Firmology’s SMB Tech Meet & Greet series takes an inside look at the technology available to small business owners, straight from the founders who built them.
Tell us about yourself and your background.
I am a serial entrepreneur and web software engineer with over a decade of experience in web software development and internet marketing. I’ve always had a burning passion to create products that solve real world problems. For example, Cyfe was built to solve a specific problem I faced many times in the past.
What does your company do?
Cyfe offers an all-in-one dashboard software that helps businesses monitor and analyze data scattered across all the online services they use, like Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, and more from one single location. They can connect their social networks, websites, blogs, email accounts, and so much more to their business dashboards. Our goal is to help companies save time and make better business decisions by bringing all their key data under one roof.
How did you come up with the idea for your company?
When I used to run small web based businesses in the past (e.g. marketing agency, web hosting, social network), I found the whole business performance tracking and reporting process very time consuming and frustrating. I would waste a tremendous amount of time monitoring all these different web services to see what my customers were up to and how different aspects of my business were performing. I would be sitting in front of the computer screen for hours logging in and out of websites and manually putting together spreadsheets to make sense of all the overwhelming data. And as you already know, the web grows at an exponential rate. So I would literally have to monitor a new piece of data almost every month. This is why I decided to build Cyfe. To help small businesses save countless hours tracking and making sense of all their business data that’s scattered across the web.
How do you help small businesses?
Tracking marketing efforts and business performance in general is a must for any serious business. Business is a game with the goal of making money. How can you win at any game without keeping track of the score? Cyfe allows small businesses to monitor every aspect of their business and then some from one single location in real-time. Some companies use Cyfe as a social media dashboard to help them monitor all the social networks they use (e.g. Twitter, Facebook). Others use Cyfe as a business intelligence tool to help them keep an eye on their individual departments’ performance (e.g. marketing, sales, support, finance). The power and flexibility of Cyfe is such that the possibilities are endless. At the end of the day, we’re here to help you grow your business and take it to the next level.
What makes your company different from your competitors?
When we launched, existing products in this space were either too technical (in that they required IT support or programming), too focused on enterprise (not optimized for startups and SMBs), or too expensive ($2K to $100K per month). With Cyfe, businesses can start with a completely free account and upgrade to our feature rich premium offering for as little as $14 per month.
What are the most important considerations small businesses should have when choosing technology to help them power their business?
The market is saturated with solutions nowadays. Make sure you choose the solutions that you really need and will help grow your business. Everyone experiences the shiny object syndrome at least once in their lifetime. If you do, move on quickly.
What other companies or entrepreneurs within the technology space do you admire and think small businesses should know about?
One company that sticks out in my mind is HubSpot. They’re doing some pretty amazing things in the marketing/technology space. I’ve met a couple of their executives in the past, Dharmesh Shah (co-founder) and David Cancel (chief product officer). Both are great people and very inspiring.
Anything else Firmology readers and small business owners should know? News? Upcoming features? Special deals?
I believe the key to success is finding the right balance between marketing and product. That combined with quick market penetration can do wonders. Oh and screw competition; there is no such thing as an unique idea anymore. Someone in the world is bound to be thinking about the same exact thing you are. Keep an eye on your competition but don’t stress over it too much. Be smart, stay focused, listen to your customers and use your resources wisely. Remember, all you need is a piece of the market to succeed. After all, if they can do it why can’t you?
Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!
1) Have a question or comment about Cyfe? Drop Deven a line in the comments below.
2) What did you think of our second SMB Tech Meet & Greet? Are there other questions we should be asking? Are any of the questions above unclear or could be asked in a better way? Let us know in the comments below or email us at [email protected]