We all love life’s little perks and privileges, but what if you could take all of them and put them into one simple program? That’s exactly what Martin Martinez has done with the launch of Entrepreneur Card.
The United States has all kinds of programs, most of them pretty successful when it comes to catering to the needs of business people. Australian entrepreneur Martin Martinez, who travelled to the US quite frequently when he was running the Australian Poker League and various other enterprises, was one of those people.
“I am a member of the Founders Card program in the US and when I used to travel there I gained a lot of benefits. The only problem is that the benefits are very US centric. So I approached the owners to open up an Australian branch.”
Founders Card is a global membership community of over 15,000 entrepreneurs and innovators. They provide members with access to networking opportunities and premier benefits including hotel, lifestyle and business privileges. However, despite its global outlook, the owners felt that the Australian market would be too small to expand into.
Martin, however, didn’t shy away from the idea.
“I think it’s a great service for small and medium size companies,” he says.
So he worked up his own concept and came up with the idea for Entrepreneur Card.
“I am doing things differently though. Entrepreneur Card will firstly be localised with Australian partners, brands and benefits. There will be networking events that aren’t just meets and greets, but ways for entrepreneurs to connect differently to each other. We’ll also hold drive days with partners including luxury car brands, movie premiers, golf days as well as other different experiences. Finally we’ll have a travel concierge service that will handle all member’s travel arrangements. This is just to start.”The primary concept of Entrepreneur Card is to bridge the gap between the corporate world and the SME.
“Corporate is well looked after, they get the cream of the crop when it comes to savings and privileges. However the SME struggles to make an impact in that regard. So we will become the corporate facilitator for the SME. We’ll negotiate benefits on behalf of our members and together we’ll be able to access corporate packages and savings for them. The key is to connect each brand that partners with us to the entrepreneur and decision maker of the estimated two million small and medium size businesses in Australia. If you join you have instant access to corporate pricing.”
In essence, Entrepreneur Card uses the power of its large member community to negotiate the rates that businesses make available only to large corporations and bring them all together in the one program.
Entrepreneur Card officially launched in March and Martin is now focusing on building partnerships. He says the response to this has been overwhelming.
“There is yet to be rejection from partners; they see value in approaching the SME market. They appreciate that this is an underserviced group of customers and hundreds of brand partners have joined from the travel, hotel, lifestyle, dining and business services categories.”
Partners are not charged to join the program and provide the benefits and they also don’t pay any commissions or royalties for any business generated through Entrepreneur Card, which means greater savings that can be passed onto what Martin expects to soon be a 5,000 member base by the end of 2014.
However, he is taking a conservative approach.
“We want to make sure that we don’t rush and sign people up, we want to do it right and methodically.”…
Excerpted from an article originally published in the April/May 2014 issue of Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine. If you are a subscriber to Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine, you will receive this article in your April/May 2014 issue of TGR. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.