A Surprise businessman has created a new type of loyalty program in which consumers receive savings on any in-store or online purchases, as well as incentives for enrolling new users to the program.
Fred Weih, along with a group of business partners, has started My Harvest America, which saves consumers an additional 25 percent off purchases no matter if they spend $30, $50, $100 or even $300 at grocery stores, gas stations, boutiques and anything in between.
“We’re hitting a big nerve with everyone,” Weih said. “I think we’re ahead of the curve on this unique business model.”
My Harvest America users receive the discounts by using the program’s reloadable smart card through Wells Fargo.
The smart card costs $29.99 in monthly subscription fees and can hold up to $300 for debit purchases.
Weih, 54, said the $300 limit was set so if the smart card fell into the wrong hands, users wouldn’t lose substantial amounts of money.
Consumers simply swipe the card or present it to a cashier when making purchases to receive the discount. In addition, consumers can use other coupons or discounts on top of the program’s smart card for extra savings.
Weih said the most unique feature of My Harvest America is its social-networking aspect in which users can earn $1 in commission simply by telling others about the program. Users form a matrix on the My Harvest America website, allowing them to track the number of people they have solicited to the program.
Weih said the referral aspect of My Harvest America is what users will most appreciate because the financial reward adds up fast.
Weih and Wells Fargo officials declined to divulge how much or what percentage My Harvest America and Wells Fargo earn individually or collectively for the discount loyalty program.
Chris Flowers, a business development officer and vice president with Wells Fargo, said bank officials jumped at the opportunity to become part of My Harvest America after meeting Weih last year at a business networking event in Surprise.
“We saw a real opportunity for this to be big,” said Flowers, noting My Harvest America developed a good business model that used out-of-the-box thinking. “We know if we can help people when they’re on the ground floor, then they’re going to be loyal to us when they’re a multimillion dollar company.”
Weih said his group was able to raise $120,000 from other interested parties throughout Maricopa County over the course of several months to begin My Harvest America. Typically, most Internet startups need to raise several million dollars to begin their ventures, Weih said.
With the nation reeling and families hurting in their attempts to save money and recover during the economic downturn, Weih said the timing was right to start a program such as My Harvest America, which caters to all demographics and can help family’s budgets go further.
My Harvest America employs six full-time and 30 part-time employees, who work from home or from rented office space in Surprise’s AZ TechCelerator. The online loyalty program is the first business taking advantage of the AZ TechCelerator’s affiliate membership, a $50 per month program offering temporary office space, Internet hookups and other perks to local innovators.
Weih said My Harvest America, which has more than 10,000 users, is seeing tremendous growth and has the potential for more. In the next several years, he said he thinks the company could reach 3 million users and earn $20 million in total sales. Weih said he could take his company public next year if strong sales continue.
Visit www.myharvestamerica.com for more information.
Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.