Twelve years ago, Jamie Ratner and her husband Brian were raising two young children. Between the two of them they were working 9 to 5 jobs although they earned a decent amount of money to support their family. Jamie Ratner admitted his desire to open his own business.
He brainstormed multiple ideas each day, but nothing really interesting happened until one afternoon during the four-hour trip. The couple had their son enrolled in music lessons that didn’t come cheap. woman says so they have always been looking for activities for their children but within a fixed budget.
In the car that afternoon she proposed to her husband: “What if there was a web page with deals, especially focusing on the demands and needs of parents?” Husband said he liked the idea, rather than looking as usual.
a change in their life
That moment changed the couple’s lives. They invested $5,000 to create CertifiKID page. At that time, in 2010, Closed more than 130 deals with local businesses during the first eight months of its existence and There are a total of 13,000 subscribers.
until October 2011, reached $1 million in gross sales. Currently the figure is 5 million per year, and they believe they can produce 6 million by the end of 2022.
So, Jamie and Brian Ratner share business lessons learned In their over ten-year-long path, to achieve the success they now have:
A short name, easy to remember and write
The couple makes sure of the surrounding factors when naming the company. people’s reaction to the nameas well as sect it would still make sense if business improved and changed.
Brian Ratner quickly came up with the name “CertifiKID”. Again, the couple says it’s one of their biggest regrets. They say there’s someone who mispronounces it every day and they often call the company “Certified Kid”.
In mail and documents, people also often misspell the brand, including checksThis caused the enterprising couple to spend time fixing the error.
Low recruitment fees
Instead of making a budget, they invested as much as they could afford, $5,000. They hired a small workforce, mixing full-time workers with freelancers.
They say it’s important to them know every aspect of your businessfrom social media to customer service before making potentially expensive decisions.
An example is when the couple starts their business, they employ people as freelancers, i.e. with a three-month probationary period. Y when they are clear about someone’s validity for the positionThen they were offered a full-time job.
Local community first
The couple says the company has grown organically through word of mouth, social networks and sometimes bartering. During the first two years, focused exclusively on Washington DC headquarters and the Baltimore area. They also asked family and friends to ‘advertise’ the business. Jamie Ratner even contacted every PTA, business and media.
After proving their concept well, they slowly began to spread to other cities.: Chicago, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Anne assures that by taking the time to perfect the work, they are able to create something with hope for the future.
excellent customer service
The couple claims key to its success was unmatched customer and member service. For example, Jamie Ratner was answering job calls at 11 pm on Saturday, which further surprised the client who was in conversation directly with the company’s CEO.
They made refunds like hot cakes, but they made up for losses with transaction fees. This approach encouraged subscriber loyalty.making multiple purchases and disseminating information about the business.
Thus, the couple confirms that if time and money are sacrificed up frontthen long-term customer loyalty will be ensured.
Know your worth when making deals
Initially, turned down ten acquisition and cooperation opportunities. The duo says they’ve made a great team and that’s why they want to run things their way for as long as possible.
Also, knowing the value of the business helped them when they appeared on the business reality show “Shark Tank” in 2019. Although he spoke of a complex negotiation, in the end couple struck a deal with millionaire investor Kevin O’LearyIt consisted of an investment of $600,000 for a 19% stake.
Since that moment, O’Leary’s team helped grow the business in the national panorama and to weather the pandemic.
No need to chase the popular
In the first two years, there was a temptation to sell one deal a day with similar companies to keep expectations high, thereby attracting people every day. The couple tried to do the same, however, it turned out that parents generally do not have the ability to make quick decisions.. Therefore, when they heard about the deal and were interested, it was no longer on the website and a new one appeared.
However, the couple claims to have learned a valuable lesson. The success of your idea comes from creating relationships and connections., rather than copying major competitors. Their philosophy was based on not losing a deal over a price with someone they wanted to be around.
Thus, the duo gained a reputation for being able to achieve anything over time. with any business in which they are interested in a collaboration or promotion. According to Jamie Ratner, this flexibility has become one of the strongest aspects of his job.
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