On the heels of its recently announced $1.75M round led by Mangrove, SohoOS is today announcing the roll-out of SohoOS.me, a new product that allows SMBs to create simple business profile pages for themselves—very similar to how About.me allows individuals to do so.
Creating a profile is painless. Businesses can include their logo and contact information, as well as links to their Twitter profiles, Facebook Pages and collateral, for example, PDF’s and videos. Businesses can also customize the look & feel (see screenshots).
On the face of it, it’s a simple product, however, it could have significant impact on the company and its customers. Here’s how…
From the customer perspective, beyond the fact that these profile pages serve as ‘business cards’, every page has a built-in contact form. Instead of treating it as a simple contact form though, SohoOS built the functionality to serve as lead-generation for its customers. This means that when information is plugged-in, it’s pushed into the CRM portion of SohoOs, as a lead to be followed-up on. Very convenient and effective for small businesses.
It’s also the only way the product can be truly differentiated from the plethora of quick-and-dirty yet useful website building services out there (Wix, Yola, Jimdo, Weebly, Webs and Moonfruit leap to mind, but there are of course loads more).
For SohoOS itself, the new product offers a couple of upsides. First, if there is customer uptake for the product, the company will find itself sitting on a directory of small businesses that could be monetized in a number of ways (advertising, lead-gen, etc.). Second, considering that SohoOS is based on a freemium model, the product which is today offered free of charge, could be offered at a premium for the option of allowing small business to host their profile pages on custom URLs. A win-win for both SohoOS and its customers that could become a nice little money maker.
Additional functionality will continue to be rolled-out, the first being more themes and the ability to embed the contact (lead) form externally.
Planet Soho is the place small office / home office (SOHO) businesses, micro-businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers worldwide come together to grow and flourish. Planet Soho addresses the business needs of SOHOs, offering a powerful suite of free web-based tools to help SOHOs operate, a business-advice blog, and a directory of over one million small businesses. With over one million SOHOs on board, Planet Soho is leveraging the power of economy of scale to bring exclusive features to members, thereby giving SOHOs...