Small Business Spotlight of the Week: PagPresente Amanda | August 4th, 2011
This week, our small business spotlight comes to us all the way from Brazil (quick shout out to our team of Brazilian software engineers, Jonas and Adriano!). Most of us have probably thought at least once in our lives after receiving a less than desirable gift, “Wow, I wish I had just received money.” It may not be admirable to admit, but it’s pretty universal.
PagPresente exists to solve this dilemma. Users register their events, email addresses, and their bank accounts. Money is deposited directly only 15 days after the event takes place. It essentially works as a bridal or baby registry, but with direct monetary gifts instead. Currently, PagPresente only exists in Brazil, but they are looking to expand.
Felipe, entrepreneur extraordinaire, answered a few questions I had:
How would you explain what you do to somebody’s grandmother?
Our business allows people to send money to one another. We allow some brides to receive money instead of real gifts from their guests, for example. Not only brides, but everybody who is celebrating some special occasion can receive money from family or friends (especially from people who can’t go to the celebration or party).
What made you use crowdSPRING?
We saw really good jobs there for a fair price. Some friends have already used some kind of crowdsourcing to get things done and it was a good experience for them, so we gave it a chance. Generally, we would like to see what people all over the world can do with our business and contest description, it’s a really good way to see if you are being clear when explaining about your business.
What are some industry specific challenges you faced?
We are starting the business focusing on the wedding industry, which is very conservative. It’s hard to make people switch from the traditional wedding presents list (wish list) to our service. There are many clear advantages to receiving the plain money instead of “duplicated gift” or “not beautiful gift”, but we encountered some resistance…
What was your biggest learning curve/experience?
Branding and a really simple/intuitive/useful product are what really matter. Don’t make things hard, be understandable, focus on your minimum viable product to launch faster, pivot your business– if it’s necessary. One of the biggest lesson we had was choosing the right team and getting good people (professionally and as individuals).
What’s the craziest story you have from starting your own business?
It’s not actually crazy, but at least curious. Two people had the idea of the company at the same time and started developing some materials to present the idea. But none of them told to each other. Then, some weeks later, they said they would like to show each other a new business idea and in the end, it was the same idea. It was very funny.
Six words of advice to those looking to start their own company.
a) Think as much as you can.
c) Explain your business to your friends and collect feedback.
d) Do your best to make your users happy.
e) Keep focus on your core business.
f) Be the best on what you propose to deliver.
If you could go back, would you do anything differently? If so, what and why?
Yes, start it earlier and with more people engaged. I believe more people thinking on the business and interested in making ideas happen brings more chances to success, even though handling different people is hard to be done.
How do you see your company growing in the future?
We plan to improve our services to attend new customer needs, reach merchants and brands to join our sponsorship program and convert users to join our affiliated program. All proposals require marketing investments supporting a really easy to use and needed product.