In preparing for the launch of the new Small Business Web Directory and for the SXSBW (South by Small Business Web!) party that we co-sponsored at SXSW last week, we came across someone who we think just might be our “most connected” customer, Brandon Dunlap from Brightfly, Inc. Brandon uses several of the Small Business Web members applications to run his business.
We were delighted to bring Brandon to the party as our Special Guest of Honor and showered him with all sorts of hip and useful schwag from the thirteen sponsoring companies of the party.
Here’s Brandon’s story:
Brandon Dunlap, managing director of research at Brightfly, Inc., logged nearly 100,000 air miles last year crisscrossing the country for business meetings, conferences and other professional events. He is constantly networking, which in turn helps the research and consultancy firm grow its contact base by thousands each year.
To foster and grow all of these relationships, Brightfly relies on a number of solutions offered by The Small Business Web, an open collective of businesses aimed at connecting Web applications to help small businesses bloom and grow. The integrated solutions, which work together through their open APIs, help Brightfly maintain mountains of contact data and more efficiently and personally stay engaged with each person.
“Being a relationship-driven company, we don’t have a sales team managing all of our data. without the help of BatchBlue, this would be an arduous task. The companies of The Small Business Web give us a single point to manage all the ways we get in touch with our friends and colleagues in the field,” said Dunlap. “Since The Small Business Web solutions can ‘talk’ with each other, I can get back to people faster, even while I am on the road. The time savings are phenomenal.”
For example, Dunlap might collect a batch of business cards while at a information security conference in San Francisco and send them off to Shoeboxed before he gets on a plane to return home to Texas. Once back in the office, he can take all of the contact data that can be scanned and digitized by Shoeboxed and seamlessly enter it into his BatchBook social CRM account by BatchBlue. BatchBook enables him to tag each person by what event he met them at, what types of materials they requested or any other follow-up or other identifiers. He can then build and manage e-mail lists using MailChimp, another Small Business Web partner, to stay in touch with contacts with key research developments as they occur. Recently, Brightfly has kicked off a Competitive Compliance survey project leveraging the relationship between MailChimp and Small Business Web member SurveyGizmo to glean research insights from leaders in the information security and audit field.
Data in Brightfly’s is also imported into a Freshbooks account for recurring invoices, while Small Business Web partner Clarity helps Dunlap and others try to forecast and look for trends in their revenue streams.
“Everything in our business is done on personal connections. For everyone on my team to share all that information in one location and to be able to pivot across that data is huge,” said Dunlap. “The Small Business Web network of solutions helps us maintain currency and relevancy with all the individuals we need to contact at a price and service level better than a single-source solution.”
It was great to meet Brandon in person and be able to learn first-hand how the Small Business Web is helping small businesses like his succeed.
What about you? Are you using multiple web apps to help your small business bloom and grow? Let us know, we want to hear from you!