STRATA Success – Margot Tohn

STRATA Member Margot Tohn – Park It!

Margot Tohn

Park It!, founded by Margot Tohn, helps New Yorkers find monthly parking for their cars. Just put in a request at our website and more than 600 garages will put in their best offers in less than 24 hours. Whether you want to pay $200 or $700 or need just one space or 40 spaces for your company employees, they’ve got great deals for you. Park It! is expanding to all major cities soon, so stay tuned!

Park It! started out as a self-publisher of the most comprehensive guides to NYC’s 1,100 parking garages. They were on the shelves of Barnes & Noble just nine weeks after submitting their first book, had offers from several booktrade distributors, and used the East Coast Zagat sales reps to get into a number of general retailers. Park It! was quickly featured by The New York Times, CNN, MSN Money, Crains New York Business, all network and local TV and radio, and regional newspapers – a wonderful book publicist was willing to take on a self-publisher and taught Margot how to create a compelling media kit and pitch well. The business model was based on retail sales but more importantly, creating private label editions by printing a company’s logo and information on the front cover as promotional and client gifts. Entrepreneur Magazine featured Margot in its June 2009 Start-Ups edition, which was from an October 2007 pitch.

Park It!

After successfully publishing three annual editions and expanding into maps of NYC’s gas stations, Highway Entrances and Exits and other topics to help drivers and parkers, Margot realized that she wasn’t enjoying the annual production and sales routine, so she sat down to figure out her next move. Margot had great relationships with the garage operators since she featured them in all of her media interviews, and she was confident in that her 15 years of marketing experience was instrumental in making sales and growing the business. So Margot changed the business model to an online exchange for finding monthly parking – like Travelocity for parking. In October 2009 Margot launched the online program and in January 2010 she pitched an Editor at Entrepreneur Magazine at its Growth 2.0 conference in Miami. Margot’s pitch focused on how she had changed the business model based on her strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and the market, which she knew would appeal to the magazine’s readers. She was frank and honest and kept her pitch to 80 seconds of the allotted 3 minutes so he could ask her questions. The Editor called Margot in early March, they did the photo shoot two days later, and now she’s featured on the back page of the June 2009 issue!

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