By South Florida entrepreneurs, for South Florida entrepreneurs. All things tech in the sunny Silicon Tropic.
Our newest partner is The Netmen Corp., and we couldn’t be more excited. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but we finally have a logo. Not only is it top quality, but they gave us options and turned our idea of what we wanted into a reality. The Netmen Corp., is a service that can help you brand your startup in its early stages, thanks to its pricing and exceptional product. This interview not only touches on the service, but this short read can teach you a thing or two about building a successful business.
Tell us about The NetMen Corp. We’re a graphic design shop with about 50 designers, based in Buenos Aires. We do graphic design, print and web; everything from simple websites to HTML5 to WordPress.
When and how did it launch? Back in 2001 as a brick and mortar business, a few years ago migrated to a full online on. It started about 15 years ago with the idea of selling graphic design services online. At the time, it was was impossible for our type of designers to have a relationship with clients online. Not being able to gage their reactions and emotions, which is an integral component to providing a great design, disabled designers from really wowing their clients. Everyone told me it was impossible, but I went with it. In 2001, I joined the Elance network of independent designers. It enabled me to easily find clients because they offered a marketing solution. Clients would post their needs, I would post a solution, and thanks to at-the-time new startup PayPal, it was easy to get paid. What started as a one-person company turned into more than 50 people. Even with those 50 people, we were able to maintain a 95% satisfaction rate! We soon became the biggest online contractor on Elance.
Who is your target market? Small Companies, startups and entrepreneurs.
Where is your office located? Building.
What problem does your product solve, and how are you solving it? We deliver great logos for only $149. Most of the designs that are at or below that price aren’t unique, they’re not created by experienced designers with passion. Additionally, entrepreneurs of today want to move fast in this age of convenience. They want a logo yesterday, and not one they’re going to eventually change. We can turn around a great, unique design in their timeframe.
Who are some of your clients? Small business owners, entrepreneurs, startups, mid-size companies too. I even have a customer that first came to me when his business was small. Now, the company is very large and we still do their work. Recently, we started partnering with small marketing agencies to provide designs they can white label.
How do you differentiate your services from the competition? The designers on Fiverr and many other large marketplaces use pre-made templates. We only do designs from scratch, and we are still affordable. We’re also a shop, not a bunch of independent contractors. Also, because our designers and passionate and dedicated, we continue to grow. Because of our size, we don’t have to put quantity over quality.
What productivity apps does your team use? Many programs specific to graphic design, as well as Slack Integrations and Asana. We use Zoho CRM and all of its apps, such as CRM campaigns, social integrations, books, projects, customer service, online chat on the website. We have about 600 projects going on at anytime. Imagine that when we started, we had no cell phones!
How did you acquire your first 5-100 users? My first customer was an Argentinian gentleman living in LA, just as the internet boom was exploding. He left my first review on Elance, and from there, when you have one customer and one great review, it was easy to grow.
How do you continue to attract clients? We do ad campaigns via google and SEO so we can get organic results to reach new customers. We have a referral program and we send campaigns to our previous customers. We also use the tools of our CRM, which has helped us strategize.
Why Miami? I moved to the US because I felt that to pursue my dream, I have to be a US based company. I have to get my marketing and sales resources. The big players are here. As for Miami, for me, it is the closest US city to Buenos Aires. I’ve been here many times, I’m in love with NYC, but the weather here is attractive.
How do you hire? I’m always looking for people that have talent; that’s been the key to our success. When my company was up to 20 people, I have two people that have been with me for 10 years. I also look for special skills, because our design teams each have experts with different design backgrounds. For example, we have illustrators, we have people who love working with fonts.
How can the South Florida startup community help you? We would love to do your logos and websites. We love the idea of providing a cost-effective solution to young companies, that helps to define their brand. With Miami’s new tech scene and so many great companies launching, we want to help.
In what neighborhood do you live? I live in Brickell.