Remember when you started your company website? The first thing you had to do was get a “domain name.” You probably tried to get “YourCompanyName.com”, and it was a real bummer if you could not do that. Some propane companies had to add a suffix like “co” or “llc” to their name or use some variant of their company name or use a “.net” or “.co” rather than “.com” and hope that it worked out ok. Or maybe you remember setting up your personal email address where you quickly found out that many email addresses that you would like to have were already taken. People who went and got an email address early on got great, memorable, and simple ones. Even more interesting is how many people and companies purchased thousands of the best website addresses for nothing knowing that they could sell them a couple years later for an amazing return on their money. A great example is the website name “carinsurance.com” that sold for $49,000,000 and was originally purchased for under $50.
So you transitioned from Yellow pages to a website then web ordering… what’s next? How can you prepare for it and what will happen if you do not act early? The answer is probably within reach of your hand right now, as it resides on your smartphone. (Hint…) You’ve heard of the Apple App store and the Android App store, right? The Android and Apple app stores have 5.5 million apps available, so chances are that you not only have a smartphone but have dozens of apps on it as well. And therein lies your big opportunity and the answer of what is next.
You see, how would you feel if you went to the app stores today and found out that someone had already set up an app with YOUR company name on it? How would that make you feel? Imagine that another fuel company had set up an app to take fuel orders but was using your company name to do so? OK, so maybe they used a different logo and maybe a slightly different color scheme, but your company name is now no longer available. Sound crazy? Believe it or not, it happened to the USA President’s White House, as the WhiteHouse.com site was purchased by a porn company who owned it for decades until recently, where it is now a betting site. The executive branch of the U.S. government had to use Whitehouse.gov and choose to ignore the less than wholesome .com version of its name.
So, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to secure your company’s name on the Apple and Android app stores for posterity and profit? There is no easy answer. It is not as simple as purchasing a website name, as right now, someone has to upload an app and choose your name to get and take ownership of it on the app store. Unlike a website name that will cost you around $15 a year, getting an app on the app stores is free, but the cost lies in the app itself. You see, making a decent app that would allow people to order fuel and handle payments, taxes, fees, variable pricing, etc. costs tens of thousands to build, and a really good app costs hundreds of thousands to build and maintain.
So, how do you get and control your name on both app stores? The answer may be as easy as CustomFuelApp.com. They created a “white label app” that allows you to put your logo, your name, and your image on an app, get it launched on the app store, and secure your company name for less than the cost of a 500 gallon (1500 liter) propane tank! Our research shows that the app lets you send out coupons and push notifications, and it secures all orders on an Amazon server that only you can access. This allows for multiple pricing formats; plus, you can charge fees, provide variable discounts, etc.
There may be another even more interesting and beneficial feature in owning a company app than having all the websites, web ordering, and yellow pages combined. You see, it can be sent to every person who calls your office asking what your price is. So, essentially everyone who is shopping for a new propane provider can be sent your app right from your office. That, plus the algorithms in the Apple and Android app stores, help recommend it to the people in your zip codes. Imagine, each person who gets your app to check out pricing and get coupons for propane discounts will have to first register and give you their contact information such as their cell number, email address, physical address, name, tank size, etc. Think of how nice it would be to know you are gathering your competitors’ customer lists for free while you sleep. Then, once they register, you can send them all push notifications, special offers, and coupons… all for free, whenever you want to.
A simple calculation might look like this… Use the app to bring in another 10, 100, or 1,000 new customers. Let’s say you bring in an additional 200 customers, each using 3000 liters per year at a $0.50 margin; that adds up to an additional $300,000 in revenue this year. If your typical lifetime of a customer is 10 years, then the lifetime value of those customers is $3 million… not bad for an app that cost less than a 500 gallon (1500 liter) propane tank!
If you ever wondered why and how delivery companies like Uber and Amazon use technology for minimal cost to grow revenues quickly, this may give you a glimpse into how they do it. It might benefit you to get your CustomFuelApp.com app on the app store, as it could take a year before it warms up and starts to build steam and sales.
One more benefit… Once your customers have your app, they will be much less tempted to download your competitors’ apps, thereby protecting your customer list from being poached by another company with an app! Good thing you got your company app up and loaded on the app store! The future belongs to the companies who are early to the game and quick to embrace emerging technology. So, what are you waiting for?
By the way, did you notice that the big tech delivery companies use their app to eliminate the need for offices, office overhead costs, and office staff? They (and the propane industry) eventually learned that an easy customer app eliminates phone calls, clerical errors, and even the need for more than one office. Lower operating costs and increased sales — sounds like a propane company’s recipe for success! Don’t sleep on this one. Get your CustomFuelApp.com app on the app store today, and watch your profit margins grow before your very eyes!