There are thousands of apps available for smartphone users; if you’re looking to help find your parked car, remember your friend’s birthday or even keep track of the price of gold, there’s an app for that. An entrepreneur in Florida developed a travel app that has proven so successful it’s inspired a slew of new editions across the U.S.
Mike Ragsdale, of Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, created an app that is essentially a travel guide to the Scenic Highway 30-A, an area of the Sunshine State that’s popular with tourists. “I created the app for fun,” Ragsdale said, “but soon, people from other towns began asking for help launching similar mobile guides.”
The app took off and surged in popularity, something Ragsdale “never expected.” Not one to settle, however, he instead teamed with a friend, Jeff Armstrong, to create “TownWizard,” a software platform that lets other entrepreneurs create their own mobile app guides for their own communities.
Now, Ragsdale’s idea has blossomed into an ostensible phenomenon in the app world. “We now have partners as far away as Roppongi, Japan and Yellowknife, Canada, just below the Arctic Circle,” affirmed Armstrong. “They range from semi-retired couples and stay-at-home moms to large luxury resorts and publishing companies with hundreds of employees.”
Asked why his app has been so successful, the entrepreneur asserts it all comes down to cost. According to Mashable, to “design, implement and deploy a brand-quality iPhone app” costs at least $30,000; not too many people have that much cash laying around, and Ragsdale’s app is meant for the app designer on a budget and only costs $795 to launch, with a flat $249 monthly rate.
Perhaps the most alluring part of Ragsdale’s app is that “you’re partnered with a hundred like-minded entrepreneurs who are tackling the very same opportunity as you,” Ragsdale said. How does that translate into actionable results? Ragsdale affirmed: “If a partner in one town discovers an effective new viral marketing strategy, we quickly share it with all partners across our network. It’s like having a huge entrepreneurial think-tank that’s constantly working for your business.”
Armstrong contends that every city will soon have its own travel guide one day thanks to the proliferation of wireless technologies; their app, he asserts, helps entrepreneurs to harness that demand and profit from it. “It’s inevitable that every town and neighborhood will eventually have its own mobile guide, and we wanted to make it affordable for entrepreneurs who share that vision,” said Armstrong.
“We already have partners in 110 different markets, but with over 2,800 small towns in the U.S. alone, we’ve barely scratched the surface of TownWizard’s full potential.”