As a small business itself, Book’n’Bloom, intuitively grasps the understanding and need for SMBs to adapt themselves to the social era. Recognizing the power of social media, Book’n’Bloom produces management tools that function within Facebook’s business pages, allowing companies to save time, schedule clients during closed hours, and offer value-added service for their clients.
KITE Invest: Book’n’Bloom’s services turn Facebook business pages into a promotional and operational tool. As Book’n’Bloom functions only with Facebook, please explain relationship with Facebook and ability to provide such services?
Claus Rosenberg Gotthard: At this point you can have Book’n’Bloom as an App to your Facebook page and in the future we shall develop for other Social Media platforms so that a shop can in fact be operational on say Facebook and Twitter at the same time. We believe that Facebook is particular well suited for small local businesses, since this is where the majority of their clients are, and it’s also where these clients can recommend and drive new clients to the business. We have no particular relationship with Facebook besides we both see the importance of the platform for Small-Medium sized business to operate and flourish.
KITE: Why is Book’n’Bloom different from other companies that provide online management tools?
CRG: The major differentiator is the fact that we have plugged the tool into the biggest social media platform there is with existing traffic of consumers. The business doesn’t need to spend money on driving visitors to an external platform or website – they can spend their time and efforts on Facebook and through that get new clients.
Also often, we are wrongly compared to Marketplaces where consumers go and book a ‘good deal’ with a small business, which is very different in terms of cost for the small business. The Marketplace often charges as much as 20% in commission for bookings done through them and that is a cut in income, which a small business cannot afford especially because 80-90% of their revenue comes from recurring customers; they need a tool at a fixed monthly cost that does the same and more.
KITE: Book’n’Bloom’s future services is the implementation of advertising, which will give companies the end-to-end service of creating ad, the purchase of offer, appointment booking, redeem of offer, and spread the word. The current and future services of Book’n’Bloom appear to have no boundaries, in this regard, what is and has been Book’n’Bloom’s primary market to date? How does the company plan to reach its potential global market?
CRG: Once we have implemented the feature, which we refer to as ‘Offers’, that will allow a business to make a timeline post / offer on their Facebook page with a call-to-action button “Book Now”. By doing this we believe we are closing the loop giving the small business all the tools they need to operate with both existing customers and get new customers. Of course, we don’t stop there and we have a long list of features, which we look forward to implementing over the next month making the product even more valuable to the small local business.
Now to your second question about global market – the problems small businesses face transitioning to a Social & Mobile operation is truly universal; it doesn’t matter whether you are a Hair Salon in Hong Kong, a Nail Bar in Bogota or a Pet Walker in New York, the need to move your business online and allow your clients interaction via mobile is the same. In any business one needs to ‘nail it before you scale it’ which is what we are doing right now. We are learning how to sell Book’n’Bloom in Greece, Spain and UK before we scale to larger markets starting with Colombia and Brazil.
KITE: In three year’s time Book‘n’Bloom has already had some significant milestones. One in particular is that the company has raised $1 million from investors. The fact that Book ‘n’ Bloom has already had considerable backing from investors, indicates that the company is on the right path. What are the future goals of Book’n’Bloom?
CRG: As I said before we need to scale to larger markets and not only lager, but also markets where technology, smart-phone usage, and the usage of Facebook is big. We know that Latin America, the US and East Asia is more advanced in all of these aspects than our current markets. Our goal for 2015 is to service 10.000 small local businesses in various markets…that’s our short-term goal.
KITE: Why do you think Book’n’Bloom has been received so well? What makes Book’n’Bloom stand apart from other investment opportunities?
CRG: We have spent a lot of time getting the product right and not only the product experience, but also how we communicate this. In this process we have also learned that we not only need to take care of our Customers, but also their Clients, because without Clients using it we will not be able to deliver enough value to our Customer for him to pay for the product. It’s a long and hard process and something that never ends of optimizing the product and experience for all involved parties. What really makes us stand out is the sheer opportunity we are dealing with – There are over 100 million small local businesses in the world right now and they are all facing the challenge of the change in consumer behavior and that is an opportunity that is worth billions.
Book ‘n’ Bloom was a recent finalist at The South Summit in Madrid, Spain.