November 21, 2006

Don’t Get Discouraged

If I could give one piece of advice to an entrepreneur it would be, don’t get discouraged. You are doing something most people only dream about. It is incredibly difficult to start a new business. You have to have confidence in your idea. You need to do what ever necessary to make it successful. Most of you realize the route to success is not easy. You have to put in all your effort, all of your blood, sweat and tears. Entrepreneurs should be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to become successful.

That being said, I am continuously impressed with the entrepreneurs we see. These entrepreneurs, from across the nation, are bright, ambitious, eager and dedicated. They take comfort in the milestones they have already achieved. If you are an entrepreneur, you should be proud of what you are doing. You are creating something out of nothing. What an amazing feat. It is incredible impressive. Really, I admire entrepreneurs who go without cars, paychecks, healthcare, etc. to make a business successful. Keep it up!

Why I love working for FundingUniverse

We have been making some changes with our phone lines lately and consequently, many of the incoming calls have been forwarded to my phone. It has been awesome to spend some time on the phone with the entrepreneurs on the site. It pumps me up every day to hear people talk about their ideas and gets me more and more excited about what we are doing. We are changing the world one entrepreneur at a time.

I also love hearing the success stories. The FundingUniverse system works. Just last week we held a photo shoot with some of our investors and entrepreneurs. While they were there we had a chance to sit down and chat with them about their experiences with FundingUniverse. They all seemed to have stories beyond what we knew of how the site and events helped them find funding and fund deals. It’s great to be a part of something that provides so much value to our customers.

November 20, 2006

Adding a Human Touch to the Internet

When we first launched FundingUniverse, we used LogoWorks (Highly recommended!) to find a good graphic designer. The entire sale took place online -- choose a package, enter your credit card info, done. It was a pretty typical experience up until that point.

Within 1/2 hour we received a 5-minute phone call from a LogoWorks representative who ensured that we understood the process and offered us a discount on another package, which we declined.

I couldn't have felt more valued by LogoWorks. It totally impressed me and taught me an important lesson that I have often overlooked:

People need people -- even on the internet.

Most internet companies shy away from adding a human touch to their user experience because it is too capital intensive. Understandable.

However, a growing number of internet companies have proven that adding a simple customer service phone call after the sale can increase customer retention and revenues.

Two of those companies are here in Utah County: and Doba. Both companies increased their revenues many times over by adding customer service calls to their user experience. The massive number of subscribers that these companies have proves that the process is scalable -- contrary to what most online companies believe and practice. I have inside info that two of the largest subscription sites on the web have begun experimenting with courtesy calls to their new subscribers.

At FundingUniverse we're following the lead of these great companies by adding a human touch to our customer experience. Every entrepreneur who posts a business plan on our site has been receiving a courtesy call from one of our representatives to ensure that the entrepreneur understands what we do and how get the most out of FundingUniverse. The response so far has been fantastic.

Can you add a human touch to your internet business?

What other internet companies have added human touch to their users' experience?