Leaving a 15 year career in the travel industry to become a stay at home dad, this entrepreneur discovers the world of bottle feeding, changing daipers, playgroup, running a home business, and a Ten Million Dollar Travel Page.
Anyone will tell you that starting any business from scratch is tough. Trying to develop and nurture a new company from home while out driving a taxi a couple of nights a week, then playing "Daddy Daycare" to two young girls during the day makes for an especially gruelling challenge.
Sydney entrepreneur Matt Halloran has done it all. In 2002, after a 15 year career in the Travel Industry, Matt made a choice to leave it all behind to become a stay at home dad and look after his young daughter whilst his wife continued her teaching career.
"Staying at home and spending quality time with kids is the most rewarding thing a parent can do, but it can be such a big lifestyle change," says Matt. "Changing diapers, bottle feeding, reading stories and attending playgroup is pretty far removed from the corporate world. It has been an interesting journey, but we made a conscious decision to be there for our kids in their early years, and with the upheaval in the travel industry around that time, it was decided that I would be the one to stay at home."
It wasn't long, however, before Matt began to see opportunities offered through online distribution channels to continue his travel career whilst staying at home. Having been involved with the internet and website design since the mid 1990's, Matt began to experiment and build travel based websites during his spare time, selling accommodation, tours, car hire, activities, flights and travel insurance online. With virtually no budget and little time to work with, Matt's business continued to grow, and in 2003 he formed the company Accom.Com.Au Pty Ltd.
However, always the entrepreneurial mind, Matt saw opportunities to grow beyond just another online travel retailer. "While I have enjoyed and continue to learn a lot from the online sales experience, I have always wanted to do more," commented Matt. "I have always had a strategy in mind to become a support and promotional vehicle for the industry rather than just another online travel retailer."
Indeed, the range of products and services offered by Accom.Com.Au Pty Ltd continues to grow. With a highly visited online travel guide to Australia ( www.frogandtoad.com.au ), a "click to call" subscription service ( www.wetalk2u.com ), and a new feature-packed worldwide industry advertising directory due online in 2006, Matt has been a busy boy.
"It has been tough," admits Matt. "In between looking after kids, doing housework, driving a Taxi part time, and trying to single handedly develop this business over the past few years, I am lucky to still have as much hair on my head as I have. But we are getting there."
After spending a number of years as a part time, self funded, home based business, Matt decided it was time to turn the situation around. As a prelude to the launch of his own industry support products, and inspired by Alex Tew's highly successful Million Dollar Home Page, Matt has launched the world's first Ten Million Dollar Travel Page, dedicated to advertising and promoting Travel & Tourism businesses through a highly targeted pixel advertising website.
The TenMillionDollarTravelPage.com is selling permanent ad space of 1,000,000 pixels for $10 each exclusively to the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industries, making the site one of the most highly targeted pages of its kind in the world today. It is also one of the first sites in history to offer advertisers the option of a "short term" 30-day advertising solution on the same page, with an additional 57,600 pixels available at just $0.75 per pixel.
"With a world-first mix of permanent and short term advertising solutions, our Ten Million Dollar Travel Page presents a unique, dynamic opportunity for both large and small Travel, Tourism & Hospitality operators to promote their products and services," commented Matt. "It has been created to allow the industry to participate in a dedicated advertising vehicle that we anticipate will be visited by millions of Internet users over the coming years."
Online for only a number of days, the site already boasts over 1000 pixels worth of advertising commitments. "When I first started this site, I thought it would be a bit of fun to stick a couple of ad links to my own sites on the page as well, just to help get things started," stated Matt. "Anyhow, since putting links on the page, we have seen a number of clickthroughs from the page, and although it is hard to track from our end, our online sales have definitely increased since our pixel ads were put up on the page. It really is quite amazing to see it work."
Indeed, advertisers who place permanent ads on the site, found at www.tenmilliondollartravelpage.com will find that their details will remain online until at least 2016, after the domain name was purchased for an initial 10 year period.
The money raised from the site will be used in part to help fund the growth, development and future direction of Accom.Com,Au Pty Ltd in providing a range of online products and services which will continue to support and benefit the industry worldwide.
"The Ten Million Dollar Travel Page is my way of raising funds to take my business to the next level in terms of marketing, personnel and business development," stated Matt. "At the same time I am serving the very industry I am myself involved in through a highly targeted website model which is a proven promotional medium. We have huge and positive plans for this business, but I am at the stage where the business has grown to a point where I simply cannot continue to do it on my own."
To find out more, interested parties are encouraged to visit the site at www.tenmilliondollartravelpage.com