Geordie created Wave Review to help businesses gain more positive reviews and boosts their social review rating.
Geordie Wardman wanted to increase the frequency and effectiveness of customer interaction with businesses, thereby enhancing retention and overall satisfaction.
His solution? He founded Wave Review, a service that seeks to help businesses harness their online influence with positive reviews from their adoring fans. He is a one man force sharing insights to fuel your business.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Guest Retain all about?
Sure – We actually changed the name to Wave Review, because we were hearing some push back from some of our clients that were not hotels. We still own the domain Guestretain, and we’ll likely keep it for a long time, but the name is now officially WaveReview – Our company was born from a philosophy of solving real customer problems, and after listening to a brilliant TedTalks by Simon Sinek about Why your company should be in business, that is the primary reason. We exist to primarily solve the core function of how our customers can get their adoring fans to leave reviews on the social review sites, but get notified before the customers that had a bad experience slam them on the social review sites.
If you start with the Why your company exists, which is to help our customers, small business owners, manage their online reputations and help them fix and maintain those reputations. We exist to solve this core problem for our customers, that’s where I feel we are now.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
I’m a Bermudian island boy, that now lives in Mexico. The significance of that is that I’ve never really lived and worked in a thriving entrepreneurial setting, something that many Americans under appreciate. Places like New York, San Francisco, Boulder have start ups on almost every block but that’s not the reality of my world. The way I have overcome that is by forming or joining online or virtual entrepreneurial communities so that I can speak to like-minded people about ideas, marketing, what’s working and what is not working.
In terms of my skill sets, they are broad due to the absolute necessity of being and working as a single resource. I’ve been working out of my house, unassisted for 8 years. If something is happening to the hard drive on my computer, there is no IT guy that I can call to come look at it. If I can’t figure out how to set up a landing page, there’s no one to come and show me how to write the HTML or CSS code needed to make it look just right. DNS problems, or website problems? I need to learn all of this stuff on my own, so I know a little bit about a lot of things. Some of the activities I most enjoy however are finding out how things work, marketing, copy writing, Internet marketing, and networking.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
If I need a raise, I need to start a new project, that’s why I have 4 projects going on right now.
Gemm TV – This is my core business, the one that I started in 2006 and has sustained my family’s life for the last decade of my life. We provide WiFi and Internet solutions for the Mexican Hospitality market.
WaveReview – This is a SaaS solution that is owned by Gemm, and helps hotels, spas and salons and other small and medium small businesses manage their online reputation.
Real Good Salt – This is an organic sea salt company that sells artisanal sea salt over the Internet.
Giving Circle – This is a not for profit grassroots movement I’m starting with some friends to provide free coaching, or help to aspiring entrepreneurs. The idea is to give something to someone for 365 days.
Q: How many users are currently on this platform and how do you plan to keep the numbers growing?
Currently, on Wave Review we have 45 users in varying degrees of use. We recently created an integration with MindBody Online, a software that helps make bookings for Spas, Salons, Yoga and Pilates studios. Recently, I’ve noticed that business owners really want to work on sending thank you emails to their clients and want to stay in touch with their sentiments and send their good customers on to leave reviews, but they don’t always have the time to add users to our application. To make things easier we integrated with MindBody, which has a customer base of 24,000 businesses. Our integration with MindBody will let them automatically do all of the things that WaveReview does, send thank you emails, follow up with clients to make sure they leave reviews on social review sites, track comments, post testimonials on business websites, and keep track of everything in multiple languages, all automatically through MindBody’s booking.
We are looking to do the same thing with Spa Booker and Salon Booker, which also between them 22,000 clients. We’re looking at doing an integration with one of the large Hotel Property Management System and also with the management software of a limo company. I see these integrations as becoming a core part of our marketing and growth so that we can cut out the need to have humans manually entering their client information into our application.
Q: What are the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business and what did you learn from it?
A huge mistake we recently made was not capturing customer credit card information at the outset. I started allowing customer’s to use Wave Review reputation marketing by paypal, but needed to chase these customers down 60-90 days later to recapture their credit card information. Now I only allow customers to enter their credit card information to use the application.
Another mistake I’ve made in the past is not speaking directly with my customers enough to stay in touch with their needs. It’s VITAL to speak with your customer’s on a daily basis to stay on top of what they’re thinking and to make sure you’re correctly solving their pains.
Mistake #3 is trying to take on too much. I had so many different projects going on just inside of Wave Review that the simple things were not getting done. Focus on one task at a time, and do it all the way to completion. By doing this, I was able to get more done, and was able to stay more focused and stress free.
Q: Please share some advice for newbie entrepreneurs, someone who’s just starting out.
Don’t consume too much information or content. There’s SOOO much out on the Internet right now, don’t get overwhelmed with starting. Pick one source or person that is showing you a formula and follow it and don’t stray or get distracted with the next shiny piece of information. Allow a full 12 months to see if a project is going to work, if it is not, be realistic about it and shut it down quickly, and without emotion to start on the next thing.
Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
I have a mentor that was very important to me when I first was getting started. There were two maxim’s he gave me that I have used on a consistent basis.
Finish the task at hand, or nothing gets done. [Tweet it]
There’s nothing more expensive than bad advice. [Tweet it]
The second one is something I take more loosely, but don’t follow the advice of people without an excellent track record, and when you do need the advice of an expert, don’t be cheap. Go to the best source of information you can get, and pay for it. It’ll likely set you on a path that could end up saving you thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars if it’s good advice.
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
Mixergy – Premium Membership
Unbounce – Landing pages
WordPress – for blogging
Q: What’s your definition of success?
Financial success to me is having the freedom to work on projects you love, where and when you want, without having to worry about how your bills are going to be paid.
Personal success is living your life exactly as you want to, surrounded by people that you love and that make you laugh.
Q: What are three books you recommend entrepreneurs to read?
A Simple Act Of Gratitude – John Kralik
The Ultimate Sales Machine – Chet Holmes
Rework – by Jason Fried
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
It’s not necessarily an entrepreneurship quote, but it’s one I love by M. Gandhi.
“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World” – Mahatma Gandhi [Tweet it]
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?
Please visit geordiewardman.com it has all of my contact information.