Recently we got our 10,000th restaurant to start a free trial at Schedulefly. It took us the better part of 6 years to get 10,000 to try it. The cool thing is just over 3,000 have liked it enough to pay for it. Basically 30% of the 10,000 have signed up – I like that conversion rate a lot – especially when I think about how we are really just getting started and the more great restaurants that use and love it – the more will use it in the future. Great business owners run in tight circles – they share information and help each other. I can see 50,000+ trying us over the next 3 or 4 years. 30% of 50,000 sounds like a pretty fantastic business for 5 or 6 people to run…
While 6 years is a long time, I am really glad that it has taken this long to get 10,000 restaurants to try us – because I believe that if we had manufactured that kind of curiosity (by spending big bucks on marketing or doing something crazy to create awareness like going on shark tank) we would have converted only a small percent of them. We might have gotten 10,000 to try us much quicker – but I’d bet no where near 30% would have decided to become a customer. The reason is – they would have tried us out of curiosity – not because they heard from a trusted friend in the business or because they truly needed to fin a solution to a problem they are having. No way 30% would would have signed up. Maybe 1% or so….and then what? Hope our 1st impression was great and that they come back later and try us again when they really have a pain that we solve? Maybe they would, but then what’s the point of wasting that 1st impression when they were not really ready?
I really believe that if we keep positioning ourselves to be found when the timing is right for the restaurant (vs for us) and making sure our current customers absolutely love us – then over time we will have created a very awesome brand and business.
Here’s to the 10,000 forward thinking restaurants who’ve tried us so far – thanks for checking us out!!