Categorized | Shoestring Startup

MySocialNightlife.com provides a 360 solution to problems facing the nightlife industry with its leading web-based technology platform

Name of your company and URL?

MySocialNightlife LLC/MySocialNightlife.com

Date started?

Project started back in 2008.

What is your product or service?

 MySocialNightlife.com provides a 360 solution to problems facing the nightlife industry with its leading web-based technology platform MySocialNightlife.com is a web-based technology platform providing a 360-degree solution for the nightclub and bar industry. By combining forward facing social networking features with professional venue and team management tool and going mobile with location based technology, MySNL is determined to positively impact how business is conducted, increase foot traffic, improve customer service and “Elevetate the Social Nightlife Experience”.

Why did you start your company?

To positively impact how business is conducted, increase foot traffic, improve customer service and elevate the social nightlife experience. We wanted to create a platform for a unique crowd and industry. Industry that is very fragmented and consumers who are looking for the best experience. By offering a 360 solution we plan to tackle problems facing the nightlife industry which stems from lack of operational experience in most venues and lack of resources to apply technology in anything but sound, lighting and the bar. The key tool that provides professional features is called “Backstage”, our venue and team management tool that allows venues to automate mundane tasks like guest lists and table reservations while offering event, guest and team reports to empower venue managers/owners to make better informed decisions and grow their presence in a very competitive market. In addition, our location based feature, coupled with “Backstage”, gives venue managers/owners the tools to better anticipate their guest’s behavior and identify them while having the ability to incentivize return clients and increase customer service standards with the automated tools built in.

How was it financed ?

By founders and angel investors.

Date officially launched?

Public beta of the social networking aspect of MySNL was pushed live in May of 2011 for testing and feedback. We are working with a number of venues to improve UI and usability. The iPhone app, “Backstage” and other features will be going live in Summer of 2011.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/MySocialNightlifecom/161512920550724

Twitter - http://twitter.com/mysnlfeed

Youtube watch video URL?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMTZ_HTDsYM&feature=player_profilepage#t=0s

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

10-15 people currently involved with the project.

What is the best advice you never got?

That development a site of this caliber will take longer than planned so focus on core features and what will solve problems or make a task easier for users instead of focusing on design because in 6 months the design will look old. Most important question to ask is “Who is your target demographic and what purpose does your site/product serve?” And within the site, each feature should be approached the same way. How does each feature support the overall purpose? If it doesn’t, then kill the idea no matter how good it is. Being cool is not good enough.

What almost killed your business in the start?

Choosing the wrong development team. A development team that doesn’t see your vision and does not think outside of the box will slow you down and even kill the project. Also, if you have a good idea, opportunities will come your way in the ways of meeting potential investors and people who want to get involved. You must be ready at all times with your elevator pitch, a little booklet or a video. Don’t let opportunities slip by as it can cause the project to die either by running out of funds or being beaten to the market by a similar product. Don’t ever assume you’re the only one in the world with that idea.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Staying true to the concept and goal and not giving up when we were faced with huge hurdles and obstacles. From inception to date, this has been a 3 year project. So much has changed in 3 years. When we first started MySpace was king and mobile apps were only being discussed within the walls of the Apple campus. Now Facebook and Twitter are King, MySpace is not even talked about and mobile apps are very hot and just recently, time spent on mobile apps passed time spent surfing the web on a desktop. Not only we had to adjust to user trends, we had to adapt to new technology as we new early on that we had to go mobile to be able to compete. This meant our original budget and plans went down the drain. You have to be very nimble and have the ability to change course right away, otherwise you will fall behind. Technology moves very fast and a startup needs to be able to see a few feet ahead of what is happening now so they can plan accordingly.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

Getting a better understating of development and putting a lot of things on hold as days and nights had to be dedicated to the project. The cliché phrase “It’s like my baby” starts making sense when you have to dedicate so much time and effort towards one goal. It truly comes down to passion. Do you have the passion for your project? Would you dedicate years to it even if it meant you were not making any money from it? That is what we did. Passion and a good idea will always have a good chance to succeed.

Are you currently in the black or red?

Since the site and app are not fully live yet I would say red, but we have put a lot of effort to be lean and be smart about our approach so we are a debt free.

What type of marketing or advertising do you do?

Our plan is to start utilizing Facebook and other online similar platforms for our online marketing. In addition, we have a marketing plan that involves venues in Hollywood and Vegas.

Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years?

We would want to run the company ourselves and grow into taking on other businesses but a very attractive offer might be hard to resist.

What do you think your projected annual revenue will be

This is hard since the only projections are on the business plan which we all know are based on assumptions.

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