SMB Tech Meet & Greet: Dave Walker and Derick Thompson of bizHive, Small Biz Marketing Resource

August 1, 2013 5:00 am0 comments
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.
logo-bizhive
Names and Titles: Dave Walker (Co-Founder and Chief-Whatever-Needs-Doing Officer) and Derick Thompson (Co-Founder and CTO)
Company Name: bizHive
Company One Liner: The Marketing Marketplace for Small Biz
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Tell us about your background

dwalkerDave: I’ve been in big brand marketing my entire career, and I have the dubious distinction of having spent over $20 billion in media and promotions on behalf of the likes of Toys R Us, Carmax, Walmart, & a couple of dozen more.  I’ve been blessed with a fair share of awards, from Marketer of the Year (toy industry while at Toys R Us) to Agency of the Year (Media Magazine for Geomentum) but I am most passionate/proud of bizHive’s mission—to bring big brand marketing resources and results to millions of small biz.
derick-thompsonDerick:  I’ve launched over 25 products in 10 years,  become an agile dev expert by necessity, and learned a lot about effective lean-project-management inside a start up by doing it.  I’ve got an amazing network now of resources from around the world that I’ve tapped into to growth hack bizHive.  My last start up that I built and boot-strapped is called Daily Digital, and I hold seven patents on its tech.  Dave kids me that I’m the real rock-star of bizHive, which I guess is true because I was leader of for the band, Strive, and I even still have some stuff on i-Tunes.

Both: But, we’re both most impressed by our wives.

What does your company do?

bizHive is a marketing marketplace for small biz. We help small business learn about, shop, and buy new media, marketing products, and services—the stuff that grows sales! We offer free advice from experts and small biz peers, free price guides, and free competitive price quotes from top-rated suppliers fitted to a small biz specific marketing “jobs to be done.”

How did you come up with the idea for your company?

We started from the belief that no business—especially small biz—should suffer from marketing.  We saw instead suffering all around—a broken marketing marketplace where buyers and sellers struggled equally.  Ironically, both share a common mission—to win customers and grow sales.  Both buyers and sellers of new media, new marketing products, and services clearly want a simpler, smarter, and less costly way of doing business; in other words, a new marketing marketplace.

How do you help small businesses?

We’re a “safe haven” for small biz to manage what’s become a “high-anxiety purchase.”  We help them get specific marketing jobs done, whether it’s creating a Facebook Business page or fixing a bad Yelp review; we answer why, how, how much to pay, and who to trust.

We’re also a 24/7 showcase for sellers of new media, new marketing products, and services—a single simple destination to efficiently reach, engage, qualify, and sell to thousands of small biz at a fraction of current CPAs.

What are the most important considerations small businesses should have when choosing technology to help them power their business?

We help small biz answer four critical but absolutely consistent investment questions:

  • Why should they buy a new media or new marketing product or service?
  • How will it work for them?
  • How much should they expect to pay?
  • Who should they trust?

What makes your company different from your competitors?

We’re bringing a TripAdvisor-like business model to the small biz marketer—we make sure the journey to win new customers and grow sales isn’t filled with expensive mistakes!  While we see lots of web-based marketplaces out there—Thumbtack, HomeAdvisor, Care.com—we don’t see anyone specialized in our niche.

Any news that we should be excited about?

We’re about to pass our 5000th small biz member.  We have small biz members now across all 50 states—all acquired in less than nine months—and we’ve made over 1000 buyer/seller connections.

What other companies or entrepreneurs within the small business technology space do you admire?

All of our bizHive Member Suppliers—from Yext, to Closely, to CallLoop, to dozens more.  We spent serious time vetting them, meaning they had to blow us away with their products and services.

Anything else Firmology readers and small business owners should know? Any special deals?

FREE is still the best deal, and bizHive is free to small biz.

Firmology Readers: Let’s hear your thoughts!

1) Have a question or comment about bizHive? Drop Dave and Derick a line in the comments below.

2) What did you think of our latest 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 contact@firmology.com

 If you’re the founder of a tech company and would like to be featured on Firmology’s SMB Tech Meet & Greet series, please email us at contact@firmology.com with the subject line: Meet & Greet Submission.

All images courtesy of bizHive.

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