Sunday, August 11, 2013

LocalOn: Simple Web Marketing for Small Businesses

These days, running a business requires having an online presence as well. Maintaining a website and social media accounts can be overwhelming and expensive, but San Francisco Bay Area startup LocalOn offers a simple and painless solution to web marketing. The only website and online marketing platform built especially for small businesses, LocalOn lets entrepreneurs manage their business' web presence from one place. Through LocalOn's dashboard, business owners can edit their website, post events and deals, manage their Twitter and Facebook pages, and publish to local newspapers and associations, among others.

Believing that web marketing should be easy and manageable, LocalOn develops tools that not only produce results, but also enrich communities. LocalOn's WYSIWYG site editor enables anyone to build and modify a custom website sans a web programmer, with changes going live right away. In addition, social marketing tools are built in, allowing users to post events, news, and deals directly to their website and social media accounts. Users can advertise through local newspapers and merchants associations, send invoices, and collect payments from the LocalOn dashboard. There's also an ecommerce tool for those who would like to market and sell their products online. Customers get access to unlimited phone and email support as well.

Co-founded by Shahbano Imran and David Tolioupov, LocalOn is part of Y Combinator's current class of startups. To reach businesses that could use its web marketing suite, LocalOn has partnered with 2 newspapers and 40 merchants associations in the Bay Area. Prior to this, the company went door-to-door to sell its product, which Imran describes as “a complete failure,” as small businesses were receiving pitches from 20 startups per day and nobody was interested in hearing another one. Now that some local businesses have signed on, LocalOn plans to target those outside of the Bay Area.

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