Who is Ian Robinson? He’s a self-made marketing man that I met over a decade ago during a public relations event at a local club. The club was packed but this guy stood out. He was hungry. Ian was focused and driven. He wanted to know who I was and how I was able to do my thing. Here we are in 2020 and our paths have crossed again. This time, I want you all to know about man. Check out my interview with Ian Robinson.
BMIA.com: Ian Robinson! I met you at The Republic Gardens, a DC nightclub back in 2004 when I was running a dating site franchise. As I recall, you were relatively new to the DC area and club scene. I remember you approached me about a project or event. Is that your recollection?
Ian Robinson: Yes. I relocated to the DC area from New York just a few weeks before 911. Another crazy time in history, during another republican’s presidency I might add. I don’t think we met that year, but yes, I remember you having a table at a networking event. At that time, I was learning how to navigate the landscape by attending different events. I struggled with building new business relationships, but you were one of the few people I exchanged information with, and actually called or returned a call. Kudos to you.
BMIA.com: Where were you born and raised, and how did that environment prepare you for life?
Ian Robinson: I was born in Buffalo NY, aka “The LO” I was shaped by my family, friends of course the church. Back then we were in church almost every day. In Buffalo, our home was in the Fruit Belt section of the city (the hood). We relocated to Middletown NY in a Housing Authority complex named David Moore Heights (DMH). It’s here where I credit the building of my foundation more than anything. It was and still is a Housing Authority complex where I met a group of folks whom are to this day family. I can honestly say I have legitimate friendships with more people than I have fingers and toes.
I’m over 50 years old. I both need and enjoy a dynamic pool of opinions and inspirations. And, because I can be lazy, I also need people around me with the ability to motivate me. In the hood, I was taught the hustle game, just as most kids coming from poverty, broken homes, and all the other challenges of a growing up with low wages or no income at all. However, I say I had one more challenge to overcome than most…I grew up in the hood with the name “Ian”…just uncommon back then. In a nut shell… what I learned is this…Keep your hustle strong, be real cause the game is real, take care of family, friends, and yourself — mixing up the order as needed.
BMIA.com: What was your earliest or most vivid recollection of being or feeling different?
Ian Robinson: For me, that was right away, my name made it easy for me to feel some – kind of-way. Not sure if I created the negativity or there were just bad vibes from people. Most of the time I was just like everybody else.
BMIA.com: OK, let’s get right to it. Tell us about The Carryout App and specifically, how it works and what makes this app different from similar and more well-known apps that appear to provide similar services.
Ian Robinson: The first thing is…it’s unlike those more familiar online and mobile ordering applications. Those more common ordering solutions are not owned by the local business. My solution, TheCarryOutApp empowers the local business with ownership and digital tools to help them scale. The market space is e-commerce. When money is exchanged for goods and services online, it is considered e-commerce. COVID-19, has forced every business to explore e-commerce. There has to be an emphasis on applications supporting online and mobile ordering during a lock down.
TheCarryOutApp is more than just a tool for ordering online. The real power is the feature rich platform that offers integration with Point of Sales (POS) Systems, provides real time analytics, and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools for a business ready to sell products and services online.
BMIA.com: Describe the opportunity that The Carryout App presents in a way that an 10-year old could understand it.
Ian Robinson: A business needs to be seen on the Internet, a website or mobile app is a digital address where customers make purchases. The CarryOutApp has the tools to set up an online store and give business owners the tools to manage their business from a PC or laptop. The real fun begins once we show how the app tracks purchases. Improving everyday decision making becomes much easier when you understand your customer base.
BMIA.com: You’ve always had a special interest in marketing. What’s the driving force behind that interest?
Ian Robinson: I like to help. I like to solve problems. I like people…most of the time. I read a story about the first and original marketing method. The star of this story is a character called the “Town Crier”. This guy’s job was to deliver the news or messages from the King. He would yell out or address a crowd with the news of the day. What does that have to do with marketing…it’s all about getting a message out. I also think I would have enjoyed a job where all I did was yell at people all day.
BMIA.com: What’s the end game for The Carryout App?
Ian Robinson: My immediate goal is to get 10 small businesses set up and trained on how to do business on the internet. Depending on their menu or e-commerce needs I am waiving most of the development cost…as close to free as I can make it. Overall, I really want to empower the small business community with tools for this digital age. Every business will need to be set up with an online store.
A business can schedule a no cost consult to see if there business is ready should there be a second shut down. People can sign-up with this link provided https://thecarryoutapp.com/contact-us/
BMIA.com: What’s the best thing about being Ian Robinson?
Ian Robinson: I have learned to protect my Happy! It takes a lot to break my smile. I am a happy person and I protect that because it is my life. Yes, I do have moments, they just don’t last long.
BMIA.com: When you think about your journey, what are you most proud of?
Ian Robinson: Foremost, just being here with joy in my heart. Sounds corny, but if my life were a stage play, my first two rows are filled with some pretty wonderful people with joy in their hearts as well. That’s what I am attracted to and that’s what I mostly attract.
BMIA.com: What advice would you tell your younger self? You pick the age.
Ian Robinson: Don’t be afraid to choose you first. It works out better for everyone in the end if you are true who you are.
BMIA.com: Is there any question I should I have asked you, but did not?
Ian Robinson: Truthfully, this was a lot. I am a very private person by nature. I generally listen more than I share. I am good if there is nothing more.