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DCFGCatering
Level 8

Our meteoric rise to $1,000,000 in sales though Thumbtack

Our Catering company was born on thumbtack. I gambled based on a facebook ad in 2014 and put 50$ in our freshly created thumbtack account. We were operating at that time out of my business partners garage and had only done 1 event but wanted to do more. Only 20$ in to our first 50$ we had our first lead reply and by the end of the day we had our first event set. The following day with the 50$ about to run out we got our 2nd lead that by the following day had turned into our 2nd event! We were ecstatic! The first event had only a single value of $400 but the second event was well over $1,500. We couldn’t believe it actually worked! Since both events were several weeks away we decided “let’s keep going”. Having no real capital our next credit was borrowed from my mom and we were able to parlay that next 50$ into 3 events! We knew we had something!

Not only were these thumbtack leads abundant and good but they were introducing us to us so many private and corporate clients that would become repeat customers. Through Thumbtack we ended up working for CEOs and presidents of companies as well as sports team owners and celebrities of all kinds. A company like ours in its infancy was allowed to penetrate markets that had walls built around them because of this genius new (Thumbtack) system that allowed clients to connect with us. Territory that had been dominated by the leading caterers in the industry could now be accessed simply through this platform that was doing a hell of a job advertising itself through social media and television advertisements.

Our first year in sales we did about $180,000 with our only method of acquiring and attracting new business being thumbtack alone. Both my business partner and I were able to quit our full-time jobs and focus entirely on growing this cool new business through Thumbtack. The old system allowed us to compete and go after business very aggressively and give them the ultimate customer service. We were able to follow up and identify and learn and adapt to some of the first few minor changes in order to give the customer the proper experience they deserved. Our second year in business on thumbtack was nothing short of a miracle. We had now with no advertising at all and no social media presence turned a company that only existed in a garage into the company with almost $440,000 in sales. I would sing Thumbtack’s praises to all of my clients as well as anyone who was interested in starting up their own business. I even made a five minute video on YouTube bragging about the opportunity that Thumbtack gave us and monthly I would actually have people view the video and look up our company to get in contact with me. Some were Thumbtack users And some we’re just business owners curious about my success on thumbtack. back then I didn’t mind spending a half an hour on the phone with a random person teaching them and educating them about how to have success using Thumbtack.

Our third year in business is when Thumbtack began to change slowly but still we were able to adjust a little bit to the new systems and proactively problem solve the issues we were running into. The leads got a little bit more expensive but they certainly translated to our $660,000 in sales our third year! We now have a lease on our warehouse and commercial kitchen as well as a small fleet of corporate vehicles. We had over 30 clients still as repeat customers from our first year on thumbtack. This third year we really laid the foundation for the Monster this company was becoming. But this was also when Thumbtack began to change heavily and the prices begin to skyrocket and the gamble really started to be taken out of our favor. While the returns were still strong There was way too many instances where $30-$60 we’re being wasted where we had to sit down and really discuss where our money was best being spent. We struggled with Thumbtack but still persisted because of our hope that the system would once again be the powerhouse that it was for us at the beginning. I still had confidence in the Thumbtack service but my business partner’s confidence was waning.

As we pushed in to our fourth year we had clocked in impressive $800,000+ dollars in sales. There was a lot of Hardwork involved and my business partner and I routinely logged weeks where we were working 80 to 100 hours. At this time all of our Thumbtack leads had gone dry and our return on investment had almost become non existent or nominal. We began to consider alternate directions in which to focus our capital. While I still had not given up; The price of a single lead had skyrocketed to the price of paying for our businesses Internet for the month. This is when I begin not to be able to sell my business partner on our use of funds for the Thumbtack service. He knew that Thumbtack was the very reason we were sitting in the position we were in and we’ve literally had to make the tough decisions to begin to bow out. I had to be very honest with him and let him know I’m no longer had the confidence to navigate the system and all of its changes even though I had the time to do so. Changes were rolling out on an almost weekly basis that were taking the advantage away from me step-by-step; advantages that we used to have. I was able to use my intellect and intelligence and business acumen to capture businees with wreckless abandon before. It was one of the hardest days of our business to let my business partner know that I could no longer work the magic that I used to.

Thumbtack was just that; magic. My business partner who never even used or utilized the application even once viewed this site has some kind of magic tool that started this amazing business that he was able to help thrive and turn into a blessing for him and his growing family. I have to admit we were both scared and nervous when we decided to walk away but we could no longer just hand off money with no results. It was pretty confounding considering that we definitely hadn’t changed But sadly could No longer count on Thumbtack as our only Avenue to generate business. We moved on...

This year our business did over $1 million in sales and we now have a fleet of trucks and over seven people on salary as well as our own commercial kitchen that we own. What an accomplishment for two kids who gambled $50 on a Facebook advertisement In a garage start up. We now are one of the premier event and Wedding caterers in Miami and also one of the youngest. Thumbtack put us in front of so many venue owners and let us demonstrate our skill and we slowly became preferred vendors and eventually exclusive caterers with those particular venues. We developed unbelievable relationships with corporate clients because of thumbtacks platform and a reputation because of all of our five-star reviews on thumbtack and continued to grow and grow. All of our clients had the utmost confidence in us because they could always Google us for free and find our reviews on thumbtack. We’ve since begun advertising and marketing on different platforms and are continuing to grow our business slowly. But boy do I miss the excitement I used to have when the leads would come in And I would go to work and create magic for my business partner.

I haven’t been charged by Thumbtack since December 2018 simply because no one has written back to me since then. We have over 100 5 star glowing reviews And I’m still the absolute same monster salesman and entrepreneur I was back then. We have all the capital in the world now to go out after whatever business Thumbtack can generate for us. But for some reason Thumbtack hasn’t been able to get a dollar from our bank account. It just doesn’t make sense. I still haven’t given up as I still send about two manual quotes a week for events that We are interested in catering in. I no longer can see if the client has even viewed my quote but I definitely know that they didn’t write back. We are an absolute power House now in our industry and definitely not a small fish. I can’t imagine what the small fish or the new users on this platform must think. We owe absolutely everything to Thumbtack for helping us launch and flourish this young business. We wish you guys would find your roots and help us serve the customers we use to. We miss you. You’ll forever have a friend in our business and I still haven’t given up on you. My partner has; I haven’t.
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5 responses
MR
Level 10

Re: Our meteoric rise to $1,000,000 in sales though Thumbtack

@DCFGCatering  Wow! This pretty much sums up hundreds of posts by so many people in the last several months.

If TT doesnt belive change is needed after reading this I cannot see what ever will.

 

Community Manager DustiO
Community Manager

Re: Our meteoric rise to $1,000,000 in sales though Thumbtack

@DCFGCatering Long time no see! I am so happy to have you back in this forum. Your story is one that I have told many times. It is inspiring to say the least. 

I have worked with you personally in December (was it December?) - and I so badly want to see you find that same success again on Thumbtack. You are the caliber of pro I wish every single customer could work with.

I took a chance to look at your account again and I have a couple more suggestions if you are open to trying them. 

  • Your response time average is ~5 hours - we have seen that pros who respond within the first 5 minutes are 50% more likely to hear back from a customer and pros who respond within the first hour are 20% more likely. I know you are incredibly busy, but if there is a way for you to try and bump that time up, I think you might see more contact.
  • Try promoting your business. I know you were trepidatious about this before, but why not just give it a try? You will show up higher in search results. People need to see your profile, because it is phenomenal. But they aren't seeing it, because you aren't promoting. Once you set those preferences and tell us exactly the jobs you want to do, we will put you in front of all of those customers. Here's some advice on the topic from another pro.

I'm hoping you will try this - I want you to feel like you have tried everything you can to be successful on Thumbtack. I was so happy to read, "You’ll forever have a friend in our business and I still haven’t given up on you." We really are your partners and we want you to be successful. If you want to give it a go and promote your business, please DM me so I can help you.

Here's to continued partnership. 

Highlighted
DCFGCatering
Level 8

Re: Our meteoric rise to $1,000,000 in sales though Thumbtack

No one has written back to me.

I've been sending quotes the last 2 weeks like I used to.

 

0 Kudos
MR
Level 10

Re: Our meteoric rise to $1,000,000 in sales though Thumbtack

@DCFGCatering
So many successful pros saying the same thing only to be told to do things as if we are beginners. So sad. In almost every case I read here the issue is not in pro behaviors.

Lar
Level 9

Re: Our meteoric rise to $1,000,000 in sales though Thumbtack

@DCFGCatering,

Great post and it shows that once upon a time Thumbtack was a fantastic platform. It's a sad indictment of this new system that your ability to use Thumbtack as you once did has been crippled.

Out of interest, when you are sending out quotes are you doing so via the Jobs tab?

Also, if you're willing to share, what are your Insight stats for the past 4 weeks, i.e. "Views", "Profile Views" and "Leads".

That would give us some Insight as to why your ability to connect with customers using Thumbtack has suffered.

Regards,
Laurence.