With the rapid growth of RunSignUp and by adding the talents of The Race Director and RaceJoy to our offering, many people want to understand our strategy. We covered this in our presentation at RunningUSA (and our video of that presentation here). It is worth expanding on now that RaceJoy is formally a part of RunSignup.
We have been clear about the basics of our strategy from the beginning.
- We build great technology for the running and endurance market.
- We run a profitable business that our customers, partners, employees and owner benefit from.
- We adhere to our Guiding Principals of hard work, learning, being a team, and having fun.
That focus makes this simple for us and our customers:
- Technology Innovation and Leadership targeted specifically at the endurance market. Building great technology is hard and often not valued by marketing oriented providers. We strive to build quality systems that are taking advantage of technology advances like continuous delivery, cloud and mobile.
- Build out a set of Web Services that are mobile enabled for the endurance market. This means (and has always meant) more than just registration.
- We are not a destination site. Zero advertising and spam. We do not own the data – our customers do.
- We build open, “plug and play” web services with an API that allows for easy integration with other vendors. This means we can fit into existing environments more easily, and our customers have a selection far beyond RunSignUp of other technology they can plug in. This also eliminates lock in.
- Most of our services are free. We make our money by charging an uplift of fees we have to pay. This is mostly credit card processing, but is also for txt notifications since that costs us money. We strive to make our fees simple and low cost, especially when compared to the high level of functionality we deliver to our customers.
- RunSignUp – for Race Directors to do registration and help manage their race and finances.
- The Race Director and the RD Go Platform – for timers to do scoring and results.
- RaceJoy – for runners to enjoy their race experience more via mobile apps.
These services can be used stand alone or together. Each has a robust and growing set of technology and solution partners around them. We are truly agnostic about what a customer chooses to use to meet their needs.
Each of these offerings has many, many services. As discussed above, we are really a collection of services that can be used stand alone or together with many of them being free. For example a running store does packet pickup for about 100 races each year, and many do not use RunSignUp. The store uploads all the participants into RunSignUp (for free) and uses our bib assignment and check-in services (for free). Similarly, timers use our result posting and notifications for all of their races in spite of the registration provider. Another example of our open approach is the ability to replace our donation and fundraising with Crowdrise or First Giving.
With the recent acquisitions of The Race Director and RaceJoy we are following a similar open strategy. The Race Director will continue to work with a wide variety of partners, as will RaceJoy. We see strength in giving customers real choice, and attracting good technology partners.
Specifically to RaceJoy, we will be seeking partnerships with other registration companies.
How we “Go To Market”
We use a number of effective methods of going to market.
- Free services to gain awareness
- Low cost because of efficiency of technology and volume
- Channel partners like timers and OEM’s who license our technology
- Viral strategies built into our offerings like Club Discounts for races and integrated race and club registration.
- Broad coverage of service offerings to appeal to customers with particular needs
- Ability to fit in well with existing environments
Customer Success & Self Service
Our aim is to make customers successful. We build only one version of our offerings and never do custom work for one customer. Whenever we build a feature a customer desires, it becomes available to all users and there is always a way of setting up and reporting on that feature.
We build our systems to be easy to use so customers can do things themselves without having to interact with us. This lowers our cost and lowers customer frustration.
Of course we are available to help, and as you can see, we have a lot of happy customers who we hand hold. But our aim is to make people self sufficient. With that in mind, we have made huge investments in video help and in documenting the system as we evolve quickly in this blog. And we’ve now added many stories and videos on how real customers are using the system.
Profit and Investment
Building a company with our set of capabilities and our scale is not easy or cheap. When we first started building, we thought it would take a year. It turns out the technology needs of races, timers, clubs and running stores is really complex and seemingly never ending. We are fortunate to have the capital to build the business to the point of scale where we will become a very profitable company delivering the best technology solutions at a very modest cost. This will put us in a continual cycle of improvement of our technology, and continual lowering of our costs as we gain market share that increases our volume.
Let’s finish this deep dive into our strategy with where we began – technology. This is our real competitive differentiator. Quite simply we have built an architecture and made the investments that produce a very reliable system (99.996% uptime) that we iterate (over 1,800 times last year) very quickly on. This means our customers and partners can count on continual improvement and expansion of the services we provide.