Customer Success Story: Craig Archibald
Craig Archibald has a background in financial services, working many years as a business development manager, but realized this was not what he wanted to do for the rest of his life. Craig then became an app reseller in September 2014 and has sold apps in various industries, ranging from schools, sports clubs, professional associations, real estate and a large number of mortgage brokers. At the moment, he has sold 65 mobile apps, with only 2 client terminations to date!
Q: What value do your apps provide?
A: “The apps I build for schools focus on engagement and communication with parents. For example, for absentee notifications, some schools would call up to 60 parents a day because their child did not show up. This is a massive drain on resources! The app includes an email form with all the data the parents and the school needs. Now it takes parents about 20 seconds to complete the form, which then gets sent to the right person with the correct information. It’s that simple. Parents can also update their contact information and keep up with school happenings through the event calendar on the app. As a result, parents do not need to go back to the school website to do any of this. The app provides a convenience factor and allows parents to do things on their own time. The communication between school and parents becomes easier and more efficient.”
Q: What is it like being an app reseller?
A: “This was a fulltime job for me. I cannot see how people do this part-time and do it well. You really have to jump in with both feet. I thought it would be easier than it is in reality, that everyone would want an app. This is not the case! Small businesses don’t always see the need for an app right away. However, if they figure out they will lose business to their competitors who do have an app, they are more likely to get on board. Most of my clients want to be ahead of their competitors, they want to be ahead of the game.”
Q: Looking back, what lessons have you learned as an app reseller? What advice would you give to new resellers?
A: “You have to just do it. The easiest way to start your app company is to pick certain markets and make some demos. Start somewhere. Pick a market, build apps for this market and become more credible in this field. The more credible you are, the easier it is to talk to potential clients and sell. Don’t get hung up on the technical side in the beginning. The most important thing is to get in front of the customer, ask what issues they have and provide them with a solution. This client interaction is also the most enjoyable part of the job for me.”
Q: What are your tactics for building up a sales pipeline and making sales?
A: “I have set up numerous email marketing campaigns, through MixMax and MailChimp, which turned into meetings and sales. Referral campaigns have benefitted me a lot too. For instance, I get inquiries from schools wanting a similar app they have seen at a nearby school. The school market is very competitive in New Zealand, so referrals can really help grow your business. Paid Facebook and LinkedIn advertising has also proven to be useful. Finally, I belong to a networking group, which is always handy. I even built an app for this group. People at these events actually got to use the app. If they see the benefit they get out of it, it is easier for them to make referrals. People say they understand the use of an app, but they don’t really understand the benefits of it until they use one themselves.”
Q: Any final words?
A: “Sometimes I think it is longevity that will get you business. My company has now been around long enough that people will come across our website, which definitely leads to more inquiries. It is good to keep in mind that the first 12-18 months can be a hard slog.”