06 Jun Beachmonkey.com
Beachmonkey.com was founded in 1999 with the sole mission of bringing businesses and people together in a social way. They are currently expanding into hundreds different markets throughout the US and world.
Greg: Share a little about the company.
Michael: “Beachmonkey.com is an online social website that uses club/event photography to bring people and brands together. Clubs and venues hire our photographers to shoot their events, post the pictures online for people to download for free, and this helps promote the venue in a unique way. Thousands of photos from Beachmonkey.com are uploaded to various social sites each week. Currently, we are in three cities (Myrtle Beach (grand strand), SC, Wilmington, NC, and Louisville, KY) with plans to expand to 50 more this year.”
Greg: What inspired you to start?
Michael: “I’ve always been interested in marketing and photography. I also started Beachmonkey.com in 1999 but didn’t know what to do with it. The idea just came to me one day in about 2007, and after a few months of planning, I started it all.”
Greg: What were you doing prior to starting Beachmonkey.com?
Michael: “I was a district sales manager for a life insurance company. They had transferred me to Louisville, KY to head the office there. I was with that company for 8 years.”
Greg: What is your proudest moment so far in regards to your business?
Michael: “We launched our company with little outside funding, and the business has been profitable since day one. We have put in three years of marketing research and development all the while we were paying the bills and expanding. We had our official national launch in Aug of 2011. We did this with the majority of the money coming from the business itself. We know we will eventually need outside capital, but it’s a great feeling to know we haven’t used any so far.”
Greg: Do you have any encouraging words for others looking to start a business?
Michael: “First, find what you are passionate about. Then figure out how you are going to monetize and market your passion. Then research like crazy and build around those ideas. Customers create the market, not businesses. You could have the most amazing idea on earth but if there is no consumer demand for it, you are just wasting time and money. Most people build then somehow try to attract consumers. Attract consumers first, and then build.”
Greg: How do you see Beachmonkey.com in a years’ time or ten years time?
Michael: “I see massive growth with our company. In a year, we plan on being in 50-60 markets. Our long term goal is that when people think of club/event pictures, they immediate think of Beachmonkey.com. We will accomplish this not only on a local and national scale, but global as well too. We would also like to acquire all the small local websites to further our market. We see people in one part of the country getting their pictures, but then looking at our site at other parts of the country and going “I’d love to visit there and go to that bar/club”. It creates a connection on a social level that has never been seen before.”