Count Her In – The BUSINESS – Answering the question we are always asked!!

Since we launched our business the positive feedback we have received has been overwhelming.

“What a great idea”

“Wow you have that many members already”

“Oh, I know someone who needs Count Her In”

Then 9 times out of 10 we get the following question……. “But how do you make money?”

Well the honest answer is that for the first 14+ months we didn’t…!!

Step One: We spent 12 months finding our customers / our members          

Unlike most businesses we didn’t have an exact product or a service when we launched Count Her In – we had an idea. We wanted some way to be able to connect women with other women in their local area. When women support each other, and have support, amazing things can happen and we wanted everywoman to be supported. So, we launched Count Her In Groups in every county in Ireland as a way for women to connect, chat, and make friends. We told our new members a bit about us & how we wanted to help make a difference to their lives. Then we spent time getting to know them – not by reading studies, or analysing data on spending habits and issues facing women in 2017 but by asking them questions, meeting them face to face, having coffee and cocktails, finding out about their likes and dislikes and more importantly what they were looking for from life and what was standing in their way. We started with 1,2,3,4,10,20,100 members (In the early days this was really friends & family and people who loved us enough to want to support us even if they didn’t really understand it themselves!) Then the growth continued women joined for many reasons; some joined because they wanted to make new friends, others because they had heard about the fun we had on our days out and they wanted to come along and let us do the organising so they could just enjoy the fun with existing friends, others came to just have a look and see what it was all about. Our members range in age from early 20’s to early 70’s, they come from all walks of life, different backgrounds, different circumstances but they have something in common they want to really live their lives, they want to look back in years to come and have a huge store of memories and know they achieved as much as they possibly could.

Step Two: We built a shop / Found a Premises a way to deliver what people wanted

The community side of our business and the ladies we have met along the way are the best part of Count Her In – We have met hundreds of women who have impacted our own lives in some way and have influenced how Count Her in has developed – when you receive the messages from someone who sees Count Her In as a lifeline you feel privileged to be able to have such a positive impact on someone’s life and it is this that has pulled us though some of the harder days. It was this that spurred us on, even when we were making no money because we knew we were making a difference. It’s the reason I still didn’t update the CV and apply for a “Real” job despite saying I was going to on a weekly basis. Most businesses know exactly how they will make money from Day 1, and therefore they have no issue in doing so. But for us it was a little different – We knew we had to make money to keep going – All of us in the office have families and mortgages. But we also felt passionately about how we can help women and how Count Her In is for every woman regardless of age, circumstances, location so if we suddenly started asking for money what about those who couldn’t pay? So, we decided that our groups would always be free – so anyone could join and meet new people and go for a walk on the beach if they wanted to and it would cost nothing. We also discovered however that have a huge percentage of our members wanted more than the free groups, and they didn’t mind spending some money in order to create the experiences and memories they wanted to fill their lives with and so we built our Shop – the shelves were empty but we had a shop (all be it a virtual one) on our site

We have different sections in the shop, we have an area where ladies can buy off the shelves and we also have a notice board where we tell them about the things happening in their area, the local businesses that have something to offer and after 14 months we made our first few euros from a business paying for advertising.

Now we had our customers, and we had a shop to sell from – and that brings us to where we are now – Stocking the shelves.

Step Three: Stack the shelves, sell and Repeat

After getting to know our customers we knew exactly what we had to stock our shelves with because they had told us – and we were able to begin focusing on specific categories:

Adventure                          Culture                 Travel                    Family Fun

Romance                             Fitness                  Pamper

Our next step was to start finding businesses who fell into these categories and what better way to do this than ask our members –we are now slowly working our way through the list chatting with businesses about what we do, who our members are and what they are looking for. We have learnt this is a slow process – What we are doing is a little different, the way we work is a little different and I sometimes think it may have been easier to start a business selling shoes as it takes a second to explain what it is you do for us – its takes a little more time to understand. But we are making fantastic progress we are filling our shop and we know we are filling it with the things our members want because they placed the orders.

I know you are still waiting for the answer to the question “BUT HOW DO YOU MAKE MONEY” and the answer is we make money by providing our members with the experiences they have asked for. We partner with fantastic businesses in many ways to advertise their business and in return we generate revenue.

We are working on so many exciting projects and partnerships at the moment, we are partnering with more and more people who can help us, help our members on their Journey through life – helping us slowly breakdown the blockades that stop women from being able to do the things they really want to – Maybe it’s the confidence in themselves, maybe it’s the knowledge or the skills they are missing – When women support other women amazing things can happen and that is why Count Her In Is going from strength to strength.

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