Scott has spent the past 35 years working in the financial services industry. In his career, Scott has been fortunate to work with consumers and small businesses in several capacities and has worked closely with businesses that have been successful as well as businesses that had to close shop. He's listened to the owners talk about what worked, what didn't, and what they wish they would have done.
How has your experience led to where you are today?
I've had to do a lot of research on companies and a lot of internet searches. I've worked closely with friends and family that are business owners and we've gone through this process. We realize a lot of their struggles have been just trying to connect with people and trying to find information. So many of them don't have resources that I for example have because, in my capacity at the bank, I've gotten to know accounts, I've gotten to know attorneys and all the support services where that makes me a little bit different than a lot of small businesses that don't have those resources, and they don't know where to go to find them. As we talk to more and more people about this, including customers and friends, we learned that they do need a resource. If you go to a Google search, a billion results will show up and it's really easy for that small business owner to get buried in the back pages of a search. But then they get frustrated when they're looking for somebody so that led us to build the one search direct platform.
Can you tell us a bit more about the platform?
The way the platform's designed, you set it up right now, where there are four primary areas. The first one is called a need where I'm looking for something and I can go to the website, I take what we're calling specialty news which is simply what somebody does. If I'm looking for marketing, I type that in, I type a brief description, and then hit send. What that does is it goes to the site and it will look for other people that are involved in marketing in my geographic area and that person if they're signed up on the platform, will automatically get the second tab, which is called the lead. So it's a way for a user to connect directly with one another on a topic that's a common interest between the both of them, and they don't have to do an internet search. There are no search results, you remain totally anonymous so that if I search for marketing I don't get hit with a bunch of phone calls or emails from marketing companies looking to reach out to me. So those are the first two primary tabs that we have on our platform right now. The next one is called an offer. So let's say if you as a marketing person wants to offer a free website inspection for prospective customers, you could actually do that to the platform. So you could go out there, do a brief overview of what you're looking for, and when you submit that offer it will go out to any users on the platform that says they're looking for marketing tips. But it's a great way to promote yourself. On the other side of that, as someone that would receive that, it's a great way to find only the things that I'm looking for which is exactly what the platform is designed to do. I can take marketing, and I would get that offer right away. Then the last tab is our Articles tab so when you talk in the intro about your tips, this is a way for you to send tips directly to people. It is very similar to the Offers tab, the biggest difference is that the offers have an expiration date, where articles would stay out there until you remove them. So there are four primary tabs and we felt that those were the ways that businesses at this point communicate most often so.
Over the past seven years, what have you learned about all this?
My biggest experience was going from someone who had to listen to other business owners talk about what they need to actually be someone that has experienced it. At one point, I needed to find some developers and that was an area that I had to go out and do some research on. So it made me realize that there is just a lot of legwork for the small business owner. But it also made me realize that there's a lot of areas that we hadn't even thought about initially. In fact, one of my friends told me early on that I should be prepared for this to go in a direction I never planned it to. As we started developing this more and more, the initial concept was built around helping community banks. It's now going from small businesses to freelancers, especially, let's say over the last 18 months with the impact of the pandemic so many more small businesses have popped up as a necessity. So it's really kind of taken off and has expanded a bit more into those areas. Again, there's a lot of competition out there right now, and hopefully, we can help people connect directly with one another and save some time.
So what's next for you here?
Well, right now the study is up and running and we're in the process of growing it. But before we got to that point, as we're developing it, we also have a series of several enhancements that we planned. We plan to create a focus group or user panel that will actually help us by looking at the enhancements we have planned. They're very industry-specific. So marketing ultimately will look a little bit different than let's say insurance. So we have the panel set for the first group and they will help us identify what's important, and give us some direction in terms of what's most important to be able to prioritize things so that we're focusing on what the end-user wants. We are looking at this as that end user will actually be considered more of our board of directors because we really want to listen to them in terms of where we go from here, as opposed to just doing things arbitrarily and putting something off that no one has an interest in.
Can you share with our listeners one of your most successful or favorite networking experiences that you've had?
There's been quite a few actually because, for the longest time, I was a sales rep for a bank. I never really was into going to the formal meetings, I enjoy going to different outings like golf outings, or things of that nature, and just trying to make a point of meeting as many people as I can. Because to me, a lot of those people were the ones that I would be doing business with. So I think that was probably the most successful for me and I started to enjoy more of the relaxed type functions versus some of the more structured ones.
How do you stay in front of and best nurture the relationships you’ve created?
On LinkedIn right now, I think I have 23,000 followers. So what we're doing is we're continually putting regular posts out there. I try to get in contact with my customers whenever possible. I'm not necessarily a believer in banks where they tell you to meet your customer once every six months or so. Whenever possible, I will do that if I come across articles or something I think would be beneficial to a customer, I make an effort to get those into their hands. So you look for different and creative ways to get in front of them and make those experiences as memorable as possible.
What advice would you offer to the business professional who is looking to grow their network?
Step outside your comfort zone, try something you haven't done before. I can guess one of the challenges we face with the platform is just looking at things that we never thought possible. So, again, I think you just have to step outside of your comfort zone and don't be afraid to make a mistake.
If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of or differently with regards to your professional career?
Honestly, I don't believe in doing something different just because I think that's why I'm at where I'm at, and I'm okay with that. I think I would have been more aggressive in going after some different jobs. I would tell myself to not be afraid to take risks because I was afraid to take those risks early on and that would have been the one thing I would do differently.
I understand you have an offer to share with our listeners?
Yes! What we would like to offer is a seven-day free trial for the website and then after that, we're going to offer 12 months for $99. If you have questions, and you want to reach out to me, you can go to our website, https://onesourcedirect.net/ and then you can read information, you can see our short demo videos and I'd be more than happy to talk to you to discuss how to use the first seven days in terms of taking those articles are marketing tips that use regularly, and getting them on to the website so that you can get out there and help yourself get in front of as many people as you can
Connect with Scott