Categorized | Shoestring Startup

Best Essay Help – Your Online Writing Center

Name of your company and URL?

Best Essay Help - Your Online Writing CenterCompany name: Best Essay Help

URL: http://www.bestessayhelp.com

Date started?

The company was started on December 11, 2008

What is your product or service?

We provide writing, editing, proofreading, and research services for students and graduates.

Why did you start your company?

While in graduate school, I was under constant pressure of writing essays, research papers, and later on research proposals, theses, and dissertations. As most of the students, I worked part-time, partied, did sports, and was involved in other activities that left little to no time for studies. I tried getting help from my tutors, but they all were rarely available to provide me with any sort of guidance or help. The school’s writing center was always crowded and it was nearly impossible to concentrate and get at least some sort of academic help. There were hundreds of fellow students who had the very same problem. This is when my close friend and I (who later on became my partner) realized that we can change the situation by creating an academic help service that will provide students with the help they need – helping them gather sources for their research, assist them with editing and proofreading, and simply learning how to write this or that paper. We created a buzz in our school and quickly realized this to be a potentially successful endeavor.

How was it financed?

We were just ordinary students, driving bikes instead of cars, working part-time jobs in restaurants – we had little to no money at all times. Once we’d made our minds on starting a business, we quickly realized that our savings were equal to $780 total. A shoestring startup indeed. We knew our parents would have never supported our endeavor and we were afraid of take a loan from a bank. Hence, we have decided to go with the budget we had in our pockets.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

We started off launching a simple website – thanks to my partners’ skills in website building. Once the website was able to receive and process orders, accept payments, and send automatic notifications, it was time to use word of mouth. We were attending the writing center on daily basis and talked to students who had problems with their assignments and were looking for help, we talked to teachers and inquired if we could help anyone in class, we even informed our friends on Facebook about our services by changing the status and using personal messages. Moreover, we printed out short bulletins (using our own printer) with a call to action and distributed them in the dorm.

Right now, we are mostly using online techniques to attract new customers. The reason for doing this is simple – we have grown from an amateur school writing aid center into an online firm, which helps hundreds of people from all over the world on daily basis. We use Facebook, Twitter, Squidoo, MySpace, blogs, forums, search engine advertising, and more.

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ? Provide exact URL of each.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BestEssayHelp

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/BestEssayHelp

Youtube watch video URL?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGuoCivfjdQ&feature=player_detailpage#t=7s

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

We have 8 in-house employees who provide customer support, work on website optimization, social media presence, and provide IT and technical support. We employ nearly 100 freelance writers, editors, researchers, and tutors from United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and many European countries. Since we receive orders from clients all over the world, we have to make sure we find the most suitable writer or editor for each customer.

What is the best advice you never got?

The best advice I never got is the following: Never try to do everything on your own, even if you are on a tight budget – use outsourcing! My partner and I started our business on a shoestring budget, so we were worked till the cows come home. We spent days and nights working on the website, writing content, while still trying to cope with the customers’ deadlines. As a result, both the quality and the quantity of the work decreased. The situation changed completely when we finally started to outsource some of the work.

What almost killed your business in the start?

When we finished graduate school, we pretty much lost most of our clients – they just graduated. We were no longer able to distribute the ads in the dorm and that was quite a hit for our sales. However, we worked hard on spreading the word online and it worked – we started getting new clients from the web. Ultimately, we realized that online advertisement is cheaper, brings more clients, and requires less time than advertising offline.

What is the one thing that you did right?

The one thing I did right was not starting this business alone. I worked with my close friend and partner, who was always helping me out and cheering me up in times of need. I believe I would have not made it alone.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

I had to learn manage and control people. Give out orders, check schedules, calculate salaries…the list can go on forever. Once we have started employing people, our daily routine has changed drastically – I had to operate as a manager. Moreover, I had to be a general manager. I had to attend business management courses and lectures to gain the skills required to control the firm. This was the biggest transition I had to make – transform from an employee into a employer.

What type of marketing or advertising do you do?

We work hard to spread the word and attract new customers by using search engine advertisement, banner advertisement, writing quality interesting content, and doing search engine optimization. We also use social media through Facebook and Twitter to share the news and discounts for our services. A few weeks ago, we have started a blog to provide free writing tips for our audience.

What would make your business more “Successful”?

Creativity. Most of our competitors aim at quantity. We strive for quality, creativity, and fun. We believe the success of this business lies in providing something interesting and creative to our clients – sharing knowledge and experience no one else will share and do it in a fun and easy-to-digest manner. We need more creative ideas – more creative people in our team.

Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years?

This business is my first and only endeavor (at least for now). I treat it as my only child and would never have it run by someone else or sell it. I will continue to put all my efforts in making it big.

What do you think your projected annual revenue will be?

We plan to receive around $250k in revenue by next year.

How long do you think it will take you to get to your projected annual revenue?

It will take at least 1 year.

 

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