Business Development: B-2-B Digital Marketplace
Showing how to step out on the right foot
Business Challenge: Create a New Business
The founders of iAnswers approached me with a dream. To create a digital marketplace that allowed professionals working on web projects to buy and sell customized information, advice, answers and services at prices determined by market forces. I was brought in to help realize their vision — to become the leading New Media information exchange.
How I Helped: Understand Market & Customer Needs
I investigated and proved the validity of the business model assumptions. In doing so, I was also able to help the founders see the broad possibilities of their business. Incorporating these findings into the business model resulted in an improved positioning and a better understanding of the product’s advantages over existing general research shops and interactive consultancies.
Solution: Prepare Carefully for Launch
I was also retained to serve as interim COO. In this capacity I was responsible for the continued refinement of the business operational plan, investor presentations, and the implementation of the back-office infrastructure. More specifically I added value by:
- Working with the founders to flush out the following elements:
- Quantification of target market
- Product differentiation
- Appropriate brand positioning
- Thorough business & sales development plan
- Design and implement both the transactional and operational accounting systems. These systems provided for the monitoring and control of an escrow service while also maintaining the segregation of company funds from that owned by third parties.
- Secured $1.5 million in seed funding and ensured beta launch.
- Developed & instituted a flexible, efficient business system.
- Grew headcount form founders to a 10 person staff.