TransVertise

May 22nd, 2009 by | Print

transvertise-logo-jpegEvan Savar is the fifth solo entrepreneur interviewed for The Solopreneur Series. He is the creator of TransVertise, a marketing business focused on turning those turned off TVs in Las Vegas’ limos and shuttles into marketing opportunities for local businesses and ROI ATMs for the transportation companies.

 

Evan and I connected through Entrepreneur Connect, an excellent online forum for entrepreneurs and business professionals to solicit help from each other regarding current issues and feedback on new ideas.

 

 

TSG:     Evan, tell us what was your inspiration behind TransVertise?

 

ES:     I got my inspiration originally when I was on a family trip to Philly. With renting a car, we had to take an Avis shuttle bus. My family, despite being a very loving people can sometimes be a little downright strange if you’re not use to them. I can only imagine how other people must feel in the enclosed space of a shuttle bus. People were staring all around looking for anything to do to relieve the awkwardness. There wasn’t a TV in this specific bus, but it got me thinking.

 

When I got back to Vegas, I did some brainstorming and decided I didn’t have enough resources (money) to start this specific business. After all, I needed to buy TV’s to install. After putting this project on the back burner, my friend, Pono, who is a valet in Las Vegas, put the idea in my head once again. After lots of research I discovered the deciding factor in starting this venture, many limos / shuttle buses already had TV’s in them.

 

 

TSG:     Can you give percentages to the following four items as contributing factors in your decision for creating your business: previous work experience, personal strengths, a love for the type of business and the perceived amount of money that you could earn?

 

ES:     Previous work experience = 20%.
           I owned a creative marketing business and saw a great opportunity for advertisers to reach their target demographic

 

          Personal strengths = 50%

 

          A love for the type of business = Depends on how much business I can bring these advertisers who signed up with me. Currently 10%

 

         Perceived amount of money you could earn = 20%.
         I believe I can make a lot of money, but I am aware of the hard economic times.
         I see digital signage as a growing trend. For example, Japan spends 7% of ad money on OOH (out of home) while America currently spends less than 3.5%.

 

 

TSG:     Did you have any help starting TransVertise?

 

ES:     Of course, in every venture there are people who help. No one can do anything alone even the solo entrepreneur. I spoke to limo drivers, valet drivers, marketing directors, software engineers and many other influential people who have helped me. Family and friends served as a great brainstorming platform.

 

 

TSG:     How long did it take from the “aahhaa” idea to go live?

 

ES:     Way longer then I would have liked. I’d say at least 7 months.   

 

 

TSG:     Can you give us a rough estimate on your start up costs and if you funded the launch of the business on your own?

 

ES:     Start up costs included production of the video, website, marketing materials, market research, meetings/ gas, and my time. I’d have to say I spent $5,000.

 

 

TSG:     Your site makes some specific claims – “80% of Las Vegas tourist don’t know what they will be doing that night”, “40 million people visit Las Vegas a year”, and “Las Vegas tourists spend more than $47 million in non-gaming….”. Where did you get your facts from?

 

ES:     The Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority has some incredible statistics about Las Vegas. Our site was made quickly and will be edited by Launch.

 

 

TSG:     What methods did you use for research and how much time did it take?

 

ES:     Many trips to the airport, polling of limo/ shuttle bus drivers, and demographic research with the limo / shuttle companies. Research has taken up hours of time and is ongoing. I believe you can never have enough data.

 

 

TSG:     Is your advertising currently playing in limos and shuttle busses?

 

ES:     Currently our advertising is not playing. Once exclusive agreements are signed, we have a 3-month ramp up period to begin to implement the video. Each specific transportation company has a custom video we need to produce for branding purposes.

 

 

TSG:     Do you charge the transportation companies any fees or are they solely providing a vehicle for your business?

 

ES:     The Transportation companies are not charged any fees at all.    

 

 

TSG:     If you had to take the Tweeter challenge of describing your unique value proposition (UVP) for your target market in 140 characters or less, what would you write?

 

ES:     Partnering with shuttle bus and limo companies, TransVertise creates a new way to captivate Las Vegas tourists with engaging video.

 

 

TSG:     What surprises have you encounter since launching your business?

 

ES:     How hard it has been to get in front of decision makers of the transportation companies

 

 

TSG:     Even though you were giving them an opportunity to make more money with their vehicles at no cost to them? Why do you think they weren’t responsive at first?

 

ES:     Change is hard for a lot of people. Good or bad, many people were quick to dismiss my ideas even though the service was free to them – they had nothing to lose. Once the meetings were set up and I could explain the TransVertise concept, the transportation companies were quick to give their approval.

 

Average amount of time it took me to reach one transportation company decision maker was 12 hours, with 12 phone calls over a 3 month period.

 

 

TSG:     What did you do to change their minds?

 

ES:     Just kept knocking on the doors. In one instance an owner of a limo company finally decided to meet with me just so I would stop leaving messages and trying to reach him.

 

 

TSG:     Why did you decide to go solo?

 

ES:     I dislike working for any one. In my brief stint at various jobs, I couldn’t stand being treated like a number.  I could not be passionate about working for someone else and it showed as I went to job from job.

    

 

TSG:     Is this the first business that you created or have there been others?

 

ES:     I had a street team business that I ran.  I still run an internet / creative marketing business where I come up with creative ways for businesses to stand out. I also currently own and I am the head of marketing for a company that books celebrities for fraternity events and night clubs called, The Entitled Group.

 

 

TSG:     Do you have any plans to take on partners or employees in the future to help you with TransVertise?

 

ES:     My goal is to eventually install TV’s in other Vegas vehicles and expand to other tourist locations all over the country.  I am in no rush, so most of the money I make will be staying in the company in order to fulfill my expansion plans. However, I would entertain the notion if the right deal were to come up for funding my national expansion plan.

 

 

TSG:     Who inspires you?

 

ES:     A lot of people inspire me, but no one inspires me more though than my older brother, Hal Savar. Hal is a musician in a big cover band in Las Vegas. Since the time he was 5, he knew he wanted to pursue a career in singing.  Singing isn’t a very steady business. Many musicians are forced to get day jobs. Hal continues to be determined and has played steadily without a day job for the last four years.  He is living proof that through hard work and not giving up, anything and everything is possible.

 

 

Thank you, Evan, for participating in The Solopreneur Series.

 

Although TransVertise is still in its early phase of success, I chose to interview Evan because in some of our pre-interview discussions, I got a good sense of his passion and desire to succeed as a solo entrepreneur – and he is only 19.

 

While many young people are still trying to decide the direction that there life will take, Evan is already out there making it happen.

 

You can contact Evan at:

 
TransVertise
Evan Savar
http://www.transvertise.com/

 

All The Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide

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One Response to “TransVertise”

  1. Eric Walsh Says:

    Evan is a great guy. He constantly blows me away his drive and execution abilities. Glad to see some one taking the time to interview him.

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