Yellow Pages…what’s that?
The business world has really evolved over the last 10 years as more people are relying on technology, electronics and mobile devices to help them run their company.
Back in the 1990s, the idea of searching the Web for information was a foreign concept because people were not accustomed to using it on a regular basis as they are today.
The speed of the Internet has made it easier to find information, except when it comes to finding out the name of a person within the division a company you’re trying to contact for a business relationship.
STACY: Daniel, please share with me how Bizshark evolved, and what it can do for small businesses.
DANIEL: A few yeas ago I did some freelancing for 6-8 months and realized there was this need to look someone up in a company, but I couldn’t find a good tool to connect people with businesses. So with three of us, we got busy. We just launched Bizshark two months ago after spending eight months of building the website from the ground up into a business contact platform to help small businesses, freelancers, journalists, etc. connect with other business professionals in an affordable way.
Our plan is to focus our attention on small businesses first and build a solid base. As the site grows over time, we can evaluate our needs to see if it’s necessary to go international.
It’s important for us to focus on one thing and do it really well.
STACY: Bizshark reminds me of LinkedIn, but without all the bells and whistles. How are the two companies different from each other?
DANIEL: Bizshark is set up for you to connect with someone at a company without having to add people are friends or connections like you would with LinkedIn. We realize that some information might be outdated, but we are diligent about getting our data from several sources and are constantly looking for ways to improve the functionality. We are also allowing people to claim their profile and update their information in real time.
STACY: LinkedIn services are free for the basic features and Bizshark charges $19/month to use the site. Why should a small business invest money into using Bizshark?
DANIEL: We realize that small businesses have a hard time accessing data and it’s important for us to focus on one specific thing such as getting contact information. Although we don’t have a basic package the same cost as LinkedIn, a lot of the information we have is publicly available. Our prices are actually pretty basic and affordable, especially in comparison to our large-scale competitors. We do offer a lot free information and we’re hoping that it’s affordable so it will be useful to small businesses.
STACY: How will Bizshark be an investment and useful tool for small businesses?
DANIEL: We’re working really hard to get updated information and help make it easier to look up someone rather than using a social network site. We realize that not everyone has a LinkedIn profile, but they are listed in a company directory. Bizshark has more company profiles available to search from making it easy to find a contact by name or with the company information.
STACY: What are the short and long-term goals for BizShark?
DANIEL: One thing we have on our near timeline is to allow users to claim and update their profiles. We also want users to have the ability to build a list, and then if you want to connect with businesses in a specific area, we’ll build you a list of those companies.
In general, we’re always working on to improve accurately build out our data.
STACY: What’s the hardest part about marketing your business?
DANIEL: We’re just getting started and the hard part is getting people interested to try the product. However, I think once people use it and get a feel for it, they’ll be able to understand it better and with the feedback from our users, we’ll definitely work to make it grow.
STACY: What’s the best marketing advice you received and why?
DANIEL: Build a great product and be honest because that should sell it. I believe we have a great start and a great product to offer consumers.
STACY: If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be and why?
DANIEL: One of things that I worry about with building this product is that my mantra "Good enough isn't good enough". We didn’t want to build a mediocre product because we wanted to build something that worked really well.
We’re really want to help small business, freelancers and journalists connect with people along with anything we do that will help these small businesses grow into larger busineses. We’re always working towards that goal.