UPNIN has passed many milestones in 2016. As proud as I am of our progress and our services, I know that we will make mistakes along the way- some will be self-inflicted, some will be served up by smart and hard-working competitors. Our passion for pioneering will drive us to explore narrow passages, and unavoidably, many will turn out to be blind alleys. But, with a bit of good fortune- there will also be a few that open up into broad avenues. I’d like to begin by giving you update on some of our current assets.
Our investment in PitchMan Apparel has been a great success in less then a year. We exceeded expectations in Omaha for the booth we had at the College World Series. We made numerous relationships with people in the sports retail business that will be very advantageous for business in coming years. We also took home the Award for “Newcomer of the Year” out of the 10 booths that made an appearance there for the first time. We learned something new everyday and have no doubt our presence in Omaha will get bigger and better in coming years. We also will be rolling out our own brand of baseball gloves with the PitchMan Logo. We hope to offer the highest quality gloves and the free cash flow from sales will help us expand into many other items in coming years. If you haven’t yet, check out our website and remember “Wear What the Pros Wear” #PitchManApparel
Although we have the capabilities to build sites & maintain social media accounts for others, we rely on our Media Company to handle our marketing in house and save the expenses of outsourcing. We know how to do all the things media companies do for others such as SEO, Google Ads, Facebook Advertising, Commercials, etc. At the end of the day, no one cares more about our business then I do and the team assembled. Media is a crowded space, but we have found a niche in snapchat advertising for other companies. Snapchat is currently valued at 17 Billion dollars, and the metrics we get by advertising through this avenue greatly exceeds any other avenue available for a fraction of the cost. It’s cheaper, more effective, and exactly how I intend to operate things at UPNIN. Check out UPNINMedia.com and see our progress.
Our insurance site is live and doing very well. By building our site in-house we now have the ability to license out our platform to other insurance agents. The profit margins for this model are extremely high and very easy to implement now our site is finished. We have the ability to gather more Intel to get a quote then any other insurance site I have came across. Recently we have done several life insurance policies, but as more people in our network go out and start their own businesses, we hope to focus on the various policies businesses need. We also foresee a lot of multi-family property policies being written in coming months with the great resources and companies in our network. Eventually your Network is very close to your NetWorth!
We recently added a legal division on our UPNIN.com site. We have the capability to write wills, form new businesses, and write hundreds of contracts for any legal transaction imaginable. We encourage you to check out our progress on the site so far, and we will be implementing new features and more capabilities in coming months.
Although, the sale cycle for this venture has taken much longer then we anticipated, we recently closed our largest sale ever last week. This was a big milestone for this business and we remain very optimistic about the future of Seat Caps. Once more people see SeatCaps at more events, we are confident the network effect will help us continue to grow Seat Caps and expand into other states around the nation.
We recently changed the name of our crowd-funding site to UPNINFund.com. We believe our UPNIN brand will help the site grow at a faster pace. We have made numerous adjustments over the last year and recently reduced our rate to 2%. In the coming months we have some very low cost innovative marketing tactics we will be implementing to greatly increase the brand awareness of what we have built over many years.. The main advantage we have over Go Fund Me, is our 3% lower cost. That is HUGE and now its imperative we let, as many people as possible know about it. Check out the site and next time you need to raise money for a cause give us a shot! We will take care of you and promote your campaign to as many people as we can!
It’s All About the Long Term
We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. This value will be a direct result of our ability to extend and solidify our current market leadership positions. The stronger our market leadership is, the more powerful our economic model will be. Market leadership can translate directly to higher revenue, higher profitability, greater capital velocity, and correspondingly stronger returns on invested capital.
Obsess Over Customers
From the beginning, our focus has been on offering our customers compelling value. We have much lower prices then our competitors who only offer one service, and this greatly increases customer value. Word of mouth remains the most powerful customer acquisition tool we have, and we are grateful for the trust our customers/clients have placed in us.
Recent Networking Events
Over the last month we have had some incredible opportunities to go to a few really unique places. By keeping in touch with our people and utilizing our knowledge we got a chance to go see Jeff Bezos’s space exploration operations in Van Horn, TX. Although, we can’t discuss what we did there, it was incredible experience and have no doubt Blue Origin will be taking people to space in the next few years. We also went to a political event at Harlan Crows house in Dallas for 3 politicians that were in town. His 30M House backs up to the Dallas Country club and is by far the most impressive house I have ever seen. From his statues in backyard, his 77-car underground parking garage, and his office being a replica of the Oval Office, it was something special to see. A little over $860,000 was raised, so we got to meet some big time movers and shakers.
Goals for 2016 and Beyond
We are still in the early stages of learning how to bring new value to our customers through the Internet and commerce. We now know vastly more now than when UPNIN.com was founded, but we still have much to learn. Our goal remains to continue to solidify and extend our brand and customer base. We will balance our focus on growth with emphases on long-term profitability and capital management. At this stage, we choose to prioritize growth because we believe that scale is central to achieving the potential of our business model.
Our Vision is to use our platform to build Earth’s most customer-centric company, a place where customers can bank, get insurance, manage their investments, access legal services in a way no other company has ever offered before. We see substantial opportunity in the large markets we are targeting. This strategy is not without risk: it requires serious investment and execution against established franchise leaders. We must be committed to constant improvement, experimentation, and innovation in every initiative. We love to be pioneers, it’s in the DNA of UPNIN, and it’s a good thing, too, because we’ll need that pioneering spirit to succeed. We believe we are still in the early stages of the Internet and that 10 years from now everyone in world will be connected and a potential customer with all the services we offer and will offer.
2016 has been an incredibly year so far. We at UPNIN are grateful to our customers for their businesses and trust, to each other for our hard work, and to our shareholders for their support and encouragement.
“Work Hard, Have Fun, and Make History”
Brian A. Blackwell
Founder and CEO