Indulge your friends with a (birthday) gift from a local shop on Facebook

Facebook Gifts

I am sure you get notifications on Facebook when your friends birthday is coming up and yes, you can send your friend a message to congratulate him/her…..

Now you can treat your friend with a gift from a local shop, spa, restaurant,…. or choose from your friends favorites shops list, not to give ever again a wrong present.

How to get this as first?
1.Bring me to Facebook >>
2.Invite your friends
3.Create your own wishlist

PS We started with Geneva, opening more kiosks soon, so please install the app as we will push the places with the “current city” and the first 100 people gets a chf 10 on their Gift Voucher Kiosk Account

You feel like a rock star when creating a start-up? You should remember the following next time you code while listening to music

A very good friend of my wrote on herFacebook wall recently

When I was young,  Guys who wanted to impress me told me they are playing in a rock group…..   Today they tell me they created a startup…


Rockstar - Startup

And it is true, I even see every day more and more connections between the music industry and the start-up world.

  • Every can launch a rock group as well every one can start a startup.
  • Only a few groups became very successfully, as well as startups
  • Only the groups that worked hard and played a lot had a change,as well as start-ups
  • Rock groups have to handle record labels who decide and guide their selected groups, with startups we have Angel Investors, Equity funds,….   The same complex hierarchy.

The good news is that we can learn as a startup from  the music world, we are having a perfect example of what can go wrong and what can go well.    As startup people may see us as Rockstars, but as real rockstars you need torun  your business if you want to stay a Rockstar.

Many rock groups went down to drugs and other non related site activities, also record labels with there complex structure of copyrights, ownerships etc.  controls the music group.   Do you really think Justin Bieber or Myley Cyrus really can make the music they want or they can really say no to a show?  Do you believe that a group like One Direction made it without a whole team behind them, and hard work?  Of course not. And this is the same for startups.  Startups with investors (angels or others) or in the same position.

I met in my life many startups, dreaming and wasting too much time on the side activities, like presenting on stage when the software/app is not online yet, talking about big numbers but didn’t had done any market research, and after 1 year and when I asked there business plan, no answer.

As like every small rock group, they started in a garage and grown by playing more , promote and play and promote.  Startups often starts in the kitchen or bedroom and they work hard,try, grown, test, try, grown, test…..

Next time you listen to music when working on your start-up, remember the following:

  1. Creating Software / Product / Service = Writing songs
  2. Going Live = Selling your Songs via iTunes or Play Store, or having Paid Clients
  3. Marketing and Communication andpromotion = Concerts
  4. Your Team = Booking Managers, Tour Manager,..
  5. Success = When you are on stage and people are shouting your name

While launching my startup, Gift Voucher Kiosk (, I kept this in mind and I had fun, but I concentrated on the service like a rock star concentrate on his music.

Let me know how your start-up fits the rock star world.

Author: Frederik Van Lierde – Google+

Restaurants and Gift Vouchers – an interesting way to promote your business

Restaurants and Gift Vouchers, a strange combination? Did you already offer a gift voucher for a birthday to a friend?. What did you offer, a meal, but how do you know how much they will drink :) Will they take coffee and the end of there delicious dinner or not…

The main difference between offering Gift Vouchers for shops or spa and restaurants is you have no idea how much your friend will spent….

Café Des Sources Offering Gift Vouchers in there restaurants as a new innovative way to get more clients

As Restaurant owner, this is a great opportunity.
As a restaurant owner you can use traditional publicity channels like magazines, local newspapers, or you can be visible in restaurant guides etc.
On the other hand you can work with Groupon (or other local groupon clones) and give serious reductions to generate more clients….

We know that when people love your restaurant, they will talk about it and this is the best way to get promotion. This is where Facebook and Foursquare etc. plays a role …. but talking is 1 thing, action is more difficult.

Let’s say I love your restaurant, so I sent USD 40 to my best friends to try out your restaurant. My friend will visit, enjoy (as he believes me) and he spends as much or less he wants, he just got a credit of CHF 40.

Does this system exist? Of course it does, have a look:

  • Free Subscription
  • Small transaction fee, only when a voucher is sold
  • Real time follow up (So you can offer a free drink or just say thank youto your guest)
  • Do you own a restaurant and want to find our mor information, just contact us

Blog Statistics if a post goes viral (Image)

The last 3 days, I was lucky that one of the posts on our Travel Blog went viral.

The post that went viral was the following: A colourful place to visit: Bucharest, the Capital of Romania

Written by Ana Tepsanu and Iulia in 2012
I can only state that I am proud I work with them :)

Why, after 1 year this article went viral, we have no clue, and trying to figure it out. Something happened on Facebook, as we had more then 10.000 visitors coming from Facebook.

Anyway, we host our blog on WordPress and we had a rather stable number of visitors, but this is how it looks like when the article went viral.

Travel Blog Goes Viral Statistics

The Difference between Horizontal & Vertical Networking

A small post about networking and the difference between horizontal and vertical networking, after a lovely discussion I had during a business lunch organised by the Belgian-Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in Geneva.

Networking  - Marketing

Everywhere we read that networking is the way to go to make new contacts, to do business. But in most cases people network horizontally, meaning they go to network events with the same level of people, and those people go also to the same networking events for the same reason as you. They want to find new customers. So most of them are not really listening.
On horizontal networking, you talk like chickens, you tell your (sales) story, they do the same and leave wothout nothing.

Try vertical networking, first you choose different networking events. Ask who is coming, ask the titles etc. Then you go and listen. Follow the stream of information and meet people. And make sure you connect with decision makers who are interested in information.

Do you see the difference, in vertical networking you talk to people who are interested, who wants to capture information, knowledge. In horizontal networking you talk to people who want to sell to you.

Like today, the President of the Chamber of Commerce told me, “call me and met up afterwards, as I got to much information”. I just made sure I had 1-2 lines he remembered what I am doing and now I have time to talk privately in a quite environment.

A Reason why e-Commerce isn’t where we want it to be

E-Comerce - Issue - Credit Card Payments
I am working on a new service online, and next week we should go life with the first group of partners.
If everything goes well. yes, we are blocked, blocked by credit card companies.

We are creating a platform, that facilitates the sales of Gift Vouchers Online for Smaller Businesses.
The reason why we created this platform is simple. Small business often don’t have the technical knowledge to offer this. And they shouldn’t have it, they should take care of their clients.

Ofcoure they can ask an IT company to setup the online form, the payments, and then a system to follow-up. All this comes at a price, meaning an investment.

Paypal has a solution for Gift Vouchers, but it takes some knowledge to create the link and afterwards to transfer to you account. It is all do-able but Small Businesses wants something easy and clear and understandable.

The issue with our platform:
We need to accept Credit Card payments for others and now Visa and MasterCard on0t like this, they don’t want to work like this. The risk is to high for charge backs.

Charge back can be issued up to 1 year after buying online. (even most off our partner have a max. validity of 6 months). So the risk is high?
Also I could sell the vouchers and then run away with the money they told me, this is the base of criminal activity and I would end up in a prison instead of growing the business worldwide and end up at a white beach.

This bocks a lot off e-commerce platforms where the turn-over for 1 partner is low (spa or restaurants don’t sell 1 voucher a day). But with the platform, we sell several vouchers a day (from different partners).

The small business can sell vouchers as well and then stop the business after taking all the money
I have a small business and we sold for > 20.000 CHF / year on Gift Vouchers, never we had 1 Charge back.

Our solution is simple, we will use the good old PayPal, yes, they allow it.
Meanwhile we will look for a good direct partner met Visa and MasterCard and if needed we will move the company out off Switzerland to a country that is e-commerce friendly. But first the launch

PS I asked them how BuyClub or Groupon or Hotel Booking Websites could be accepted, as they also sell air, sell vouchers, sell things not belonging to them.

Did you have any issues in your country to accept Credit Cards Payments for third parties or do you use PayPal as well?