We continue our rotating Startupbootcamp blog series - our ten teams take turns sharing their thoughts and experiences on their Startupbootcamp adventure.
This entry is by Vilnis Sluka from Rentmama.com
Simple is beautiful
Last august, a friend and I had a spontaneous idea which we liked so much that we began to implement it right away. What did we do? We created an Internet platform, where car renters can post their requests and car rental companies can respond. They do so by sending their bids through this platform - it's like a reverse auction really. Two weeks into the project we already had the first elementary prototype running, and after the first month of operations we realized that it really works. We soon found that we had created a simple way for renters to receive offers from a multitude of small and medium sized car rental companies. This is something that is not possible when using Google as your starting point. In return, the car rental companies get new customers from the Internet. Simple is beautiful. We had no amazing design and just basic features to support the process, nothing else. That way we could get to proof of concept without investing lot of money.
The idea was to prove viability in the Latvian market in year one, which we did. Now we have set our target on a bigger prize: Exploring the global car rental marke. We came to the conclusion that this market niche is absolutely free, and certainly we can add new value. We decided to go wide. Our plan is to attack the US market! Ambitious, but we have several good reasons. Firstly, it is the largest car rental market in the world. Secondly, if we succeed growth will be much faster and easier because it is one country with a common language. Of course the risks are also bigger. So we needed somebody who has plenty of experience with global markets and who knows where and how to get money for development. We found Startubootcamp. All in one.
It's all about marketing, selling our public relations?
Wise books tell us that marketing is not so much about selling as it is about how to build products that will have a broad application. Also a brand is not built through ads, but from confidence in a product. But even if you have a superior product, it does not mean success. Success stories will develop if the right message is passed to the appropriate audiences and these audiences like the product. As we realize, marketing and public relations is our major challenge. Competition is very tough on the US market. We have a different value proposition, but how do we transform this value proposition into a good selling point directed towards customers?
Never be to late to start to sell!
This lesson we learned from our awesome mentor Chris Plantener. Even if you do not have the final product ready, start selling it! Therefore we have started a viral video campaign even before we have a real product for the US market. You are invited to take a look and make your suggestions and impact this campaign. You know what you need to do, if you like this video! :)
Vilnis Sluka, Co-owner
Check it out!