Today we’d like to introduce you to Tom Cutler.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Tom. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have worked in advertising since 1986, starting in Tucson, for a Triple-A baseball team, the Toros. After relocating back to the Valley in 1992, I went to work for a large, 2-for-1 coupon book. It was there that I learned coupon advertising and the common phrase “your existing customer is your most valuable customer”. Little did I realize that this simple phrase would motivate me to set out on my own with the domain name PhoenixMetro.com and a passion to build a low-cost advertising network. The idea came to me one night when my wife, Carmen, and I ordered a pizza to be delivered. Once the pizza arrived at our doorstep, I noticed coupons on the box-top. I thought “there it is – your existing customer is your most valuable customer”. This is why this pizza place gave me coupons, so I will call them again, the next time we’re in the mood for pizza. This is also known as “bounce-back couponing”.
I then thought, what would happen if this pizza place put their coupons on a website (PhoenixMetro.com), and advertised it in-house, to their existing customers? A website where their customers can get their coupons 24/7, and also have access to their menu, and photos of their pizza? Then what would happen if there were dozens or hundreds of businesses that did the same thing? The answer was clear… you’d have a “network” of local businesses whereas each promoted their own coupons while driving traffic to the website where all businesses benefit from the total generated exposure.
Soon after, I hit the road as an entrepreneur with a great idea and a burning passion to build this unique advertising network. It’s been a lot of work, many long nights building pages and days filled with dropping in on local businesses. It certainly hasn’t been easy, but it sure has been fun!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Definitely not a smooth road. Sales is hard, especially in advertising. These local businesses see sales reps come through their doors quite frequently. I understand that, and I get it. They simply can’t meet with everyone. This has been my biggest challenge, getting in front of the decision-maker. I’m a simple kind of guy, not a “pushy salesman” at all. I can say, however, that when I am able to schedule a short meeting and explain the unique concept of PhoenixMetro, and all of the benefits including the low-cost to participate, about 90% of the businesses I meet with love the idea and they come on board. I’ve had other minor struggles along the way, but this has been the toughest.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about PhoenixMetro.com – what should we know?
PhoenixMetro.com is a coupon website that is promoted by its advertisers. It’s a “network” of local businesses that utilize the concept of bounce-back couponing while receiving exposure from other businesses that also help to promote & drive traffic to the website.
We specialize in a proven, successful and very low-cost way advertise. Restaurants, retail, auto shops, etc., can advertise for as little as $29.95 a month. Being a “little guy” and running this small business from my home allows for very little overhead. This allows me to pass the savings onto the advertisers.
From a consumer standpoint, PhoenixMetro.com is a site that offers many different discount coupons offers from various local businesses. We display restaurant menus, custom photos, and the website is very easy to navigate.
We are most proud of the fact that we are a small business that has the capability of helping other small businesses through this very inexpensive advertising avenue while delivering great coupon offers to all in the Phoenix area.
What sets PhoenixMetro apart from other coupon businesses is our low ad rates. Nowhere else can you advertise successfully for about a dollar a day.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
That’s an easy one. My wife Carmen, deserves the majority of the credit. At the time I started PhoenixMetro, money was tight and I was in between jobs. I had a small 4′ x 8′ trailer and took on various hauling jobs on the side while I worked to get PhoenixMetro off the ground. Carmen believed in me in the beginning, to take on this new idea and through all of the ups and downs.
I also have my son, Bill, to thank. He has helped me over the years with web page design especially when I’d get stuck, not knowing how to do something. He’s a smart kid!
The bottom line though, is I wouldn’t have the success that I have if it wasn’t for my advertisers. When these local businesses met with me and first signed to come on board, they obviously took a chance on me and the concept of PhoenixMetro.com.