A BizSpark start-up who is working on a web app that makes taking payments online simple. Find them at www.selz.com.
1.Why are you building this Startup? What does it do?
Selz.com was formed with the goal of making selling via blogs and social networks simple. The company’s service allows users to sell digital downloads and physical products with just a few clicks. There is no monthly fee, no merchant account needed, no contracts and only a simple flat fee per sale. We've made it simple for all types of sellers, for site owners and bloggers adding a Selz button is as easy as cutting and pasting a snippet of code to their site, like embedding a YouTube video, buyers can then purchase direct within the website without being redirected. You can choose from adding a “buy now” button or "item widget" showing product details on your site. Selz has also made it easier to sell via social networks using our integrated sharing to Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest at the click of a mouse. We've made it as simple as possible to manage of your products in one single place and then sell them through a wide variety of channels.
2.What does a product marketing team need to understand from engineering about how to sell the product?
Knowing our customers, market and competitors is key to our success, therefore before every new feature we carry market research, user feedback and competitor research to validate new features and enhancements. Once this process is complete we then prototype and carry out internal and external testing to refine and further validate the new feature / enhancement. Once validated we then ensure that the marketing team are across the new feature and it's scheduled release date. On completion of development and testing the marketing and support team are invited to test the new feature before release.
3.What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
Selz wants to help people do what they love. Our service helps bloggers, musicians, artists, software creators and workers in the knowledge community to sell what they create and get paid. We want to make it easy for non technical entrepreneurs to be able sell online to help them make money from doing what they love.
4. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to start a business in your country?
Do something you love. Running a small business takes a lot of personal sacrifice and investment, so you are more likely to be successful doing something you are passionate about. Keep it lean. Clearly identify the niche in the market you are addressing. Build a minimum viable prototype and get market feedback as quickly as possible. Then iterate from there based on market feedback. Keep costs to an absolute minimum. Bootstrap wherever you can to keep the breakeven point as low as possible. Nurture and value your existing customers give them excellent customer service.. Don’t just focus on acquiring new ones and neglecting your existing customers. A profitable business relies on repeat custom.
5. How do you work with investors, or do you currently use any outside money at all?
The company is privately held. We work very closely with our shareholders to keep them informed of how the business is progressing.
6. Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
The Bizspark program and the free licenses (Visual Studio etc…) we acquired when we joined the program have been great for getting our product off the ground. Harnessing the Microsoft products and services has made us a really productive startup allowing us to quickly iterate and improve our solution. There is also a strong pool of talented developers that have a solid experience using .NET in Australia. Our team enjoy coding using C# and we love working with the asp.net mvc framework.