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Jesus Vargas

How Cancuntour.app built a profitable travel app using Glide


Make more money from your vacation rental property


Monthly Revenue

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What’s your personal background? What motivated you to start your own company?

Even though I’m not coming from a technical background, I’ve always dabbled with making websites and consulting companies in their digital transformation journey. For many years I’ve done Wordpress websites, FileMaker apps, front-end coding for CRM’s, etc. My last boss was an a**hole, so I decided I was better off trying on my own and if it didn’t work out, I could always get a job somewhere as an 9-to-5 employee.

What no code tool did you use to build your company and what purpose did each play in the final product?

I’m 100% involved with Glide Apps. I became a certified expert some months ago, and that’s the tool I use every day for my business and my customers. I glue everything together with Integromat.

What were the initial costs to get your company off the ground?

As a non technical founder, the cost is the learning curve. Some courses from Udemy and some Google Sheet experts, a Glideapp pro license, website, and that’s pretty much it!

What was the process of building your product from idea to launching?

The idea came from a friend that has several vacation rental properties in Cancun, Mexico. He has a boat, and the boat was not being used. Airbnb Experiences is super expensive (they take a 30% commission) so it was not an option for him. I had been dabbling with Glide for some weeks, and though that we could do a personalized app for his properties, where he could cross-sell his guests the boat experience.

Later on, I made an alliance with a well established tour operator, so we were able to add over 100 tours and transport options for guests staying in vacation rental properties in Cancun, helping the owners or property managers make extra money.

How do you attract customers?

Word of mouth, mainly. No ads at all.

What are the biggest challenges you’ve overcome building your company?

Saying no to a customer is one of the most important things when starting. You want to please everybody, but you must focus on your roadmap. When providing a SaaS, you must define which requests from customers make sense for your product, and say no to the rest.

How much money is your company making per month?

Before COVID, https://cancuntour.app was making over 1,000 USD a month, and our apps were being used in over 500 rooms (our customers are Airbnb owners, property management companies, boutique and large hotels) in the region.

What’s your advice for non-technical people who want to start a company?

Build a product for yourself, solve a pain in your business, and then show it around. People have so many pains in their business, that are overlooked by large companies. That’s how you can get your first customers.

What are your future plans for your company?

Cancuntour.app is on hold. Occupancy rates in the Cancun region are below 5% (while the usual is 87-95%), so I decided to not charge my customers since March. They don’t have guests, so the app can’t make them money. However, from the mothership (lowcode.agency) we’re busier than ever. The digital transformation that was supposed to come in the next 2 years is developing right now in a couple of months. Customers want apps, e-commerce, streamline their operations from their phones, automate processes, etc; and that’s where we help them.

How do you think the rise of no code tools will impact entrepreneurship?

I remember years ago quoting bespoke CRM’s and ERP’s in tens of thousands of USD. Now, you can do the same at a fraction of the cost. This means that there are tons of opportunities for small business getting into the digital transformation train, at a very low cost. Entrepreneurs should focus on a specific stack (nobody likes do-it-all’s) and get out there. Businesses are dying left and right right now. Going digital might be their only life saver.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Do your research and focus in 2-4 tools, and make yourself an expert on them. Don’t try to do them all, there are too many.

I write a newsletter (in spanish, but you can always use Google Translate) at eltintero.substack.com, and I tweet a lot at @eltintero. Always happy to chat with other makers, hit me up!

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