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Posts Tagged ‘brand’

Learning from the Past: KikScore’s Top Twelve Blog Posts of 2011 for Small Businesses and Startups

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

It’s been a great year for KikScore! We’ve gained partners, garnered press, interviewed tons of great startups, and released our first white paper. Sounds like a winning year to me. That’s why we put together a list of our top blog posts for 2011. By highlighting some of our beloved posts, we can reflect on what KikScore has accomplished through the year as well as go over some information that we believe is important enough to bear repeating for small business. We hope you enjoy!

#12: 5 Ways to Develop a Killer Brand for Your Small Business and Startup

If you are looking to establish a good brand name for your business, then this post is for you. Although it’s daunting to see big businesses with huge budgets for marketing and advertising, there are cheaper and more effective ways to build your brand. This post goes over the different ways in which you can deal with your customers and make their experiences so great that your brand will practically build itself.

#11: 7 Questions A Small Business or Startup Should Ask Themselves Every Day

It’s critical to ask yourself important questions. Even if it is just to make sure that you know the answer instead of just thinking you know the answer. This post discusses several questions that you need to ask to make sure that your business is headed in the right direction.

#10: The Day in Pictures & Tweets at the 2011 SmallBizSummit

Just as the title says, this post is a compilation of pictures and tweets from the 2011 SmallBizSummit. Here you can find great quotes and images that focus around how all small businesses should act and what they should do. Take a look and feel like you were there yourself.

#9: 5 Reasons that Startups & SmallBiz Must Engage Their Customers

If you think that this list is already beating up the idea of paying attention to customers, then you aren’t thinking like a business should. This next post builds upon the ways to really engage customers and see results. Give it a read and try the advice for yourself. We promise you won’t be disappointed.

#8: Web Design Contracts – Protect Yourself & Your New Business

This guest post, written by Gregg Hand, is of vital importance when preparing to set up a website. We’ve all heard the speech about why we have to read the fine print before signing a contract. However, now that you’re helping to make a contract with a web designer, you must be twice as cautious. If you’ve never had to make this type of contract, this post can help you with a set of helpful advice on what to look out for.

#7: Top Ten Reasons Small Businesses Fail Series

(Procrastination; Competition; Marketing; Clients; Employees; Versatility; Location; Cash Flow (Followup); Closed Mind; Planning)

Here is a series of posts that we’ve worked on throughout the year in an effort to help small businesses understand what they must avoid. Some say that learning from the past is one of the best ways to prevent certain future events. There’s at least some truth to this saying, so we hope that this series will help your business avoid the easily avoidable.

#6: KikScore SmallBiz Interviews’ Greatest Hits & Top Strategy Tips for Entrepreneurs (Part I and Part II)

These posts use quotes from businesses that KikScore has interviewed in the past regarding lessons they’ve learned and challenges they’ve faced. Each quote has years of experience in ingrained in it, so they’re worth the reading.

#5: Championship Sports Teams…What Do They Teach Us for the Small Business & Startup Arena

Bringing together two seemingly different dynamics, this post talks about how the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Boston Bruins’ respective teamwork reflect how teams in small businesses must act. Just as in sports teams, the members of your business must be willing to work together and take risks. Take a look and see for yourself just how true this is.

#4: 3 Tools for Boosting Your Business’ Image

This post goes over some tools that all businesses can use, so we think it is worth making the cut. Each tool is free and KikScore utilizes all of them. What are they, you ask? Well there would be no point in referring back to the article if we just said it here, so you’ll just have to look at the post for yourself.

#3: Nonprofit or Going for Broke: Ways to Demonstrate Your Business is Legitimate & Trustworthy

Rather than discussing all small businesses, this post gives advice to nonprofits. Whether for profit or not, all businesses suffer from trust issues. If you are having issues with your nonprofit or even just looking for a way to make it better, this post can help.

#2: #SmallBizChat Highlights – Tips on How to Make Your SmallBiz Website Look Trustworthy and Credible

Here we recap our great experience of being the guest of honor for #SmallBizChat on Twitter. It was a great way for us to take and answer different questions about how small businesses deal with online trust. A slideshow is included in the post, so feel free to check it out.

#1: Shoppers Trust Businesses Who Share More Information – KikScore Online Trust Survey Finds

Another important hallmark of KikScore’s year is the recent issuing of our first white paper, which is discussed in this post. It took a lot of time and a lot of research, but it came out great. If you are interested in online trust and how it impacts small business, take a look at this post and KikScore’s white paper.

We’ve had a great year all-in-all and we anticipate that 2012 will be even better! We appreciate everyone who has worked with us and taken the time to help us this year and we hope you all have a great 2012!

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Posts Tagged ‘brand’

Ahoy, Matey! Pirates and Business

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

If you open your eyes and mind, it’s amazing where you can find business lessons in everyday life.  The book I am reading, Michael Crichton’s final novel: Pirate Latitudes takes the concept of war from the pirate’s view.  There are a good number of similarities to small business and overtaking your competition to be learned from it.  To come up with a new business idea, it doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘new’ but ‘better’ is critical to success.

Here’s some lessons that the privateers (often mistaken for pirates) of long ago still apply…

Build a good team – When Captain Hunter came up with his risky idea of attempting capture of a Spanish treasure ship in a far off, dangerous and assumed well protected island, he needed a strong team to accomplish the quest. Building the right team for business success can be tricky, but you can’t do it alone.   Delegate responsibilities that foster team member’s strengths.

Create a more comprehensive solution – After overtaking the treasure ship, the privateers are stalked by a Spanish warship that is more heavily armed with both men and weaponry. The weakened privateers come up with a risky yet tactical solution to attempt to take down the larger ship. Creativity and doing something different with your current resources is a strong business sense. KikScore wasn’t the first trust seal out there, but it is different and more comprehensive than the competition

Overtake the competition – I’m not finished reading Pirate Latitudes yet, so I’m only theorizing here… but based upon the creativity noted above and their zeal to secure the stolen treasure, I have confidence the privateers will conquer the larger warship and bring home the gold.  Obviously in business, war is not the best option, yet clever advertising and getting your business message out there can overtake the competition.   A strong and consistent approach helps.

Pirates and privateers are mysterious, resourceful and have a rather catchy form of conversation.

How is your business pirating through the marketplace?

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Posts Tagged ‘brand’

Contemporary Furniture Expert, SmallBiz Owner & Blogger, Rebecca Malik, Talks to KikScore

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

Today’s small business interview is with the President of DC-based, 17thandRiggs.com’s Rebecca Malik.  Rebecca holds a dear place in KikScore’s hearts for a number of reasons besides the fact that she is just a very cool person, but she is also one of KikScore’s very first customers late last year when we launched.  Lucky for us she is very happy with KikScore.  Well, enough about us…..Rebecca comes from a family of a long line of entrepreneurs.  She has recently been tapping into that entrepreneurial lineage by working on a line of shoes, getting 17thandRiggs.com designed, developed and launched and blogging for two woman’s based small business and lifestyle community websites.  From these experiences and especially from her work that she has put in at building an ecommerce site from the ground up, she has some excellent guidance for our small business readers.

1. Tell us about 17thandRiggs.com and who you focus on serving?

17thandRiggs.com features contemporary furniture, lighting and home décor.  We focus on carrying pieces that have sleek, simple lines and evoke a sense of space.  The pieces are also chosen because they work well in many types of décor – they are not hyper-modern or too formal.  I feel that our customers are people who love a sophisticated, modern look, and focus on the overall picture.  They realize that an accent piece is as important as a focal point.  Also, I may be biased, but I think our careful selection of furnishings ensures that prestigious interior designers turn to us for their furniture and lighting needs.

2. How did you get your started selling online?

I’ve shopped online almost exclusively for years and know how hard I would look for items that fit my aesthetic and that I knew were of high quality at a good price.  This site is truly a way for me to pick and choose items that I love and make them accessible to others.  Beyond that, my father actually started selling handmade fireplace mantels online years ago.  His ability to reach customers across the country from his small shop in Florida was eye-opening.  After I left my last job at an interior design firm, I decided to take my interest and passion for design, contemporary furniture, lighting and decor and launch an online store.  That is the way 17thandRiggs.com was born.

3. Where will 17thandRiggs focus most of its energy in 2010?

We will be honing our product lines to ensure we carry our favorite designs.  These are furniture and décor pieces that are high-quality, beautiful and a great value.  We will also be steering our efforts to create an even more specialized lighting category.  Our lamps and pendants are consistently some of our biggest sellers and with their broad spectrum of designs they are always such fun items to handle.

I will also be continually reviewing my business and my marketing plan.  I feel like that is something that every business needs to do on a regular basis.  Otherwise you run the risk of not being focused and not having an underlying theme to everything that you are doing as a business.

4. If you had 2 lessons learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what are those?

I would say to start out simply – don’t try to offer everything but pick items that make the most sense from an inventory/availability perspective and that are cohesive with your vision for your site.  That and SEO is key.  Integrate your keywords as you go along.  Small businesses like mine can spend forever trying to keep the product information on your site up to date let alone trying to update SEO information so my suggestion would be to do it well the first time around. Here is a post I wrote on the subject titled: How To: An Entrepreneur Improves SEO For Her Ecommerce Site.

5.  What are 2 new trends in your business this year?

Of course, anything eco-friendly is as popular as ever.  As far as new trends, I see people getting more and more adventurous with their lighting choices.  Fun pendants and table lamps are great ways to push the envelope in your décor without making a huge purchase.

For an overall business trend, I would say that outsourcing from a small business perspective.  But it would not be outsourcing as the “four letter” word we know it as.  This would be focusing your small business on your core skills.  Then getting experts, freelancers, consultants, and virtual assistants to fill out the rest of your business and support you as you grow your business.  I now source resources and support for website design, virtual assistants and marketing support from places like Craigslist and Elance.  But you have to be careful and rigorously interview these folks before they are hiredbecause they will never care about your business and your customers like you do.

6. How have you used social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and your blog to help 17thandRiggs?

For me, Twitter has been a great way to learn about other organizations and companies out there with similar or complementary businesses.  It has also been a great place to get leads and also converse with other small businesses. My blog  (http://blog.17thandRiggs.com) has been a unique way for me to process things and continually think big picture regarding my business and the 17thandRiggs.com brand.  Sometimes having to hone into choosing a topic for an article forces you to think about the direction you are heading in and evaluating whether it fits your overall vision of my website, the business and my brand.  That can be very beneficial, especially when your business is at a crossroads.

I have also had the honor of being a guest contributor at the woman’s entrepreneur, startup and small business community site called  Women Grow Business that has been run by the super awesome Jill Foster and Shonali Burke (though I have been on a short hiatus lately since my lovely daughter, Asha, was born at the end of December!)  I recently started contributing to LVC Mag, a woman’s lifestyle community. Guest blogging has been a great experience for me and a nice way to connect and network with other entrepreneurs.  I recommend it for small businesses, especially those that are just starting out.

7. Do you have any parting thoughts?

As this is an interview for KikScore, it makes sense to touch upon my thoughts on the KikScore seal here.  I appreciate that it is a centralized way for customers to share thoughts about my business.  I also think the information they compile provides a fair and verified representation of my business to visitors of 17thandRiggs.com.  As a regular online shopper, I feel that combining financial and management information, website history and polices coupled with interactive customers’ reviews is a genius way to prove that you are a reputable company to deal with and give shoppers a good idea of what they can expect from the experience.  I also think the level of transparency it provides is invaluable in instilling confidence in visitors to our site and helping us convert them into customers.



We want to thank Rebecca for this interview. If you have any specific questions for Rebecca, please leave a comment and we will make sure we get them answered.  Also just for full disclosure, Rebecca somehow married one of my partner’s in KikScore, Raj.  My wife and I wonder every time we see Raj & Rebecca, what was Rebecca thinking!!!

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Posts Tagged ‘brand’

When Success Hurts Your Brand

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

When you launch your business or new product, all you can think about is it being successful and embraced by everyone.  I mean what could be better than that?  Maybe the better outcome would be a less popular product.  Hear me out on this.

My wife and I were sitting outside at the Cherry Cricket this weekend (a great place to grab a burger in Denver).  About every 5 minutes, we saw a different Range Rover.  They drove by in different colors and different levels of cleanliness.  But they all seemed to be driven by the same person.  He had spiky hair, big aviator glasses and a preppy shirt.  At that moment I declared that no matter how much I liked the car, I would never own one — as I didn’t fit the prototype.

The same thing has happened with Burberry.  It used to be rare to see the Burberry pattern on an item of clothing.  Now you have Burberry wallets, baby clothes and hairbands.  And these are being worn by near-homeless people. 

At what point does success hurt you?  While Apple makes excellent products, there are certainly more people that are using a Mac because they don’t want to follow the crowd and use a PC.  This will continue to be the case until, of course, Apple becomes too popular and then something else will take the place of those rooting for a niche player.

Does this matter for a small business owner?  Probably not right away.  As when the your product or business takes off (and becomes the newest thing for the aviator glasses, prepster set) you’ll likely sell your business.  But if you hold on, take some time, watch the crowds, and decide if your brand is being hurt by its own success.

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Posts Tagged ‘brand’

Issues Escalation and Support Guidelines in a start-up environment

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

images[2]You may have noticed a pattern here at KikScore where feedback and the question of when is a product ‘ready’  are hot topics. So, how do you define, measure, and enforce quality in a start up product? Once the product is ‘live’, how can you effectively support your product and react to customer issues and concerns? There are a few key software quality assurance guidelines to follow that apply to products of all shapes and sizes.

During the development phase you must test, test and retest. Depending upon the complexity of the software being developed, this could be a short or lengthy venture. Testing in phases, as pieces of the application become available, is highly recommended. This allows you to not only find major issues early, but also helps ensure you aren’t building upon sub-par code as the product continues through the life-cycle. Also, find a means to track and report status on any and all issues found during the test cycles. A spreadsheet can work if you don’t have a bug tracking system and there are a few free/easy to use ones available.

Even if you had ample time to test everything you could think of, upon release to the general user community, they will find issues you never dreamed of. Once you are ‘live’, your team needs to gauge the severity of any issue that is uncovered or reported to assess the impact and allocate resource(s) accordingly to address it. This is critical in the case where there are limited development resources and you need to prioritize their work so as not to affect other focus growth areas.

Severity can be broken into 3 levels – this also gives the entire team a common terminology when discussing issues.

Severity 1

– Core functionality is not working.
– There is no available work-around to perform the requested action.
– Error messages are displayed.

Severity 2

– Basic functionality is in question.
– There is a work-around to gain access and perform the requested action.
– The system handles the situation gracefully, either with a general ‘logged out’ message or other user-friendly notification.

Severity 3

– General usability items.
– Application is functioning fine, but confusion is raised throughout the display or general system navigation.

Once you’ve qualified the issue, how do you support it through the process and keep the customer informed?
Let’s assume you have a Severity 1 – how do you deal with it? In a small start-up shop, where most of the team has day jobs, creating an on-call or support tier works wonders.

1. Create a weekly on-call support staff that rotates and consists of 2 resources per week.
On a weekly call (or other avenue that applies) — Identify the 2 on-call resources per 1 week interval

2. During the support week, the 2 resources on-call are responsible for researching issues reported and be point of contact for:
– responding to the customer(s) who reported the issue
– involving other team members as needed to escalate/resolve the issue(s)

3. Support resources are required to provide daily updates to the rest of the team on progress of reported issues.

4. Where a code change or update is required, the support resource(s) schedule a team call to outline next steps and expectations

5. If 4 happens, the entire team should discuss the response back to customer(s) on the fix.

The Golden Rule – If a customer found the issue and actively complains – always treat as Severity 1. Be open and honest with your customers surrounding errors that are found and get a fix released in a timely manner. This builds trust in not only your product and support but builds integrity into your brand. What is your quality cycle or lessons learned?

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Posts Tagged ‘brand’

Small Biz interview with Little Duck Organics owner Zak Normandin

Monday, January 25th, 2010

LDO LogoToday’s KikScore interview is with Zak Normandin, owner of Little Duck Organicsa unique and tasty organic snack food for infants and toddlers – and adults too!  We came across Zak and Little Duck Organics on Twitter where Zak and team are actively promoting their yummy organic treats.  Little Duck Organics is relatively new to the online community and shares a passion for the world of small business and bringing a much needed product to the organic conscious community.  I had the pleasure of talking for awhile with Zak and sharing startup ideas and promotional concepts.  Thanks for your insight Zak and for being a KikScore customer!

1. Tell us about Little Duck Organics and who you focus on serving?

Little Duck Organics is a business that I started developing in February of 2009. My wife and I have always been a fan of all natural/organic/locally produced products, and when we went food shopping for our daughters we really didn’t see anything like that available in the baby aisle. Most of the products that were available contained added sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives which we preferred not to feed to our kids. When we talked to other parents, they agreed that there was definitely a lack of wholesome, nutritious products available for babies. At the time, I was looking for a new venture to invest in, so I started researching what it would take to bring an organic line of baby products to market. It took me about 10 months to design our first line of products and arrange to have it manufactured and packaged. In December of 2009, we formally launched on Amazon.com and at independent grocery stores in New Hampshire.

2. How did you get started with selling online?

One of our first customers was Amazon.com. They started buying products from us in December to sell through their online grocery division. This was the first experience that we had with selling products online. At the beginning of this month (January), we set up our own online store to begin selling Little Duck snacks directly to customers through our website. This allowed us to have a little bit more control over product placement, descriptions, Etc. Overall, the experience has been great. We’re focusing now on increasing our conversion rate and finding new ways to advertise to potential customers.

3. Where will Little Duck Organics focus most of its energy in 2010?

In 2010, our goals will be to expand our retail and online distribution channels and develop the Little Duck Organics brand. One of our main focuses will be to build customer loyalty and awareness within the baby products niche. We will be working closely with the blogging community, and plan to do a lot of traveling to sample our products at retail stores. In addition, we’re planning on introducing two new products later this year that will compliment our current line of products.

4. If you had 1 lesson that you learned from your business that you could pass on to others about selling online, what would it be?

The biggest lesson that I have learned so far since we set up our online store is that you need to be very aware and organized with all of the external costs associated with selling a product through a website. Credit card fees, boxes, packing materials & shipping costs all add up with you are selling a product with a low retail price. You need to keep these things in mind and adjust your prices accordingly so that what you are offering to customers is still attractively priced.

5. As 2010 begins, what trends do you see in your business this year?

As far as trending goes in the organic baby sector, I think that there will be more of a shift from the conventional baby food companies to upgrade their product lines to incorporate more natural/organic options. Fortunately for us, Gerber will always be Gerber and Beech-Nut will always be Beech-Nut. No matter how they market their products, they will always have the same brand-association in the mind of most consumers. Our advantage is that we were able to start from ground zero and build a brand around a mindset (Creating delicious organic baby snacks with no preservatives or additives).

6. If your business could be any movie or movie character, what movie/movie character would it be and why?

I’ve always loved the movie “Click” with Adam Sandler. I really relate to his character, and although the movie does not directly relate to Little Duck Organics, I can see a lot of similarities between the story-line and our business. For anyone who has not seen the film, the main character is an architect who has the ability to fast forward his life to critical points of success. Basically, he does not want to have to go through the mundane and only wants to experience the promotions, bonuses, success Etc. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone who has not seen it, but at the end Sandler learns to appreciate his family, friends, and the journey of life more than he previously had. I’m making a big effort to do the same in my life and at Little Duck Organics this year. I need to enjoy the process of building the business and everything that comes along with it. We’re doing something that most people only dream of , and that in itself should be viewed as an accomplishment.

7. If Little Duck Organics could have a dream spokesperson for your company who would it be and why?

I can’t think of anyone specific off the top of my head, but it would have to be a celebrity or someone famous who has the same mindset as our company. I would prefer a mom who understands the value in feeding wholesome organic foods to their children.

8. How do the folks at Little Duck Organics let loose after a busy day working?

Although most of my time is spent building the business, It is nice to wind down after a long day at work. At home, I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughters. We love trying out new foods and traveling. In the summer, we usually go for a walk every night with our dog. My older daughter loves helping me cook, so I try to do that with her whenever I can. At three years old, she can already make a mean Alfredo sauce :-)

9. Do you have any parting thoughts for our readers and the small business community?

Know your competition, Work your butt off, Pray for luck.  Cheers!

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Posts Tagged ‘brand’

What Sparks a Small Business Venture?

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

ks Pic2When starting a small business, what drives and motivates you? Is it passion for a cause or the imminent proof that there is a vacancy for a certain need? In talking with a variety of small business owners for our KikScore blog, the desires and drive to start their own venture vary as much as the different products and services they offer such as KKBB and SimplyAstro

If I were to have followed true passion in where I could be doing the daily equivalent of a comforting and true cause past time, I would have opened a No-Kill Cat shelter… however, this was a very difficult venture to get past my husband Lou, who has more of a passion for golfthan rescuing cats. Add the fact that neither of us has the building space or other means to house so many furry friends. Plus the overhead of running a shelter can be very costly and you need to ensure you have ample vet care on site and plenty of other key resources.

The general thought is you will find happiness doing what you love, it takes the ‘work’ out of ‘work’.   So what you need to find is a viable product, service, or solution that people need — or something that you can convince the general populous they can’t live without.

So how did my KikScore business partners and I end up here?

Another key element in launching a successful start up is to tap into the inner expertise of yourself to uncover a passion that had been slighted due to mundane day job activities, or inability (not to mention lack of desire) to climb the corporate ladder.   All of us at KikScore have vastly different backgrounds, yet a strong desire to not only be our own bosses eventually, but also to provide a product that is cutting edge.

Technology became a strong passion of mine, having launched my career shortly after college working for one of the most accredited entrepreneurs out there, Bob Parsons at Parsons Technology.  As technology and the Internet have migrated over time, running in stride and identifying the gaps are what caused KikScore to come to fruition.

How do I feed that need to own a cat shelter someday? Well… we do have multipe cats running about our home which reminds me I’ve saved some great lives. I frequently volunteer at the local shelter to share the warmth and experience some excess purring.DaxCosmoHeineken

Back to the original question, when starting a small business, what drives and motivates you? Share your stories and ideas with us. We’d love to showcase your small business story for the next KikScore blog!

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Do You Protect Your Business Brand From Your Personal Brand?

Thursday, January 14th, 2010

brand manSmall and start-up businesses need to build an identity in the marketplace.  With or without using our KikScore service, a newer or lesser-known business needs to establish a brand that is recognized and trusted.  But newer and smaller businesses are often just the reflection of the individual owners, so what do you do as a business owner so as to not offend a possible customer or partner?

As most bloggers, I have a personal example to share.  Of the KikScore team, I think I’m the only one to have voted for McCain…I know how to pick a winner (I hated Palin, but would have loved to see Johnny Mac in the White House).  But when we officially launched KikScore, as I was putting on the business bumper sticker, I removed the “John McCain 2008″.  Why?  Because as an entrepreneur, I don’t want to offend a potential customer and I don’t want to link the KikScore brand with my personal ideology.  In other words, I’d rather have a successful business than let the world know my political leanings.  But does it matter?  Maybe it could help your business, as your personal beliefs could align your business with customers with similar positions. 

Right or wrong, the marketplace assigns values to businesses that may or may not be intended by the owners.  Think about Walmart and Costco. Each provide a bulk/warehouse shopping experience, located in the suburbs.  But Walmart is deemed to be “Republican” and Costco is “Democrat”.  I seriously doubt either business wants to cater only to half of voting public, but some people will only shop at the bulk warehouse that is more in line with their political affiliation.

The question now remains is do you tone down your personal activities to avoid turning off your customers, continue as-is, or assign you personal affiliations to business in an effort to win business?

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Diary of a Tech Start-Up: Idea to Soft Launch

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

One of our ideas that we have here at KikScore is to provide a running blog on how we started business, what challenges we face, and what we’re doing to make our concept a viable (and hopefully profitable) concern.  There won’t be one voice in this diary, as each of us have a different view of events.  Hopefully this spectrum of views and running history will help our readers with similar challenges (and if you have some advice on approaching a similar problem, we’d love to hear it as well).  We’ll try to be useful and interesting, but most of all, honest (and hopefully humorous).  Ok, let’s get to it.

About 3 years ago, a thought comes across my mind.  I recall this moment well, as I usually don’t have a lot of thoughts.  The concept was to come up with a way to provide some transparency to shoppers — allow an ecommerce site to provide verifiable information on who they are and why they should be trusted (so they can compete with established brands and brick-and-mortar stores).  And if we can supplement this transparency with third party data on these businesses and score the likely shopping experience — well, that’s a home run.  Shoppers benefit from more competition and an excellent shopping experience, Sellers use their good name to sell more online, and we have a nice business.

In an effort to save readers from lighting themselves on fire out of boredom, ala Airplane: The Movie, I can summarize what we did between coming up with this idea and now having our soft launch of KikScore.  We hired a patent lawyer; filed a patent; hired outside developers to supplement our efforts; we futzed around with these developers far too long; 12 months later we fired those developers; we spend 6-8 months working and re-working on our scoring model and securing third-party data sources; we developed a look-and-feel of the site (twice); and came up with a name and trademark (twice).  We all did this while each of us were working full time (and often overtime) with day jobs!  Alot of late, late nights and plenty of weekend work got us to where we are at. 

We’re now live and have several beta customers out there.  While the past couple of years have been busy, we know that the next two will be even busier.  Though it will be a lot more exciting actually being in business, instead of talking about it.

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