice.

    [​IMG]
    This is from the founder of gather a graze. She's done some great marketing and appeared in TimeOut and MarieClaire and some others, so trying to build a relationship to help me get exposure is great! I loved her opening response. Nice when people "get" it.


    This is from the cheese shop we visited at the weekend. Very famous around here, they even supply restaurants in Thailand and places miles away.

    All this is literally the last 24hrs. I wish my day job wasn't so busy, I'm trying to find nice simple CRM tools (I think I'm going to use Streak for gmail for now) so I can capture all of this, while I try and speed up needed dev work.
     
    Last edited: 11 Feb 2021
  9. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,641

    Location: Higher Walton

    That's some great progress!

    Come here first when you want your first set of crowdfunding :p
     
  10. RobHu

    Hitman

    Joined: 29 Jan 2008

    Posts: 703

    Great progress, might want to remove the personal contact info from the second email though?
     
  11. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    Haha hopefully we can get pretty far with this... just hoping I can get the tech side where it needs to be for the business side. It's always a balance!

    Ha thanks! You could give him a call :p Did remove it mind
     
  12. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    I met with a person holding the virtual cheese awards for the UK this morning. She was very good and obviously wants my money to sponsor the event, but knows where we're at and was very aware I won't be able to drop a ton of cash on being a sponsor, but at the same time wants to find a solution suitable for our small budget, that can help us gain some engagement in the community and get some more users! Hopefully see where this goes, we're catching up again on Friday to discuss.
    She was really very good, I liked her so hopefully a good relationship to work with her going forwards.

    I am meeting with the guy from LinkedIn tomorrow night, he's from the funding/ incubator/ investment company so will see what happens there. We're way off being attractive, but it's good at this stage to make those connections. Will update when I've had that meeting.

    Update on the numbers and how I've been doing.

    Facebook is static at 6139 followers. The model and strategy on this is different, due to the way FB has made things monetised. You have to advertise your company to draw people in and get likes, then you have to be consistent with content and try and increase the engagement of those people, as, by default they won't see your content. This is starting to happen nicely now. Each post gets multiple likes, but say 1% of the followers are liking content. If you want higher you need to promote really, but it's going OK there.
    I will do another promotion next month to hit 10k followers next month, which at this point should be about $70. I can take that.

    Instagram has been great, we're up to the 751 target I set for Q1, so stretching that goal to 850 for Q1. Engagement has been good. I'm very happy with this, and have been having some super useful convos on there and had a few people reach out to help.

    Linkedin has been great, too. You get 250 possible invitations per month to invite your connections to your company page, so I have used these and we're up to 176 of the 250 target. I am hopeful we can hit this by the end of next month. It's been useful to build some connections with producers so far.

    Twitter I've been spending some more time on this week. It's a hard slog on there and completely different type of content and interactions to both FB and Insta, and it takes a hell of a lot of time, but it's getting there. Up to 183 now, from 49 at the start of the year.

    We've just passed 350 cheeses in the app, the work is starting on the development, but slower than I'd like.

    Finally, we've hit 442 users, so only 58 to hit our goal by the end of next month. Hoping that should be within reach.

    My main thing at the moment is trying to find people to support my activities so I can best use my time. I spend about 3 hours on a sunday creating and scheduling posts. I spend about 2 hours a day on general cheese curation and adding, as well as replying to people, so this is something I could potentially get someone ot support me with, but I would need to find a potential CMO, with ideally startup experience, willing to work part time for equity, with a background in cheese / that space, so they know what works, what doesn't. I also would like to find a CFO, as I know I need to have key things managed, and captured to be in a position to scale. As above, finding that specific individual isn't so easy :p

    I am finding myself doing a lot of things, but I need to make sure that I am doing things effectively and right for scale and growth, so I am going to sit down and run a bit of a strategy session to get everything out my head and down into something I can use as a plan to build the right foundations.
     
  13. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,641

    Location: Higher Walton

    I'm a shoddy accountant, CFO of Cheesuz would look great on business cards

    (I have no experience in a CFO role nor startups....)
     
  14. something daft already!!

    Soldato

    Joined: 11 Jan 2007

    Posts: 6,487

    Location: South East

    Who is it supposed to cater for? Rich people wont like the nomenclature and neither will Christians.
     
  15. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    I have not had any negative feedback on this from both of those demographics to be honest. Yet. In fact not once, but thought I would at some point tbf. My customer segment is cheese lovers on the B2C side, and on the B2B side, it's cheese shops, producers, and artisans creating or supplying supplementary products in that space.

    You learn fast, right? :p
     
  16. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,641

    Location: Higher Walton

    Also as CEO would your title be "The Big Cheese"?
     
  17. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    lol this is my email sig...

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Rids

    Soldato

    Joined: 30 Sep 2008

    Posts: 6,703

    If you ever need a spreadsheet monkey to throw together a model or two or to help you with some financials give me a shout, happy to help out if I can (note: this is not a standing offer to everybody!) - Mrs has downloaded the app, as she eats far too much than is healthy.
     
  19. randomshenans

    Capodecina

    Joined: 11 Sep 2009

    Posts: 12,847

    Location: France, Alsace

    Ah you guys! You're too kind!

    One thing I setup was a revolut business account, but thinking I should get some finance software too? What's good and free for the basic offering?
     
  20. Martynt74

    Capodecina

    Joined: 20 Feb 2004

    Posts: 17,641

    Location: Higher Walton

    When i last looked, this was about the only one which was actually free

    https://www.waveapps.com/

    I didn't actually use it though. Don't mind helping set it up though if you needed a hand. Finance Systems is more my area as opposed to preparing accounts.