TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring US-based BabyShowerForGuys, a destination guide, community and travel search platform for dads-to-be.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
The BSFG Travel Network is a network of travel sites providing niche vacation and adventure booking. Our network also gives users a daily dose of sports, entertainment and advice content relevant to their place in life.
BabyShowerForGuys is the leadoff hitter in the BSFG Travel Network. BabyShowerForGuys will approach the online travel industry with the creation of a brand new holiday for expecting fathers—a baby shower for guys.
Plenty of couples take a babymoon when they are expecting their first child. But considering all of the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with becoming a new father, men really need a chance to let loose before they become slaves to the diaper bag.
Six years ago marked my first Baby Shower For Guys, and I’ve helped coordinate one with my friends every year since. BabyShowerForGuys caters to men around the country looking for travel options targeted specifically at their place in life.
BSFG Travel Network includes two founders, myself as CEO and chief creative officer Eric Winters. I bring a background in sales and building corporate infrastructure; my most recent position was as National Sales Manager at HaloSource.
Eric has designed all of the visual and creative elements that make BabyShowerForGuys what it is. Jay Lee joined the company as a third partner and CTO, responsible for the backend technology driving the site.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
BSFG Travel Network is currently bootstrapped, supported by a round of friends and family investments. We are seeking angel investing in the coming months.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Customer loyalty. With the launch of BabyShowerForGuys, and subsequent sites targeted at other specific demographic groups, BSFG Travel will disrupt the online travel space by providing travel booking combined with editorial content targeted at very specific consumer segments.
We plan to roll out destinations aimed at women, couples and more.
Describe the business, core products and services?
BabyShowerForGuys will provide users with hundreds of destinations, hotels, airfares, adventure travel, packages, and events all available for convenient booking.
The site will feature community pages where men can get information about the best bars, sporting events and activities that will help make their getaway memorable. It also features content to help men plan their trip and help get the women in their lives on board with the idea of a Baby Shower For Guys.
Additionally, articles written for a male audience that cover pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, relationships and parenting are lacking online, forcing expectant fathers to visit sites that are aimed at women in order to educate themselves on these topics.
BabyShowerForGuys is launching with a content-rich site that will provide our users with advice, entertainment and sports articles relevant to their place in life.
The site will also include apparel sales to further reinforce the growing popularity of rewarding expectant fathers with a guys-only getaway to celebrate their entrance into parenthood.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
BabyShowerForGuys is primarily targeting men ages 21-40 years, focusing on fathers and expectant fathers, with elements of the site also geared toward the women in their lives. Our next site will be aimed at expectant mothers and their friends.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
We conducted in-person focused discussion groups ranging from 5-15 males and females within our 21-40 years age target in Washington, California, Nevada, Arkansas, New York and Florida.
This feedback helped us to further hone our plans for the launch and ensure that our product/site would offer the best possible experience for our target users.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
We have three revenue streams, and this will be the model for all of our sites: travel booking (same model as traditional online travel agencies), advertising and merchandise sales.
Because BabyShowerForGuys is introducing a new holiday for men (a Baby Shower For Guys), we believe our brand is very strong and will resonate with consumers.
Thus, branded apparel, cigars and other products will appeal to our audience as yet another way to celebrate the expectant father.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Completely new approach to online travel, solving the customer loyalty problem that has long plagued the industry.
- We’re a new player to a crowded space.
- travel is arguably the largest industry in the world yet most online travel agents are using similar approaches to acquire and maintain customers. It’s time for a company to take a more personal approach when it comes to its customers. We’re combining this with the rapidly growing trend around mancations.
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- Big competitors that have the lion’s share of the market.
We have been reminded by more than one potential investor that we are operating in a crowded space littered with dead bodies.
Sparring with online travel agencies who can do whatever they want whenever they want is a risk some investors are unwilling to take. What stands out contrary to this view is the response from the people on the streets that we have ran this concept by over and over again.
It’s the opinion of our future customers that has us believing that we are on to something, when the customers come the investors tend to follow.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
Our first metric for success is creating a loyal base of consumers who come to our site every day for content relevant to their place in life. Eventually, these users will book travel with us, and help us to create the new category of Baby Showers For Guys. We will be seen as a strong emerging player in online travel, as well as a disruptor in the industry.
Secondly, we will have launched our second niche site targeted at expectant mothers, and be seeing a similar trend of consumer adoption for that site.
Thirdly, we will have secured our first round of angel investing that will allow us to continue growing the business and launching the third and fourth niche sites we have in the queue.
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.