Matt Kelly and Greg Wierenga want to do for small businesses what they did for weddings – make them a force to be reckoned with on the Internet.
The Wyoming men are the brains behind eWedding.com, a website which helps engaged couples create their own website to keep friends and family informed about their big day. Kelly came up with the idea in 2002 while designing a site for his own wedding. So far 700,000 people have used the site.
After their success, the pair is now turning their eye to the world of small business. “Almost half of small businesses are not on the internet,” says Kelly.
“I understand why when I talk to my father-in-law…they don’ t have the time, they don’t know what to do and they don’t want to spend a lot of money.”
But Wierenga says they’re missing out on a huge market. “If I’m looking for a window guy or someone to do my roof, the first place I go is Google. If you’re not on line, you’re not going to show up,” he says.
So Kelly and Wierenga have come up with a way to help small business get online, quickly, without a lot of work for not a lot of money. They’ve started eSite.com . And they’re hoping it will be as successful as their wedding sites.
Businesses can choose one of three packages for a monthly fee to set up and run a site. A number of local businesses have already got on board.
“It gives small business a level of professionalism. It’s not necessarily about bringing in new business; people will be reading your page to see if you just started three months ago or if you have been in business 30 years – it’s a reference check. It gives potential customers a sense of trust that you don’t get with just a phone number.”