I originally came to SuN looking for ideas on how to market my web design business and to interact with other people doing the business owner thing. But now that I`ve been here for a little while reading the forums, listening to some of the podcasts and getting inspired by Grill Charms, I am motivated to dust off my back-burner project and see if I can`t get some feedback.
I am not looking for money or anything at this point. I just want to know what anyone thinks a) of the biz idea, and b) of the elevator pitch.
Hello, my name is Paula, I am the founder of Rabbit Mountain, LLC, a media and marketing services firm focused on helping locally-owned businesses recapture local market share. Our main product is a quarterly market report that measures interest trends among consumers in a given geographic region, designed to help independent business owners remain agile in an increasingly centralized business environment. Report data is gathered through our consumer media product, the Rabbit Mountain Almanac, a weekly emailed newsletter offering locally-relevant cultural and historical stories and information for readers, and lower-cost advertising opportunities for business. By subscribing to the Almanac, consumers self-identify as those most interested in their area`s "localness," providing the basis for market size estimates; interest trends are identified via open rates of categorized email titles, clickthrough rates of embedded links, and feedback from both readers and advertisers in the form of surveys and direct communications.
"Locavore" is a growing movement on America`s proverbial Main Street, driven by numerous crises involving imported food and consumer products available in "big box" stores and a general dissatisfaction with the results of economic globalization. The "locavore" trend can be seen in the phenomenal success of the nonprofit Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE), novelist Barbara Kingsolver`s nonfiction book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," and the fast growth of the nation`s network of Farmers Markets. Rabbit Mountain is positioned to capitalize on this rapidly-growing movement and become not only the champion of "locavore" for both independently-owned businesses and consumers alike, but also the leading provider of locally-focused digital media in the nation.
Once established in Rabbit Mountain`s home market — State College, Pennsylvania, a college town established around Penn State University`s main campus — this business model can be franchised in practically any market with an economy large enough to support widespread broadband access. Moreover, as the voice of "localvore," the Rabbit Mountain brand can be licensed to other business types seeking to tap into the rapidly growing local-preference market.
That`s it. I did actually publish the Almanac for several months and received great feedback from the community — I got exactly one criticism in all that time, and a justified one at that. It also got featured in my bulk email provider`s gallery. My open rates were consistently double or triple national averages.
The problem I ran into was that I was trying to support the Almanac thru my web design and did not have enough time to promote and sell it properly; also, it ended up bringing in a flash flood of web design requests, and I found myself turning down paying work to pursue this thing that was not covering its own costs. So I shut it down to pay the bills. But the Almanac and the market report are the reason I filed my LLC papers to begin with and they are where my heart is. That and the $130 million a similar operation is now valued at. $130 million.
So... any and all feedback is most welcome.
oh... the archives are here if anyone cares to see. I also have a plan for it though its the first one I ever wrote and it probably needs help.