Current Springboard company, Beacon Mobile, is a B2B SaaS company with an innovative software platform that enables car wash owners to increase their profits, improve their customer service, and build more loyal, long-term customers.
We spoke with Alan Nawoj, founder and CEO of Beacon Mobile, to learn more about their company and his journey as an entrepreneur.
Question from CONNECT: How did you come up with the idea for Beacon Mobile?
Answer from Alan Nawoj: We've been developing mobile apps since the early days of the App Store and saw an opportunity to leverage mobile technology in the car wash industry similar to how Starbucks disrupted the coffee industry with their own branded mobile app. After speaking and working with numerous car wash owners throughout North America, it became apparent that the car wash industry was ripe for this type of technological innovation, and we continued to refine our platform from customer feedback and implement numerous integrations with external platforms.
Q: What problem are you solving for users of Beacon Mobile?
A: Our solution addresses multiple problems and pain points experienced by car wash owners on a daily basis. For instance, we help them overcome the limitations of existing car wash membership program technologies (e.g. RFID tags, license plate scanners, plastic cards). We help them to differentiate their brands and stay ahead of the rising competition in this industry. We help them to eliminate inefficiencies in how their corporate fleet accounts are commonly managed by making the process entirely electronic. We make it possible for them to offer a new, secure form of payment to their customers as well as multiple new sales channels through a branded mobile app. We give them tools to help automate their marketing efforts, and we also make the experience fun for their customers with the "gamification" aspects of our platform. It's a lot, but we're committed to being the best in this field by solving the toughest problems!
Q: What has been Beacon Mobile's biggest milestone or accomplishment to date?
A: Getting strong validation from multiple car wash industry veterans who have signed up either as white-label resellers of our technology or referral partners who have told us our solution will revolutionize this industry has been our biggest accomplishment to date. However, we expect to achieve another very significant milestone in the near future when we announce a process we invented which will revolutionize the way car wash membership and fleet programs are managed.
Q: What has been Beacon Mobile's biggest challenge to date? How did you and your team address it?
A: Getting to product-market fit and identifying the segment of the car wash industry where our current solution resonates best has been our biggest challenge to date. We addressed this through a lot of trial and error on many fronts! From cold outreach to lots of different types of car washes to new feature development based on customer feedback, we kept testing and testing and testing until it became clear where the right path was for right now. It also involved putting certain features and tasks on the back burner for the time being so we can focus on what's most important at this stage.
Q: How has your experience with CONNECT's Springboard Accelerator Program enhanced your business and moved it forward?
A: The Springboard Accelerator Program at CONNECT has been an excellent resource for Beacon Mobile in terms of sharpening our focus and helping us to accelerate our growth trajectory. We're very grateful to have been accepted into this top-tier program! Our experienced mentors have been very helpful in working with us to cut through the noise and really identify what's working and what's not. The various educational workshops have been great, too, since they offer the type of targeted guidance an early stage tech startup really needs when those tough questions arise.
Q: What's next for Beacon Mobile?
A: First and foremost, we'll be ramping up our sales and marketing activities in the next quarter to really start penetrating one specific segment of the car wash market where we have a truly unique and valuable solution. We'll also be announcing new partnerships, rolling out a new process we invented that we believe will become the new standard for managing car wash membership and fleet programs, and exhibiting and speaking at two major car wash trade shows in the first half of next year. It's been quite a journey thus far and we're really excited to play a role in helping to drive innovation in the car wash industry!
Stay tuned for more to come from Beacon Mobile!