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Posted Mar. 5, 2012

Many interesting things happened with respect to Group Office Buys (www.groupofficebuys.com). But the only thing I can tell you about is that we delivered our catalogs this week. Each one has tens of thousands of items and is the size of a phonebook. I wanted to send a personalized email to each recipient of a catalog contemporaneously with receipt of the catalog. I wanted them to know that the catalogs were from me and not from some other junk mail marketer and hopefully knowing that, they wouldn’t send the catalog directly to the trashcan. Writing 250 personalized emails is harder than you think. But it was worth it. The emails seem to have had the desired effect, as I have received quite an outpouring of friendly and favorable responses.


Posted Feb. 27, 2012

Our Dynamic Designware, Inc. (DDI) affiliate applied to the TAG Business Launch competition. DDI provides a suite of software tools for the design, management and pricing of interior design and construction projects. Our customers include interior designers and decorators, building contractors and subcontractors and furniture or fixture vendors. The platform is designed to work with various e-commerce platforms and on a stand-alone basis.

The application to the Business Launch competition was pretty straightforward. Much of the information that TAG needs is included in DDI’s Executive Summary, which we attached to the application. The problem was that we had not updated the DDI Executive Summary, and much had changed since we completed our business model and designed the DDI platform. The good news is that the process required us to revise the Executive Summary, which needed to be done.

Tamela Viglione, the new marketing director for online office supplies company, Group Office Buys has hit the ground running. In addition to focusing on certain tactical items that have pressing deadlines, such as sending out catalogs and emails relating to the catalogs and accessing “free” tools provided by our supplier, Tamela has begun the preparation of a comprehensive marketing plan and strategy.


Posted February 20, 2012

For Dynamic Bundles, LLC, we finished the specifications and submitted the requirements to software developers for bids. We also expanded the disclosure of two inventions in our patent application. Over the next two weeks we will be working towards the completion of the utility patent application.

Our online office supplies company, Group Office Buys (www.groupofficebuys.com) hired our new marketing director, and she has begun work. It is incredible to have a marketing director with 15 years of experience to give direction to our many marketing initiatives. She brings a great deal of professionalism to a function in our company that, notwithstanding our opportunism and lack of real discipline, has already generated some success.


Posted February 14, 2012

You may recall that Dynamic Bundles, LLC is an early-stage software company that focuses on the purchase, sale and sourcing of multiple items. We have been focusing on the platform for interior designers and decorators, home remodelers and builders, and wholesale suppliers of furniture and fixtures. To attack this vertical we are planning to “partner” with Commerce Science Corporation, which is working with ASID to provide each member designer with the ability to operate an e-store. We came to the conclusion that the designers also need to manage their catalogs, facilitate clients’ visualization, understand the economics of running an e-store and manage and price the projects. Recently, we had a great experience with OneSpring, which, in a very intense week, helped us create the screen shots, requirements and specifications for the designer platform. They provided 3-5 professionals, including for user experience. We are submitting the requirements and specifications for bids by software developers.

Our online office supplies company, Group Office Buys (www.groupofficebuys.com) has been making great strides. Last week I mentioned that its principal challenge is driving revenues. We are excited to announce that our new marketing director will start this week. Our pressing marketing initiative is to mail catalogs to our customers and prospective customers—300 in all—and to send each recipient an email before they receive their catalogs. The catalog covers 40,000 items and is the size of a phone book. So it would be a shame for the recipient to throw it away, rather than forward it to the person in charge of purchasing.


Posted February 7, 2012

Have you ever wanted to know how a startup company gets started? In this section, I will provide weekly updates of two startups I founded: Dynamic Bundles, LLC and Group Office Buys, LLC. They are in different stages of development.

Dynamic Bundles, LLC is an early-stage software company that focuses on the purchase, sale and sourcing of multiple items. To summarize, our platform facilitates large “shopping projects”, like remodeling your home. It gives “experts”, such as interior designers and home contractors the right tools to facilitate the project. We also enable merchants and customers alike to create and modify bundles of goods. Our pricing engine helps consumers save money by using proprietary algorithms to determine bundled savings automatically.
Simultaneously, we are working on further actions at the Patent Office with respect to our two filed patent applications. We’re currently completing version 2 of our platform and adapting it to the interior design and home remodeling space, finalizing our business model, preparing to raise money, creating an informational web site and marketing the platform through various channels. It seems like, and is, a lot to do, but this “war” on multiple fronts will sound very familiar to other tech entrepreneurs.

Happily, our other company, Group Office Buys, LLC is not really a start-up. The online office supplies store has been in business for a number of months. However, its principle challenge – driving revenues – is universal. In this column, I will describe how we attack this challenge, using interactive and digital means to complement the more traditional methods. I will keep you posted on the highs and the lows. We hope readers will feel free to offer suggestions; many of you have been selling products a lot longer than we have.

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