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The Sales Podcast


Sep 3, 2014

About Today's Guest

Shane O'Flaherty was a 25 year veteran of Corporate America with a CEO gig, able to travel the world, and do as he pleased. Yet he left it all behind to follow his faith.

Hear Shane's story of listening to God to become an entrepreneur.

Tools To Thrive

Rubber-Meets-The-Road Tip

  • Shane O’Flaherty, Downers Grove, IL
    • Former CEO of Forbes Travel Guide
    • 20+ years experience in sales and marketing
    • Created “Forbes Hospitality Solutions” for 5-star hotels
    • 25 years in the travel space.
    • Became the CEO of the Mobil Travel Guide
    • Expanded overseas.
    • Moved the brand to Forbes in 2009-2010.
    • Started the consulting branch, Forbes Hospitality Solutions.
    • Around 2013, a friend from Notre Dame contacted him about an idea. He’s a VC that works in the app development arena.
    • Had an idea to help Catholic parishes grow and market themselves.
    • All apps helped the parish staff but not the “clients,” the parishioners.
    • They white-boarded the idea in about two hours and knew they were on to something.
    • Connected with Ryan Kreager who had experience in developing Catholic apps and they were off and running.

[Tweet ""Two hours on the white board will tell you if you have something worth doing or not. Get going."  @OneParish."]

  • November 2013 they raised capital and Ryan started developing the app from scratch.
  • Shane joined full time in February 2014.
  • Pope Francis wants us to “meet people where they are” and get in the streets and “get dirty.”
  • St Paul recommends the same.
  • Launched the beta in April 2014.
  • Spoke at local parishes. Passed out cards after each service so it was a grassroots effort that took off.
  • Adding features that users want based on their feedback.

[Tweet ""Pope Francis knows sales. He says 'meet people where they are.' Amen to that" says @OneParish."]

  • Keep your eyes and ears and mind open for opportunities.
  • They have five children of their own but the Holy Spirit lead him to follow this opportunity.
  • Follow a higher calling if called to it.
  • Got funding through friends and family with his partner’s VC experience.
  • Their goal was to raise $750,000. It has taken about 6 months and they are nearly there.
  • To monetize an app, make sure you have great content to entice the users to actually use the app!!
  • Their app is an interactive “app/web solution.”
  • Create tools that are useful for the users.
  • They are also creating a parish business listing as another revenue stream.
  • Create a vision for what you want to accomplish and “lead with the beautiful.”

[Tweet ""Lead with the beautiful," says @OneParish."]

  • They built out the “why” first, which was just a two page Word document. Get clear on the “why” and the vision.
  • Then they got clear on what the parishioner/user wanted.
  • Revenue was the third stage of the business plan.
  • If there is an issue, address it right then and there. Don’t let it fester.
  • If you’re building a great product, people are patient.
  • Raise more money than you think you’ll need.

[Tweet ""Raise more money than you think you’ll need.," says @oneparish."]

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