Victoria & Andrew’s Story: Creating The One-Stop Shop For Aged Care

I met Victoria and Andrew at a internet marketing seminar in Perth a few weekends ago. I knew that I wasn’t going to learn anything new from this event, but I always learn something new from the people attending…

If you have heard my model train niche story, you will know that interacting with the people in your market is the best market research you can ever do.

The idea of doing free coaching on this blog was an idea born from that very seminar. And, I have many ideas that will be implemented over the next few months based on the discussions I heard (and participated in) at the seminar.

But first, let Victoria and Andrew tell you their story…

Victoria & Andrew Jones’ Story

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Andrew & Victoria Jones

Andrew & Victoria

Our names are Victoria & Andrew Jones. We live in Perth, Western Australia.

These are our current jobs:

Andrew – I work as a Project Manager for a glass and glazing company (40 hour week).

Victoria – I currently work in the Disability sector as an Employee Relations Consultant. I previously worked in the Health sector in Industrial Relations and Human Resources (40 hour week).

This is what we like about our jobs:

Andrew – I like the design, technical and manufacturing aspects of my projects.

Victoria – I like the negotiation, advocacy, mediation and knowing that what I am doing assists/helps vulnerable/disadvantaged members of our community.

We currently both work too much for other people and are looking to have more time for ourselves, doing things we love and spending time with people that we love.

This is what our interests are:

Andrew – I’m interested in music, poker (though not with ‘real’ money), and also interested in Boxer dogs. I haven’t had time for hobbies since getting a promotion at work.

Victoria – I’m interested in real estate and coming up with new ideas on how to do things differently or better. I haven’t had time for hobbies in the last 15 years.

We both enjoy listening to and playing music, exercising, and generally spending time with each other, our dogs, family and friends. Frankly, We both want to stop swapping our time for dollars working in jobs for someone else.

With work and other obligations, spare time is a precious commodity at the moment! We hope an online business can free up some more!

We have only attended one internet marketing seminar by Derek Gehl, and self-taught the other bits & pieces we have picked up.

Our overall spend on internet marketing training would be less than $100 combined. We are new to this and hope to ‘learn while doing’ as we go.

The only money we made online was through a couple of eBay sales of personal items. We are in the process of setting up one website at lidgorilla.com.

Our intention with this site was to provide information on methods and items that can make everyday living easier for people like the elderly or disabled.

Victoria’s father was older and disabled, and she found it frustrating that there appeared to be no ‘one website’ that someone could go to to find out how to make life easier for him (information and products).

The idea for the name was: what is one of the most basic hurdles that can represent a challenge to all of us? The jar-lid.

jar opener

We thought the idea of owning a ‘lid gorilla’ could be a fun concept and a way to provoke some discussion. We hope to expand on this concept more and more over time, building on the reputation of the site to provide a broader offer than just the basics.

We would love it to be the ‘Amazon’ of assisted living! We don’t have much in the way of experience or startup cash, so the idea of starting small is appealing.

We hope to leverage off the nature of an online business to create cash flow and free up our time spent with our primary employment – which will then help us to attain our life financial goals quicker.

We would like to end up in a position where we work because we want to, not because we have to. We want to build up solid sites/brands with a quality offer – we don’t think marketing on the internet should be any different to marketing any other business. We also want to have fun in the process of doing so!

The idea that we had for our website came from a combination of Victoria’s experiences and me (Andrew) watching her frustrations. She was a carer for her father as he had several medical issues and was also frail. One of the things that she found very difficult was finding things that would make life easier, and safer for him, and give them both a better quality of life as a result.

We thought that if there was a website that could be a sort of ‘one stop shop’ for people who are looking after, or wanting to look after, a person that is frail and aged, life would be a little easier for those in that position.

Our thinking was to start with information and then move onto reviews and products, and build a ‘community online’.

We have registered the name Lid Gorilla for the business. We thought that this was a fun, simple and straight forward name that people would remember. We also thought that it would reflect a fun solution to the most widely encountered problem that everyone in every home faces at one point in their lives – opening lids on jars.

The issue that we have now is where to go from here. Unlike a lot of people that we have spoken to, we are not short of ideas – we have lots… The issue is we don’t have the experience or skills yet to know what to do next.

– how do we monetize this idea?
– how do we get this going/what do we do first?

The end game is to have a website that people can join up to in order to get great quality information and eventually products to assist them to look after themselves and their loved ones at a time that may be tiring and stressful for all involved. Once this is achieved, there is the option to branch out to disability as a speciality, and also focus on independence at home for people who are aging.

Any advice that you can give will be greatly appreciated, even if you think this is a crap idea, better for us to know now and not waste any more time backing a loser 🙂 aren’t we all looking for that Black Caviar of a web business…
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My Comments To Victoria & Andrew

Thanks guys for the detailed story… I had so many ideas running through my head (while reading your story), because I have also been in similar situations many years ago (caring for a frail grandmother and working 40+ hours a week while trying to start a business).

Your ‘Lid Gorilla’ idea is a good one, but there are a few things you should consider…

To create a one-stop resource for aged carers, it will probably need to be country (Australia) specific. It will also need to contain a lot of information to be considered a worthwhile resource. That’s not a problem, but it is going to take a huge amount of time to put all that together, and then even more time to promote the website. I don’t believe you have the time available to do that right now, but you could certainly ‘niche it down’.

These big authority type sites can sometimes take years to come together, and are usually very well resourced with time and money.

You need something that you can set up quickly and it will start paying you passively. Have you played the board game ‘Cashflow’? If not, you should buy it on eBay and play it.

You start the game by being assigned a career like a Plumber, Doctor, Nurse, etc. with the appropriate monthly earnings and expenses. The idea is to get out of the ‘rat race’ by creating more monthly passive income, than your monthly expenses.

Passive income is the only way to pay your bills, while you do what you want to do with your time.

Writing a Kindle book is a source of passive income. You write the book once and it can be sold for many years, to many thousands of people.

Cashflow (the board game) is brilliant at training you to always be looking for passive income to free up your time…

Time is our most precious resource. We can not make more time, but we can make more money!

In the game you will learn passive income strategies with shares, property and business… But, there are many others that can be created online.

I created a passive income stream in the model train niche. I wrote an ebook and then I created a membership site with a monthly subscription.

The ebook was written in 10 days, and within 30 days it was selling and making money. Once the ebook was written, I only focused on the promotion… I wanted to sell thousands of copies.

You could apply a similar strategy to the ‘aged carers’ niche… This is the ‘niche down’ strategy I mentioned earlier.

In the model train niche, I identified that complete beginners to model trains were confused and needed a step-by-step guide. I did my market research by visiting a model train show and hearing all the beginners asking question after question. I heard the ‘experts’ answering in a technical language that they couldn’t understand.

Then when I got home I ‘Googled’ for answers to these questions and found plenty of free information, but nothing that was arranged in a nice step-by-step manner.

You could (possibly) create a ‘beginners guide’ to caring for your aged parent. You would know (from experience) what you needed to know, and at what stage. This information could be arranged into an information product and sold.

That could be stage 1 and if that ebook sold successfully you could consider a more advanced guide, or another guide that deals with another ‘section’ of aged care.

I did a quick search on Amazon for aged care and found a lot of books on the subject. Something, that intrigued me was the Dummies Guide. This is because they usually don’t create a guide unless there is a massive demand… Which is a good sign for you.

elder-care

I would suggest that all of these books have their faults and by reading them (and their reviews), you could create the perfect information product. This could then become your first book of a series, if you wanted.

This will allow you to interact with the market, get some ideas and slowly be building your one-stop shop in the background.

I hope this helps and I look forward to your comments.

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  • Victoria & Andrew

    Hi Ian,
    Thanks very much for taking the time to look at our ideas and your advice!
    We agree that starting small would be the best option to generate some cash flow, and an ebook would be a good starting point.
    We’re thinking that as a basic guide, we could frame it within Victoria’s story, and use anecdotes of her experiences as ways to explain what happened.
    Starting out can be an intimidating time for carers, so we think keeping it light and not delving too deeply in any one topic could be a good idea. It also may work well as a sort of sales funnel strategy, too – it could really serve as a ‘contents page’ or intro to other (ebooks for example) that could better focus on these issues.
    We have read your interpretation of the sales funnel approach and can see its merits, however this might be a challenge for us to adapt as it would take time to research, write and test a specific offer for each additional specific ‘topic’ – what if a person needs help with a specific topic that we haven’t gotten around to writing about yet?
    To clarify this, say for example we have written the first ‘introduction’ guide, and then get to work on topic A’s specific guide, what if someone that has read the introduction book needs help with topic X?
    Will we be isolating that person from our offer? Some of these topics can be quite specific for individual needs..
    What do you think?

    • Ian McConnell

      Hi Victoria and Andrew,

      This is where one-on-one coaching is so valuable because there are hundreds of internet marketing strategies, and each niche needs a customised approach of only 2 or 3 of those strategies.

      In the ‘aged care’ niche I would suggest a nice simple approach of writing a Kindle book based on your experiences. This means you focus on writing the book and Amazon do the marketing and distribution.

      At the end of the book you could ask the reader what they liked, what they disliked, and what they want more information on. They can submit their feedback by going to lidgorilla.com where you would have a contact form set up.

      Based on the feedback you would then decide what book to write next. This is a great simple strategy where you only proceed based on customer requests.

      So, what do you write about in the first book?

      Victoria, think back to when you started caring for your dad. Who did you ask questions? Who did you consult? Where did you go for information, library or online? What information did you have to filter? Was the information mostly American, but not much relating to Australia? If it was Australian, was it relevant to Perth, WA? What websites gave you the best answers? What did you put into place and what did you wish you had done differently?

      This is all great information because people in a similar predicament will relate.

      The idea is to create an initial book that will sell for $2.00 to $3.00, but will test the market and give you some valuable customer feedback of where to go to next.

      You could eventually end up with a complete series of books on Amazon, which are all sending readers back to lidgorilla.com, which is offering a complete array of products and information on aged care… Sounds like a winner to me!

      Have Fun,
      Ian

      P.S. If you want some ideas on how to write your book… Go to Amazon, search “elder care in books”. Click on the “click to Look Inside” for each of the relevant books, then click the “Table of Contents.”

      The TOC (Table of Contents) of each book will give you a good idea of what the book is about. You can then cherry pick the best ideas.

      Another great source of information is the reviews of the books. The good reviews will tell you what people liked, but the bad reviews are usually the best, because people will tell you what was left out of the book… There is gold in those reviews!

  • Owen

    Great story, Ian. I struggled to look after my dad too, so I can relate. I remember going to the library and looking for books to solve my problem. That was in 1997, so no internet. I think its a great idea. Victoria and Andrew can also create a Facebook Like page and start selling the e-book there. I wish them good luck.

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