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EXECUTION Chicago Tours, come along (the process)

BellaPippin

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Look at me creating an execution post.....I'd really like it if this one worked. But I want to share it because I want all your suggestions/feedback so that it does work. And if it doesn't well, you know what NOT to do.

Remember the exchange students? Okay, here's the take #1000th on what to sell them. Yesterday in an impulse I half-baked an idea and I'm pulling that Noah Kagan thing of ("OH LEt'S just SHaRe IT aroUNd tO A cOUPLE frIends" --> ??? --->profit)

I've arranged a weekend getaway to Chicago where I hand you everything you need to have and know for a cool getaway without the trouble of booking/researching places/following tour guide people etc. Only for this niche.

I posted the following (with some nice images) to my 3k followers FB page, boosted the ad for a week, and made an Insta with the same post and hashtagged the shit out of it (amazing marketing strategy, I know):

~ FALL GETAWAY TO CHICAGO ~ $800
**EVERY WEEKEND IN NOVEMBER, FRIDAY TO SUNDAY** Groups of 2 and 4 (AU PAIRS ONLY)
Put together by me, ex AuPair living here for 6+ years.

Includes:
-Flight
-Downtown Accommodation
-Public Transportation Weekend Pass + Guide
-City/Lake Cruise Tour
-Admission to 1 museum of choice
-One ride on Chicago’s Ferris Wheel
-All planned so you make the most of the stay

For the price of the first two only ‍
DM me for details spots are going fast!
I've asked my friends to like the post. (Not share because none of their circles is target)


My math is as follows:

Round-Trip flight to Chicago from a few cities: $300ish tops
Hotel (more on this below): $200ish a night (goal)
CTA Weekend Pass: $20
Boat Tour: $40
Admission to 1 Museum of Choice: $25 (cheaper online)
One ride on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel: $18 ($16 buying online)

Total: Let's say $650 in costs ...

I put it for $800. I looked for vacay packages from different states and I only found flight and hotel starting at $750.


If I get enough orders I'll go to this cute downtown hostel I picked and try to cut a deal/make a partnership. Also set up a Shopify for secure payments, and make a dummy-proof small printed guide for better experience as time approaches to give with the admission tickets.

If I don't get anything or can't make the numbers work I can say it's sold out.

Now we wait....





Throw me everything you've got, I need this.
 

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biophase

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It’s too cheap!

You can’t make $150 on $800. Credit card fees will cost you $32 alone!

Are you accompanying them on these tours? It’s not clear.
 
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BellaPippin

BellaPippin

Enough snacking on mediocrity.
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Chicago, IL
It’s too cheap!

You can’t make $150 on $800. Credit card fees will cost you $32 alone!

Are you accompanying them on these tours? It’s not clear.
Whoops. How much would you say? Isn't getting close to $1000 too much for a weekend getaway? These are 18-30 peeps that make $800 a month. (No room or board but yeah..)

Also that is the price per person. Say if I get 4 people that's x4 I just realized how dumb that sounded, I suck a math

No, I wouldn't be accompanying anyone. Hence a little printed guide with directions and an itinerary they can ignore/change if they want. I'd book the stuff, buy the attraction tickets and send everything before their trip.
 

Azure

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These are 18-30 peeps that make $800 a month.
Why are you targeting these people specifically?

People that make 800 dollars a month don't spend 1000+ on a single ticket item. It's hard to make money off such low income earners unless you're a payday loan shop or crack dealer.

Also, those generic big city metro tours are very, very high in competition and almost commoditized.

Here's one of your local competitions:


For less than what you're offering, you get a luxury coach ticket from Toronto - Chicago, 3 nights in a nice hotel, a fully guided tour, a few meals etc.

There's a million companies flooding Chicago/other cities with Canadian tourists for decades. They have longstanding ties with local hotels, discounted group rates from local attractions etc.

It would be next to impossible to compete with them on a price point or standard of quality level due to that entrenchment. That means there is actually a negative value to these students relative to what is already out there.

If you're actually intent on marketing something to these kids, I'd look for opportunities to get businesses to pay for some sort of relationship to these groups....like maybe a little directory or publication that profiles the type of places only locals go to....and get the businesses who are willing to be listed to pay for the listing.
 

Azure

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Or, better yet you could somehow target the 50,000 international students in Illinois who come from China and India - who come from high income families with disposable income and typically place a high priority on the academic success of their children.

Off the top of my head, a bespoke tutor referral service that pairs students to specific tutors with a matching skillset/compatibility via video chat prior to a student even arriving in the US. Market to Chinese parents with children who are in the application process, charge them a fee, and charge a fee.

" One student at a Midwestern university told CNN that her parents had paid three consultants $ 4,500 to fill out the application, write her personal essay and even compose teacher recommendation letters. In 2014, the college consulting and test preparation market in China reached close to $550 million, with parents paying upwards of $30,000 to try to get their kids into top-tier American universities."

Partner with one of those consultants for an end to end comprehensive package.

A lot of these kids are awkward as F*ck - think of some sort of cultural immersion program you could offer.

One of the biggest reasons the flood to the US is also to develop strong personal relationships for their future career.

Pick a single industry with large # of international students studying those courses.

Host meet and greets with decision makers and influencers in those industries, work out some sort of mutually beneficial project that brings the two together, etc.

You're targeting the wrong segment of international students imo. There's a wealth of opportunities just focusing on China and Indian students.
 
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BellaPippin

BellaPippin

Enough snacking on mediocrity.
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Why are you targeting these people specifically?

People that make 800 dollars a month don't spend 1000+ on a single ticket item.
Oh they do. I know because I was one for two years. They live with host families and have 0 expenses. All money is play money, and they go out every weekend and like finding travel buddies and take trips during their year stay in the US.

Here's one of your local competitions:
Local? This is for Canadians, what am I missing? Au Pairs are all in the States.

For less than what you're offering, you get a luxury coach ticket from Toronto - Chicago, 3 nights in a nice hotel, a fully guided tour, a few meals etc.
Well it depends on what you are looking for, their website is so broken I can't see all the details but it seems for $600 USD :

I have to be on a bus for 9 hours, therefore losing my first day
Cool I have 3 meals, probably breakfast.
I follow somebody's schedule and have to walk along a group on the street.

This is for older people.

Au Pairs (millenials) travel on their own. My only competition is a company that offers guided tour packages on the west coast, and even then that is still different because you have to follow a group too and the excursions are set. As of today they just put their stuff together, ask for travel buddies on Facebook groups and off they go.

For my price, only $200 more, you FLY to Chicago, you will also sleep in a nice place, get your transportation around the city covered all weekend, visit a museum, see the city from the ferris wheel and from a boat on the lake. You manage it the way you want. An Au Pair will go straight to Starbucks for breakfast and later on pay for a trendy place to dine and cover for bars to go out. Did I mention I also plan to make a guide they can follow however they want?

I strongly believe in what I know about my audience, I think it has a chance. Thanks for your input. :)
 

Azure

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Okay, fair enough.

By Au Pair you mean like the young foreign nanny things?

The State Department estimates there's about 17,000 of them in the entire US.

How many do you think you could get to purchase your package?
 

Kruiser

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Throw me everything you've got, I need this.
Maybe don't try to develop a completely new product in a completely new industry every other day or so. Just saying.

But if the boat tour is the architectural boat tour, that's a pretty sweet tour.
 

broswoodwork

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I posted the following (with some nice images) to my 3k followers FB page, boosted the ad for a week, and made an Insta with the same post and hashtagged the shit out of it (amazing marketing strategy, I know):
Any nibbles yet?
 

Creep

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Not sure why you limit to just au pairs. You can do ads specificly for them, and do the exact same tour for other people with another ad.

You can cut costs a lot by just contacting everyone involved to get deals or commission. They wont give you slack? Try another place. If you have enough people from one city you can run a charter. I know nothing of renting airplanes, but people do it, so may be worth considering.

Trips like this is pretty commodified look what similar tours cost, make yours better, and pricing slightly higher.
I would pay more for a better tour, but not twice as much.
 

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Stargazer

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My math is as follows:

Round-Trip flight to Chicago from a few cities: $300ish tops
Hotel : $200ish a night (goal)
CTA Weekend Pass: $20
Boat Tour: $40
Admission to 1 Museum of Choice: $25 (cheaper online)
One ride on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel: $18 ($16 buying online)

Total: Let's say $650 in costs ...

I put it for $800.
Everything else aside and assuming it is a good idea and your price estimates above are correct, then you have added it up wrong.

Your $650ish figure includes 1 night at $200 yet your package is Fri - Sun so will be two nights.

Add the extra $200 in and you are at a higher amount than the $800 you are offering.

Dan
 
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BellaPippin

BellaPippin

Enough snacking on mediocrity.
Read Millionaire Fastlane
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Jul 16, 2015
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Chicago, IL
By Au Pair you mean like the young foreign nanny things?
Bruh. Not things, lol. Yes.

The State Department estimates there's about 17,000 of them in the entire US.

How many do you think you could get to purchase your package?
Idk, but 8-10 au pairs a month cover all my living expenses. I don’t want an empire I want freedom. Also that’s a static number but every month new ones arrive, they stay 1-2 years, new ones are always arriving


How do you plan to market this?
So far I’m trying to reach them through FB and Insta and running ads, evaluating Snapchat idk how much they use it. The ads will probably also show to the host families so I have a chance at indirect “referrals”

Maybe don't try to develop a completely new product in a completely new industry every other day or so. Just saying.

But if the boat tour is the architectural boat tour, that's a pretty sweet tour.
Haha SHADE I had a creative week and asked several things on the forum, yes. I have nobody to talk to about entrepreneurship but you guys, let alone someone with experience. That said I’m still exploring a few, I didn’t drop them.

And yes, it’s the architectural tour!

[
Any nibbles yet?
I got 3 people asking for details from a Facebook Group and one coming from the FB ad.

Not sure why you limit to just au pairs. You can do ads specificly for them, and do the exact same tour for other people with another ad.

You can cut costs a lot by just contacting everyone involved to get deals or commission. They wont give you slack? Try another place. If you have enough people from one city you can run a charter. I know nothing of renting airplanes, but people do it, so may be worth considering.

Trips like this is pretty commodified look what similar tours cost, make yours better, and pricing slightly higher.
I would pay more for a better tour, but not twice as much.
Well this is a very specific niche in a very competitive industry which is also one of the few niches I happen to know really well, I’d be the big fish in the little pond. Travel industry is big, I don’t want that big of an operation. That said I’ll keep it in mind

Everything else aside and assuming it is a good idea and your price estimates above are correct, then you have added it up wrong.

Your $650ish figure includes 1 night at $200 yet your package is Fri - Sun so will be two nights.

Add the extra $200 in and you are at a higher amount than the $800 you are offering.

Dan
Sorry I expressed myself wrong—sort of. The hotel room price is divided by 2 or by 4 guests so 2 nights say $400 but it’s divided by the 2 au pairs staying in that room. Correct me again if I’m wrong I’m really bad at numbers.
 
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broswoodwork

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I got 3 people asking for details from a Facebook Group and one coming from the FB ad.
That's progress, right? Crafting an offer that even gets busy people to ask for more information is better than crickets. :)
 

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