Featured Startup Pitch: Small Bizeo—aggregating research and business intelligence for small businesses and entrepreneurs

By Editor August 31, 2011

SmallBizeo_logoCompany: Small Bizeo

Website: www.smallbizeo.com

Founder: Kal Gullapalli

Headquarters: Philadelphia

Year Founded: 2011

Twitter: @SmallBizeo

Brief Company Description: “Small Bizeo is a research platform that provides objective data, consolidated reports and insightful investment analysis to small business and franchise buyers.”


Kal_Gullapalli-SmallBizeoBy Kal Gullapalli, founder

Company Overview

At its core, Small Bizeo is a franchise and small business research portal. When looking at a franchise, we look at average store economics, failure rates, growth rates, litigation issues and specifics within the Franchise Disclosure Document (300 page Annual Reports created by franchisors). Second, we have a listing platform people can use to search existing businesses for sale.

How It Started

I grew up with many of my close family and friends involved in small business. In my close network, we had owners of gas stations, convenience stores, Subways, Dunkin Donuts and other small business enterprises. I actually managed a top pizza concept during high school. After graduating from the University of Michigan, I spent eight years working on Wall Street. I was a buy-side analyst focused on the industrial sector but also invested in restaurants. I remember specifically investing into Outback and Sbarro’s high yield debt for a very short period of time. During my time on Wall Street, I constantly saw tremendous value in small business so I frequently would attend trade shows, meet with industry veterans and speak directly with various franchise concepts. There was a big problem in the space—lack of transparency. Unlike on Wall Street where you can find information on just about every stock, people blindly invested into franchise systems sometimes purely based on passion. I felt the need for an objective third party research platform to rate and review each franchise. Hence, Small Bizeo was born.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

We have several things that we are working on:

1.       Key partnerships to distribute our content via their platform

2.       SEO/SEM

3.       Newsletter campaigns

4.       Public Relation via SS PR

5.       Trade shows

6.       Affiliate program

How we differentiate from the competition

Currently there are many franchise portals out there but none that actually provide in-depth analysis. The sites that exist are your typical lead generation sites that aggregate information that can be found on a franchisor’s website. They then take that lead and sell directly to the franchisor or franchise brokers. While this model is good, I wanted to create something that could be even more helpful to our user—real information that can be used to make an informed investment decision. We provide this information in our Get Smart platform.

Business Model

Currently, we are charging $99.98 a month to access our entire database of analysis. That is a huge bargain to gain pretty insightful data. Also, considering that franchises cost 100s of thousands of dollars, why not spend a little money to gain the extra edge?

Current Needs

We aren’t looking for capital in the very near term but that may be an option in early-to-mid 2012. At this point, we are looking for strategic partnerships and key personnel that may help push our brand to mainstream America.

Small Bizeo – www.smallbizeo.com