Anthony Orosco

Bigger & Better in 2008......

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with your help.

 

 

I need some input from our members in what changes and upgrades would most benefit the Optimum Forums?

 

I will start by stating that the Optimum store will change a bit, members will get a discount on products and shipping and I'm also thinking of incorporating a "Special Members Only" section which will have a cost to join that will allow greater discounts, beta tester privileges and promotional items. This "thought" though is still very much up in the air and is just a thought at the moment.

 

I have a T-shrit design which I will get printed first part of the New Year and then offered through the Optimum store.

 

I'm also no longer posting on other forums (except Rennlist) but will instead focus most of my attention here. I've already been asked on several forums not to post anything about Optimum (or already banned) and/or no longer post up pictures or videos of my work (some people are so uptight) so I say :dribble[1]: to them.

 

So if you have any ideas please list them here please.......oh, and I will hire someone to take over the Optimum Store as I just can't juggle that in addition to my full time detailing plus this forum. The Optimum Store has been pretty much silent since I started it but that will change in 08 as I plan to do much more aggressive advertising of it. It's un-fair to my Optimum Store buyers that their package gets shipped late because I was too busy with detailing. My detailing and the Store need to be 2 separate entities, and so they shall.

 

Thank You, Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!!

 

Anthony

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Guest Driven Auto Detail

I like your ideas for the forum. Most other forums offer some sort of discount for registration so I think that definitely needs to be put in place. I don't know that you need to go any further than that with the discounts for standard forum members. Occasional specials are good, but I think at some point you "dilute the product" if you offer too many discounts. Plus, it is a business and you have to make money to stay in business. As I'm learning with my business, you can't give discounts to everybody!

 

As far as a VIP club, I love this idea. For me personally, I feature Optimum as my products of choice for my business. In 2008, I plan to market this more and more along since the products are environmentally safe. Also in 2008, I want the focal point of my business to be about being GREEN (along with top notch work and customer service). Optimum is key for this so I would gladly throw some money towards being a beta-tester or to receive other perks from Optimum.

 

T-shirts are another good idea. I have quite a few of my own Driven Auto Detail shirts that I wear when I work and when I'm out and about, but I'd definitely be up for some good Optimum shirts. My one suggestion for this is to look into the new "dry-fit" type of shirts (like this: http://www.kohls.com/kohlsStore/mens/athle...weight+Tee.jsp). Cotton shirts are fine, but all of my Driven shirts are are of this type of material and it really helps for us mobile detailers that have to work in the outside environment day in and day out. I have short sleeve and long sleeves for all kinds of weather. One last suggestion is to keep from having a huge logo on it. The reason I say that is because when you're working out in the sun, the area that the logo resides over doesn't allow the shirt to breathe and it just attracts more heat to that area of the shirt. Yes, I know I'm a little needy when it comes to shirts. My wife is a graphic designer and used to work at place that printed a lot of t-shirts and other apparel so she's made me very picky when it comes to the quality of t-shirts that I buy.

 

Sorry to hear about your situation on other boards. Although, it sounds like this forum will benefit from it all in the long run. I for one would love to see more of your work whether it's pictures or video demonstrations.

 

I look forward to see what changes are brought forth in 2008 here and at your online store.

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Thanks for your input Mike.

 

In regards to shirts, what we can do besides having strictly Optimum T-shirts is make an Optimum logo available to pro's like yourself who may want to add that logo to their own company shirts.

 

David, Ron and I are talking about a whole marketing campaign that will include a membership with some credentials that identify the end user as "Certified by Optimum"......something along those lines. This is just talk again.

 

Thanks again,

Anthony

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I'd love to someday boast a "Certified by Optimum"... certification :dribble[1]:

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On the first day of 2008, let me just say....GOOD LUCK ANTHONY!! Here's to hoping for a highly successful year for all of us and to pushing Optimum to the for front for quality car care!

 

Anthony, if I can be of any assistance out here on the West Coast, let me know. Thank you for all the hard work on this forum!!

 

Steve

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okay. I like the idea of a "certified" type of organization. However, it really needs to MEAN something beyond being a member of a forumn. By that I mean that perhaps it's worht setting up a training program of sorts, with some testing etc. To be certified, a person should know a HELL of a lot about the products, each specific best use, conditions for best use, conditions, such as temp, or specific polishing equipment that could not work or cause harm, and things like that. To that end, I think there ought to be some level of curriculum and testing. If I become "certified" my client should know that I have gone a long extra mile to become an absolute working expert on the Optimum line. Short of giving a proprietary chemistry lesson, I should be able to converse expertly in the qualities of the product, as well as others, that set Optimum apart. Being "certified" should be a reason for a customer to seek you out.

 

I can't think of many other products that do that. However, I know a "certified Porsche Tech" and a "certified Mercedes Tech". It takes work. Why shouldn't we position ourselves similarly. We already have a premium, premiere product. It should take commitment, continued education, and professionalism exemplified to hold such a certification.

 

In terms of the board, perhaps we could provide an online, certified learning resource, with a curriculum and tests. One set of test could be for enthusiasts, but that's not a very good title, and a different set could be for the Pro's. The Pro's would be much more extensive, in terms of knowledge, while the "enthusiasts" curriculum would be much more based on application and techniques.

The pro's would require the learning of a bit of science behind Optimum's various products, in contrast to the science behind others.

Why shouldn't we take this to a professional level as you might find from A.S.E. or that organization that handles body work?

Detailing is arguably more important than body work. They are two different sides of the same business. Detailers are the Eyes, ears, nose and throat Docs, while Body guys are the surgeons.

 

as far as a members area, or a paid member area, I think participation will be based on value, so perhaps the videos should be moved there. They are really informative. Perhaps that area might mimic RL. They have, in the members section, a member to member classified section, and off topic, which is quite entertaining......Their other rules don't allow non-members to sell things, which I think makes good sense. A payed member can offer to sell to the whole list, and anyone can buy, but only a member can post something for sale on the open forum.

As far as shirts go, look into quantity/pricing before committing. They can get expensive in small quantities due to very small margins.

A "Certified Optimum Prfessional" sticker would be a good offering for both mobile and brick/mortar professionals. A smaller, cool looking sticker could be nice for amatuer enthusiasts...something in the 2 inch round size, that doesn't say "certified Professional" unless they pass the testing.

 

That's some stuff off the top of my head. We may want to move this thread to a private area for further discussions.

 

Elliott

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Great post E! I definitely like those ideas. I'd love it if Optimum offered their own training. I'd sign-up in a heartbeat.

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Very good stuff Ehall, appreciate your time and thought with those offerings.

 

Dr. G, Ron and myself have had this conversation for some time now as to Optimum offering training and certification on some level and the spring board into this just may be a beta product that if successful in performing that way we want it to will put Optimum "techs" in the forefront of automotive reconditioning. I'm fairly positive though that there will be a Optimum training program set up, possibly this year, that will cover both the technical side and application side of the Optimum line, regardless of this product being ready.

 

The 3 of us have a vision but it's not the same vision, which is good, as it allows us to refine them, remove stuff that won't work and concentrate on those that will. Optimum is in the forefront of development and while some of the "big boys" won't admit it they have followed much of the Optimum line and it shows in many of their "new" products. How many spray waxes/sealants have come out in the past year?

 

We'll know more in about 3 months as Dr. G can now provide more time into the development of this "beta" product and also more time towards this whole Optimum certification now that most of the current product upgrades are done. Ron and I will discuss these issues as well more tomorrow as we have some cars to do in the morning.

 

I'll keep everyone updated and there may be a "Optimum Members" section that will require a subscription to join which will allow those members to discuss these matters in private plus some very nice "perks".

 

Anthony

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Hi Anthony and a Happy New Year to you and all the forum members,

 

Since you asked, I thought I would give you my 2 cents on the forum and the store front. And this is from a guy who for years simply washed his car and threw on a coat of wax every now and then. Who new that washing technique had an effect on paint, or that there was something called clay that could make the paint on my car feel smooth as glass? Or that there were products that would enhance the gloss and slickness? My recent quest for information on how to take better car of my autos has led me to several different car care forums, including your Optimum forum. So now you know where I am coming from; An enthusiastic newbie who is on the steep part of the learning curve!

 

And what do I want in a good auto care forum?

 

1) I like to see a lot of traffic from many different types of contributors. I find it interesting to read what others are using and what new products are coming on the market. The amount of new traffic is what keeps me coming back for more.

2) I like to see posts from full and part time professional detailers, where they list the products they used and show before and after shots. Its is great to admire the skill these pros put to use (the more I read the more I am a believer that it is 90% preparation and technique and 10% product).

3) I also like to see posts from ordinary people, like me, who are interested in keeping their cars in top shape, both with "how to" questions as well as sharing their own detailing experiences (good and bad) and shots of their pride and joy. The answers that many of the experienced detailers provide is how we learn (although there is nothing quite like doing it yourself and learning what works and what doesn't).

4) I also really like the links to the training videos and wish the recent one on Optiseal had been there when I first found your forum (I probably wouldn't have had to post so many bonehead questions).

5) I also like it when I can "feel" the camaraderie among the members, the friendly banter of people who enjoy what their doing and the company they keep. I think this is a tough one to implement, but its like gold when you have it!

6) What I don't like is a lot of negative energy I get from some sites, due to members who like to twit or deride someone else. I think it is ok to share your opinion if it differs from someone else's, but it should always be in a respectful manner. Maybe I'm just old fashion that way?

7) I think that a good discussion board will have 3-4 full time moderators, who check the board constantly, ensuring that inappropriate posts are quickly deleted, as well as quickly answering questions or simply posting "Great job" to someone who has just posted photos of their work. Or quickly censoring someone who is snarking or being degrading to someone else's post. I say 3-4 because this is a full time job, and with that many there won't be a lapse in administration when one or two are busy.

 

What do I want in a good store front?

That one is pretty easy - Good selection, good pricing, fast delivery, and great customer service and customer appreciation! If you are going to feature only Optimum products, then you will need to offer better deals than other websites selling the same products! Otherwise, what is the incentive for people to buy from you, particularly when they might want to buy other items as well (that you may not carry).

 

I have a story to share with you, about when I first started to buy detailing supplies on-line (mainly because I can't find them at the local Shucks store). I purchased some Optiseal from you, which took almost two weeks to receive (I live in Washington state). I also purchased some items from Pakshak that I ordered on a Thursday afternoon and received by USPS on the next Monday - and that was from Hawaii!!! Pakshak offers a huge selection, good prices and with delivery like that, they have become my main source of detailing supplies. I understand the amount of time it takes to manage a web store and congratulate you on your decision to hire a full time store manager. That is what it will take to ensure happy customers.

 

So that is what I want. Now you need to answer what it is you want! Do you want to grow your business (of selling Optimum products)? If so then what makes the best business sense? Selling to a limited number of professional detailers that use Optimum products, or to the hundreds of thousand car owners who are looking for good products (and advice) that will make their life a little easier, when it comes to keeping their cars looking great. BTW - I now exclusively use ONR, Optiseal and Optimum Spray Wax on my daily driver and couldn't be happier with the results.

 

I think the business model of tying a forum to a storefront makes a lot of sense (just look how many are out there already) - people come first looking for advice, but then want to buy some of the products that produce those great results (that’s the theory anyway). But you must keep traffic high on the forum and offer great deals to make it work. I think that focusing too much on the professional detailer will limit your business, unless that is what you want? What does it take to keep traffic high? Keep posting questions and poles for members to respond to (such as what you did on this thread). Keep posting photos of recent jobs, along with the products and techniques used. And stealing from the Pakshak forum, how about a monthly drawing for some free Optimum products, or for one of those Optimum t-shirts or Optimum decals. Doesn't have to be a big dollar amount, it just creates traffic and is fun for the members.

 

Ok, you got a little more than 2 cents worth, but there it is!

 

I wish you great success in your re-tooled store front and look forward to reading and participating in the forum.

 

BJ

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Great stuff :thumbsupup[1]:

 

Really appreciate the time and effort some of you have put into your replies and I'm taking all of it in and giving thoughtful consideration to each idea.

 

Again thanks for the input :cheese1[1]:

 

Anthony

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Hi Anthony and a Happy New Year to you and all the forum members,

 

Since you asked, I thought I would give you my 2 cents on the forum and the store front. And this is from a guy who for years simply washed his car and threw on a coat of wax every now and then. Who new that washing technique had an effect on paint, or that there was something called clay that could make the paint on my car feel smooth as glass? Or that there were products that would enhance the gloss and slickness? My recent quest for information on how to take better car of my autos has led me to several different car care forums, including your Optimum forum. So now you know where I am coming from; An enthusiastic newbie who is on the steep part of the learning curve!

 

And what do I want in a good auto care forum?

 

1) I like to see a lot of traffic from many different types of contributors. I find it interesting to read what others are using and what new products are coming on the market. The amount of new traffic is what keeps me coming back for more.

2) I like to see posts from full and part time professional detailers, where they list the products they used and show before and after shots. Its is great to admire the skill these pros put to use (the more I read the more I am a believer that it is 90% preparation and technique and 10% product).

3) I also like to see posts from ordinary people, like me, who are interested in keeping their cars in top shape, both with "how to" questions as well as sharing their own detailing experiences (good and bad) and shots of their pride and joy. The answers that many of the experienced detailers provide is how we learn (although there is nothing quite like doing it yourself and learning what works and what doesn't).

4) I also really like the links to the training videos and wish the recent one on Optiseal had been there when I first found your forum (I probably wouldn't have had to post so many bonehead questions).

5) I also like it when I can "feel" the camaraderie among the members, the friendly banter of people who enjoy what their doing and the company they keep. I think this is a tough one to implement, but its like gold when you have it!

6) What I don't like is a lot of negative energy I get from some sites, due to members who like to twit or deride someone else. I think it is ok to share your opinion if it differs from someone else's, but it should always be in a respectful manner. Maybe I'm just old fashion that way?

7) I think that a good discussion board will have 3-4 full time moderators, who check the board constantly, ensuring that inappropriate posts are quickly deleted, as well as quickly answering questions or simply posting "Great job" to someone who has just posted photos of their work. Or quickly censoring someone who is snarking or being degrading to someone else's post. I say 3-4 because this is a full time job, and with that many there won't be a lapse in administration when one or two are busy.

 

What do I want in a good store front?

That one is pretty easy - Good selection, good pricing, fast delivery, and great customer service and customer appreciation! If you are going to feature only Optimum products, then you will need to offer better deals than other websites selling the same products! Otherwise, what is the incentive for people to buy from you, particularly when they might want to buy other items as well (that you may not carry).

 

I have a story to share with you, about when I first started to buy detailing supplies on-line (mainly because I can't find them at the local Shucks store). I purchased some Optiseal from you, which took almost two weeks to receive (I live in Washington state). I also purchased some items from Pakshak that I ordered on a Thursday afternoon and received by USPS on the next Monday - and that was from Hawaii!!! Pakshak offers a huge selection, good prices and with delivery like that, they have become my main source of detailing supplies. I understand the amount of time it takes to manage a web store and congratulate you on your decision to hire a full time store manager. That is what it will take to ensure happy customers.

 

So that is what I want. Now you need to answer what it is you want! Do you want to grow your business (of selling Optimum products)? If so then what makes the best business sense? Selling to a limited number of professional detailers that use Optimum products, or to the hundreds of thousand car owners who are looking for good products (and advice) that will make their life a little easier, when it comes to keeping their cars looking great. BTW - I now exclusively use ONR, Optiseal and Optimum Spray Wax on my daily driver and couldn't be happier with the results.

 

I think the business model of tying a forum to a storefront makes a lot of sense (just look how many are out there already) - people come first looking for advice, but then want to buy some of the products that produce those great results (that’s the theory anyway). But you must keep traffic high on the forum and offer great deals to make it work. I think that focusing too much on the professional detailer will limit your business, unless that is what you want? What does it take to keep traffic high? Keep posting questions and poles for members to respond to (such as what you did on this thread). Keep posting photos of recent jobs, along with the products and techniques used. And stealing from the Pakshak forum, how about a monthly drawing for some free Optimum products, or for one of those Optimum t-shirts or Optimum decals. Doesn't have to be a big dollar amount, it just creates traffic and is fun for the members.

 

Ok, you got a little more than 2 cents worth, but there it is!

 

I wish you great success in your re-tooled store front and look forward to reading and participating in the forum.

 

BJ

We have 4 mods. The need for mods varies with the size and usage of the board. I'm of the opinion that if it doesn't get personal then the mods should stay out of it. The rules are clearly stated, so all a member has to do is report a violation. As we grow, it might change, but mods are volunteers, so the board has to fit around their lives. Personally, I think we'll be fine with what we've got. Our motto is to walk softly and carry a thermo nuclear explosive device. :D:thumbsupup[1]:

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