We talked to Minesh Chandarana of RelyCircle, the first social selling app that lets small businesses market to new customers with no upfront cost and here is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Minesh Chandarana: I am doing OK. I’m being positive and staying focused on maintaining my physical and mental well-being.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded RelyCircle.
Minesh Chandarana: Every day, billions of dollars change hands, and countless decisions are made on the basis of our likes, our friends and families, our relationships and conversations. Our personal data is stored, traded and sold to generate about $128 billion in advertising revenue each year.
I saw an opportunity to capture this target market with a completely new business model that is socially responsible and gives full control to small businesses and their customers.
How does RelyCircle innovate?
Minesh Chandarana: Businesses are growing tired of paying for leads that wind up being cold or, even worse, fake! RelyCircle doesn’t believe that these are the days when small companies can afford to waste money on paying for every lead, click or impression in the hope of getting new business.
RelyCircle doesn’t require business owners to pay a cent until AFTER they themselves have gained a new sale. RelyCircle is the world’s first social selling platform/app that harnesses the power of positive word of mouth to help businesses gain new customers by tracking and incentivizing successful referrals from their existing customers.
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business, and how are you coping?
Minesh Chandarana: Well, we have launched our service during the pandemic, and as we speak to business owners about RelyCircle, many have been positive about our platform when we say that we can help them connect with new customers with no upfront cost.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Minesh Chandarana: RelyCircle has a completely new social selling model that we want businesses to adopt. As such, the choices we have made for our app’s user interface are based on research of many small business tools that people use today. We have learned that this is helping our agency partners to quickly walk through the app’s sign-up and implementation processes.
What specific tools, software and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Minesh Chandarana: We have our proprietary software that stores our business users’ and consumers’ data. RelyCircle has developed a revenue-sharing, agency sales partner program as a way to team up with select sales professionals and advertising agencies who can offer RelyCircle to their existing client base. There is more information here.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Minesh Chandarana: Our main competitor is digital advertising in general, and especially advertising methods like pay per lead, pay per click, and pay per impression as practised by Angie’s, Home Advisor, Facebook, Google, Yelp, etc. We plan to offer our service at zero upfront costs and provide 100 percent free marketing tools for businesses that will help them freely connect with new customers.
Do you have any final thoughts?
Minesh Chandarana: Word-of-mouth recommendations from customers are a vital part of how small businesses grow and acquire new customers. And since their recommendations are so valuable, we believe that customers should be rewarded for helping small businesses thrive. After all, with over $129 billion per year spent in 2020 on digital and social media advertising in the U.S. alone, social selling is a huge part of the business landscape, and consumers’ likes and recommendations are the foundation of that economy.
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