Last fall, we were fortunate to be selected by Canton Magazine as Mompreneuers with some other very talented local ladies. This summer, we were honored by a Washington DC blogger’s group called SMART Moms. This is very OTP! SMART stands for successful mother’s accessing real training. We appreciate being featured and recognized again. Thank you ladies!
Here is the article reprinted:
Fiona: How did you guys come up with the concept of Scoop OTP?Scoop OTP: We have always been ones to explore cities besides our own, but when our children started travel sports, that brought us all over the suburbs North of Atlanta, we wanted to know where to eat and shop local in between games. There was nothing out there; all the websites directed you into the city of Atlanta.We felt there was a void online for information about what was happening in the suburbs, so we created Scoop OTP. It also helps to promote independent businesses and providing recommendations for our followers on several topics including: fork & spoon, retail therapy, family fun, after dark, products made OTP, a calendar of events and more!
Fiona: What has been the most fun aspect of building your business?
Scoop OTP: We get to eat, shop, explore and try all sorts of new things. This is typically the kind of thing we would be doing anyway, so the fact that it is now “work” is really fun! Meeting hardworking, creative, independent owners who are so excited to have someone help promote their business for FREE and share the scoop with our fans, is a blessing. They are very appreciative and we love finding these hidden gems and promoting our great cities since Atlanta gets all the press! Also, love rewarding our followers with our fun give-a-ways and contests.
Fiona: Do you have a childhood ideal or mentor that has empowered you to follow your dreams and if so, what advice did they give you?
Suzanne: No. but my children and husband have been very supportive and proud. The kids love to go and “Scoop” a place or product.
Michelle: Since the concept of online media is so new, I can’t honestly say I ever thought about doing something like this when I was a kid. But everyone around me now is very supportive and thinks it’s great.
Fiona: In growing your business, what has been your biggest hurdle you have had to face thus far?
Scoop OTP: We had to work for no income as we built our recommendation and our website. We have really had to learn (and still are!) all about the business of online media and how to drive readers to our site. We now have more than 400 posts and thousands of followers on social media. As our credibility expanded (we are featured columnists in 5 magazines and scoop approved stickers are in 100+ windows of retailers) now the advertisers are taking notice, and we have created some great partnerships.
Our job is flexible and we do our best to have a newsletter go out every 2 weeks with the latest scoop, we update our calendar weekly, we post on social media daily, and we collect our information during the week on our schedule. But, sometimes networking events conflict with our children’s activities or we have missed a week in sending out the newsletter on time due to family vacations – we do our best to balance our work and families.
Fiona: And lastly, as you continue to grow your company, what have you done to allow it to grow so quickly and effectively?
Scoop OTP: I think finding a niche market has helped us grow. There wasn’t anything like this available…all the magazines are just city based. We believe people are interested in driving outside their city (20-40 minutes) to experience new restaurants and retailers. And, everyone loves to try a place that has been positively recommended. We are different from websites like Yelp in that we don’t write negative reviews. We only write what we like and it is very conversational, just like you are our friend and this is what happened to us today while we were out “scooping”.
We believe this concept can be franchised to other big city areas that have suburbs such as OTB – outside the beltway! Let us know if you have any contacts that would be interested!
A few other notes:
Michelle and I were both presidents of our local ladies club that raised money for children and families. Our children are similar ages, 2 girls going into 7th grade and our sons are in high school, entering 9 and 10th grade.
Michelle’s oldest daughter is our editor. We write 95% of all content and have a few guest scoopers. Our Savvy Scooper section is an income generator with advice by leaders in their specific field.