Tag Archive | "Room"

Chris Barnes: School Teacher Turned Game Creator Explains How He Launched A Million Dollar Escape Room Board Game Online Subscription Business

 [ Download MP3 | Transcript | iTunes | Soundcloud | Stitcher | Spotify | Raw RSS ] In late 2018 I received an application for a new InboxDone.com client. His name was Chris Barnes and he explained how he had a hugely successful online subscription business. As I listened intently to Chris during his discovery call […]

The post Chris Barnes: School Teacher Turned Game Creator Explains How He Launched A Million Dollar Escape Room Board Game Online Subscription Business appeared first on Yaro.Blog.

Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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Virginia Woolf Google doodle honors iconic author of classics ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ & ‘A Room of One’s Own’

Today’s doodle was created by the London-based artist Louise Pomeroy.

The post Virginia Woolf Google doodle honors iconic author of classics ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ & ‘A Room of One’s Own’ appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Search in Pics: Original Googlers, Google farm room & room taken over by flowers

In this week’s Search In Pictures, here are the latest images culled from the web, showing what people eat at the search engine companies, how they play, who they meet, where they speak, what toys they have and more. Google room taken over by flowers and leaves: Source: Instagram Google…



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Check-in to your hotel room with just a nod: how mobile is changing the travel biz

June is almost over! Have you planned your vacation yet? Did you scout for the best prices online? Check out the hotel with a virtual walk-through site? Download the city’s tourism app for more deals and places to visit? If you’re going to a Disney resort, there are apps that will tell you how long the wait is for any ride so you can make the most of your time!

Digital already changed the way we travel and now mobile is going to change it again.

Look at this exhibit from the BCB Perspectives report “Travel Goes Mobile.”

BCG Mobile Travel

It’s that last part that spooks me. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching Twilight Zone where technology almost always turned on its human operator. I’m not technophobe, on the contrary, I love new tech, but I still get a little lightheaded thinking about where we go from here.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have a long way to go to perfect mobile before we start worrying about virtual reality and checking in to hotels with just a nod of your head.

Factoid: From 2013 to 2017, mobile hotel-bookings worldwide will triple, from $ 20 billion to $ 60 billion, while nonmobile online reservations will rise only 4 percent annually, from $ 142 billion to $ 167 billion, according to Deutsche Bank Securities

People want to handle the details while they’re on the go. Imagine the peace of mind you’d have if you could check into your hotel room while you’re still waiting for your plane to taxi. And it’s not just a boon for impatient travelers. Let’s take the case of the mom who is traveling with several children in tow. She needs a crib for the room and a rollaway bed and a special meal for her highly allergic son. Do you think she wants to stand at the hotel desk while the guy who just came on the shift tries to figure out if her needs have been met? No. She wants to go from plane, to transpo to room with as few steps as possible in between each stage. That’s where mobile comes in. She can order the car and check the hotel details while the kids are watching the in-flight movie.

Of course, none of that can happen if she doesn’t have a smartphone, if the plane doesn’t have Wi-Fi, if the hotel and car services don’t have apps or mobile friendly websites. On average, we’re more than halfway there but there’s still plenty of room for failure.

Where We’re Getting it Right

BCG says;

TripAdvisor’s mobile app has been downloaded 100 million times; Expedia’s app, more than 25 million times in more than 220 countries and territories. Mobile usage accounted for almost two-thirds of searches and almost half of local ad revenues at Yelp in the third quarter of 2013.

But downloading a single-use app isn’t a no-brainer for many people. Every app asks you to create a new profile and if they don’t use social logins that process can be a nightmare. I’ve even been on apps that require me to sign up at the website FIRST, then go to the app and login with my credentials. If I’m only going to visit a hotel once this year, I don’t want to spend 20 mins signing up, confirming by email, logging in, confirming settings . . .etc. You get the point.

People delete apps all the time. If yours isn’t user friendly, it’s gone.

BCG points out that innovations such as ads with app install and direct link ads that take you to a room booking page are helping bridge the gap between the PC and the mobile device. So, it’s all good on that front.

Where Do We Go From Here

Personalization and learning to use the data apps collect is the next step on the travel biz train.

Consider a hotel’s ability to greet a returning high-value guest with a vase of her favorite flowers or a glass of his favorite beverage. Or an airline that lets passengers choose their in-flight entertainment from a selection of top movies and TV shows when they book their flights. Or a rental car company that preloads directions to the driver’s destination on the car’s navigation system.

This is what we need to work out before we start working on retina scans for airplane boarding.

If you are in the travel biz, take a few minutes to read this free report from BCG. It may not offer up much you didn’t already know but it will give you a kick in the pants if you’re still using a website that breaks when viewed on an iPad.

Marketing Pilgrim – Internet News and Opinion

Classroom is a new, free tool coming to Google Apps for Education that helps teachers easily and quickly create and organize assignments, provide feedback, a…

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How a Stay-at-Home Mom Built a Million-Dollar Business (from Her Living Room) through Passionate Online Marketing

Content Marketing Case Studies | copyblogger.com

Kelly Lester’s business is hugely successful (she’s on track to make $ 1.5 million in 2013) and it came straight from the kitchen.

She’s built her brand by working closely with bento bloggers and other diehard fans of her product. And, at the center of her business strategy is a surprising secret — Pinterest.

Kelly needed a solution to one her most pressing problems — she was looking for a quick, easy ways to create healthy, interesting lunches for her three kids. So she developed EasyLunchboxes, a slick, easily washable lunchbox set.

She also managed to introduce her product into a very (ahem) hungry market. She started EasyLunchboxes right smack in the middle of the “bento” craze in America.

“Bento,” common in Japan, is a single-portion packed meal, usually homemade, that is arranged in a single box. The bento craze has now immigrated to America, inspiring hundreds of blog posts, Facebook updates, Pinterest pins and Instagram photos.

For the last few years, bento-style lunches have become hugely popular with American parents who had the same problem Kelly had — they were looking for a fast, convenient, fun way to make school lunches that went beyond a traditional PB&J and potato chips.

We asked Kelly to talk to us how she uses content marketing to grow her business and expand her market. In this unique and inspiring case study, she gives us her best tips and suggestions.

What is the name of your business, and what do you do?

My business is called EasyLunchboxes.

My EasyLunchbox System takes the madness out of lunch packing. EasyLunchboxes compartmentalized containers and cooler bags allow you to pack lunches fast — without wasting time, money, paper, or plastic. My container sets are the #1 best-selling lunchboxes on Amazon.com. 


Who are your customers, and how do you serve them? Was there a pressing problem you were trying to solve with your product?

My customers are people who packs meals. Anyone, of any age, who eats food.

I would like to say that I came up with my business idea because I was fascinated with “bento,” the Japanese style of food packing, so I decided to design an ideal version for American boxed lunches.

But really, I came up with the idea because I was lazy.

I didn’t want to spend time in the kitchen packing lunches. But, a parent has to feed her kids (I have three children). School-provided lunches (ick) were not an option. If I had to pack, I needed to figure out a way to do it fast. I also wanted to pack waste-free.

I had been using multiple containers and lids for each of my daughter’s lunches – and getting stuck with a load of dishes at the end of every school day. So I designed a product that streamlined the process. EasyLunchboxes containers are easy to fill, stackable, and have multiple separate compartments in one piece — so you have only two parts to wash for each lunch :)

What kinds of content do you create to help you market your business?

I write my own blog, I maintain a YouTube channel, and I am active on a number of social media platforms to reach my customers and engage with potential buyers. Most of my success (and my traffic) comes from the things I share on Facebook and Pinterest.

I am in the very unique position of having a product that vividly lends itself to sharing, via images. Many of my customers are moms of school age kids. This is also an incredibly active demographic group on Facebook and Pinterest.

This market loves pictures of food, recipes, tips on how to pack lunches, ideas about how to make life easier, how to run a home more efficiently, ways to have fun with kids, etc.. One (or more) of these topics are covered in practically every image I share of a meal packed in my EasyLunchboxes containers.

I use my blog to post content and answer all of my biggest customer service questions and general FAQs, and I’ve created great pinnable images for those posts, too (so I entice people on Pinterest to click through and find out the answers to the questions).

How do you use social networking in your business (or how does your business benefit from social networking sites)?

This is where I think I’ve done something pretty unique.

With absolutely no money for advertising, I realized I needed to generate word of mouth. So I sent lots of samples to bloggers for reviews and giveaways. Pretty soon, they were contacting me and, as of today, there are not only hundreds of reviews that link back to my site, but on a daily basis, there are dozens of new photographs posted of lunches packed in my EasyLunchboxes.

Many of these pictures are posted on “bento blogs” — blogs that are all about packing lunches, but quite a number of them are posted on Instagram and tagged with #easylunchboxes.

I am personally not active on Instagram. I don’t take daily pictures of the lunches I pack for my kids. But have generated tons of #easylunchboxes photos simply by sharing a post about how to share Instagram photos of your lunches.

I would say that a huge number of my orders are a direct result of people finding my containers on Pinterest. Many of the Pinterest pins lead back to blog posts that have a link to my site or my Amazon store, where people can learn more and buy my products.

The other thing I do is “re-package” images of packed lunches that people post on their blogs. If they post a few pictures of different lunches, I’ll take them and make a graphically interesting collage of their images, add their logo (if not already there) and add an eye-catching title to put it all together. I’ll post everywhere and link this “enhanced” image back to their site, bringing them lots of additional traffic. They love it!

Here are some examples of the image collages I’ve created:

A week of school lunches

Lunches for a preschooler and first grader

When people post images of meals packed in my ELB containers, I personally thank them by leaving a comment on their blog, re-pinning it, tweeting it, sharing it on Facebook or Google+, pretty much everywhere I can.

Yes, it’s a lot to keep up with, but when someone hears from me or sees that that I’ve commented on their post or shared their image, they really appreciate the virtual pat on their back — and they tend to want to post my photos of my products again. I have built enormous brand loyalty and passion for my products just by saying thank you in this way.

What resources or tools did you find most helpful when you were getting started?

Google. I’m completely self-taught.

I think I’ve found everything I’ve ever needed to know by first searching on Google.

The other really helpful resource are the private Facebook groups that I have been invited to join. Groups of like-minded business people who feel free to ask questions, share war stories, and give support and valuable information whenever asked. The folks are virtual, valuable friends.

What was your situation before you started this business? Were you always a business owner, or did you have a more traditional career?

EasyLunchboxes is technically my “other job.” My life’s career is as an actress and singer. “Reinvention” is just part of the job as an actress; every time you work, you create a new role. This skill helped when I took on the role of “stay-at-home mom,” but then I quickly realized that I needed to do something with my artistic side, too.

Back in 1994, I realized that most light-switch covers were either plain white or beige. I started decorating and selling creative light-switch covers, eventually renting booth space at an art show to see if I could become a entrepreneur.

After a year of steady effort, I started selling wholesale, and my switch plates wound up in hundreds of museum stores. I had my own little factory set up close by, but ran the business, (now called Art Plates) from my home, where I was able to keep an eye on the kids.

In 2006, I sold Art Plates and returned briefly to the theatre world. But reinvention called out again, largely because of the economy, and I now find myself running my own business once more.

Motherhood was the inspiration for my current business. And with no advertising budget, just an obsession with online marketing and a bit of creativity, I’ve grown EasyLunchboxes to its current success level.

What were some of the main tipping points or “a-ha!” moments?

I’ve had way too much fun and success serving my customers directly. Having my products for sale via my website and Amazon only was not something I had planned on, it just has leaned that way all along.

I never put any effort into creating relationships with wholesale vendors. Recently, I made the choice to stop wholesaling to stores and distributors altogether (this had not been a large part of my business anyway) so that I could concentrate all of my time and resources on the customer, not the middle-man.

What were your biggest mistakes, or biggest wastes of time or money?

I’m a firm believer that everything works out for a reason. I’ve made a few mistakes, and thankfully, only “wasted” a small amount of money.

But if I went back and changed anything, would I be where I am today? Better leave well-enough alone, as my grandmother used to say.

Why do you think you became an independent business owner or blogger, when most people just stick with the career they have, even if it’s unsatisfying? What’s different about you?

Ultimately, if I’m passionate about an idea or a product, I’m better at being creative for myself than for someone else. (Unless you ask me to star in a musical. Then I’d love to work for you!)

I’m a much better boss than employee. Although I work so hard, sometimes I think my “boss” should lighten up ;)

What does your business look like today?

I have seen my business grow by about 50% each year since launching in late 2009. By the end of 2013, I expect my sales to be about $ 1.5 million.

What’s next for you? What are your next goals? 

Because of my performing background, I’ve put myself front and center as the face of my own brand. I have been featured by different companies as the face of small business success (Amazon, Wells Fargo) and I have been hired by food brands, as the CEO of EasyLunchboxes, to promote their products on TV. I look forward to doing more of that.

My goal is to continue to reach more and more people — offering them the tools and ideas to make healthy grab-and-go meals fast, easy, and fun (with little negative impact on the planet). My strong sales are a direct reflection of the work I do to achieve one of my top goals — to engage and inspire anyone who wants to pack a nutritious meal for school, work, or travel.

Obesity and health issues due to poor diet can be largely eradicated if people have the knowledge and the tools with which to change their eating habits. As a community, together, we are making a bigger difference.

What advice would you give to bloggers and content creators who are trying to build an online audience?

Share other people’s content generously, and share your knowledge and skills generously.

What goes around comes around. People love to give back to (and do business with!) people who are nice, friendly, helpful, and generous.

About the Author: Beth Hayden is a Senior Staff Writer for Copyblogger Media. Get more from Beth on Twitter and Pinterest.

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40 Pythons Found in Canadian Motel Room

Police say they found something in a motel room today. They say it’s a particular something they’ve never quite seen before.

Canadian authorities found and removed 40 pythons from a motel in Brantford, Ontario. Two adults and two children were staying there, according to one report. The snakes were being held in plastics containers in an effort, officials say, to most likely breed them. Each of the snakes ranged from approximately 1 to 4 feet long. Local police called animal control authorities to tend to a situation they characterize as very much out of control.

“The snakes were not being suitably cared for and were in distress,” Canadian officials said. “The anxious officers called the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals who attended and took 40 pythons into their care.”

Pythons originate from Southeast Asia from such areas as Cambodia, Laos and even Vietnam.  More than 500, 000 were imported into the United States from 2004 to 2009. According to a report, it is thought that approximately 397, 655 of these reptiles were imported through Miami alone.

Another circumstance which occurred just recently near a reptile store in New Brunswick, an area of eastern Canada, has authorities reeling, too. According to a report, just last week, a 13-foot African rock python, weighing approximately 100 pounds, killed two young brothers as they slept in an apartment just upstairs from the store; Connor Barthe was age 7, his brother Noah was only 5 years old. The large snake crawled through the building ventilation system and strangled them in their sleep.

“The snake apparently slithered through a small hole in the ceiling that connected to the ventilation shaft,” a report said. “When it crawled over the living room where the boys were sleeping in, the ventilation shaft collapsed.”

Police say no arrests will be made in the most recent incident involving pythons in Brantford. An investigation is underway regarding the deaths of the two young boys.


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