Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Instead of talking AT you, we want to talk WITH you

So our site has been revised and the renewed version has been uploaded as a soft launch to preview our launch next week.

We're excited about the launch and it's great to see that people have been keeping an eye out for our service launch since there are already a few sign ups on the site.

Thank you all for the support! I'm looking forward to the official launch next week and hopefully we'll see more people joining us in Changing Exchanging!

Next week we're going to be busy with press releases and other marketing efforts. To help us out we had a meeting with Rob from Techvibes this morning to ask him about how to use social media to spread the word.

There were definitely some great ideas that came out of the meeting. Our conversation gleaned tips on how to better utilize Twitter apps to build a following and how we can use social media more cost efficiently.

With a tight budget we really have to get creative with our promotional efforts and of course we're hoping that our audience/users will help spread the word!

What we've noticed with other financial services is that they don't do a lot of outreach marketing; as a new company to the industry, we want to take a different approach to converse with our users - we also want to share the information that we have to help users save more and make sound financial decisions but we want to do it in plain English.

It'll be interesting to see how all of you (our potential valued customers!) will react to our approach.

You're used to financial services being secretive with how they operate - we're going to be transparent so you know exactly what you're paying for and how our service works.

You're used to financial services building credibility by sending out "value-added" newsletters and market commentary -
we're going to be asking for our community of users to contribute their insights on how to save more money and how to make MORE of their money; of course we share our input as well, but we're sure that crowdsourcing the information means MORE value to the entire community :)

You're used to financial services being serious, using royal blue, forest green, ruby red, etc... - we aim to be a breath of fresh air for small businesses, who currently get tons of lip service about "small business products" with zero delivery on the brand promise; we're going to change that by living up to whatever we tell you we're going to do.

You're used to financial services tagging on numerous fees - we have one fee and we'll tell you what it's for.

As starry-eyed entrepreneurs, our team is going to work day and night to ensure we walk the talk!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Reading Blogs

Following my recent "thing" to set up a daily schedule to UP my efficiency, I have scheduled a time for when I read other people's blogs and also write on our own.

Read "Startup Marketing" yesterday and had some good takeaways. The write encourages Startups to have a customer development plan rather than a marketing plan for the startup phases.

It makes sense since you only get one chance to make a first impression - initially developing customers one by one you start to get a feel for what BURNING need you're serving and how you can tailor it more to the customers that are passionate about your service/product.

When you have a steady following, THEN you can switch gears to doing more marketing.

If you only have a MVP - minimally viable product, and you throw it out on the market burning a big hole in your marketing budget, you might be turning OFF customers that would've been interested in a later stage of your product with a very preliminary version of your product.

It's something to consider for Startup businesses...getting the word out is important, but getting the word out too early is dangerous. Just think about Dragons' Den for us and how it's been almost 1.5 years since...if the segment aired NOW to support our commercial launch it would've been GREAT.

Oh well. At least I still get asked about it :)
I'm counting on my marketing guy to come up with something that makes an even bigger splash.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Making use of every hour, minute, second of my day.

This is what it felt like today - extremely busy and extremely productive. I wish every day were like that!

I'm currently remaking my schedule to build more predictability into my work + personal life. (I work so much that probably my work = personal life..haha)

Dividing up the hours of my work day to specific areas such as:
  • Operations
  • Strategy
  • Marketing
  • Development
  • Investor Relations (tons of e-mail correspondence and write-up material)
  • HR (yes, even in a company of two full-time and a couple contractors this can be a BIG issue)
...makes my day so much more efficient it makes me smile :)

More importantly I've come to realize that I've been depriving myself of the ME time that I need. Sometimes you can get so involved and into your business that you lose sight of the things that are really important...as my friend said, always look out for #1 - YOU.

Think about it. If you aren't healthy or your mind is cluttered with stress and fragments of your business (ie. you don't have a big picture view of your business where you KNOW where all the pieces fit) then you run the risk of working way too much and losing the ability to guide/focus your company's path.

Sometimes it's necessary to take a step back; I'm glad I did and hopefully I can keep up this super efficient schedule.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Would you rather throw a product out when you know it's not even bare bones ready to meet a launch date or would you wait another 2 weeks.

I chose the latter option. I just went with my gut.

Our service was supposed to launch yesterday - allowing users to sign up and start putting in transactions.

One hold-up though - server migration. We want additional security for our customer information and our admin system as well, which is why we're moving servers before the commercial launch.

Apologies to those users that tried to sign up on the website and discovered that they can't. We are working night and day to roll out the system because we too, are looking to share what we've worked on for 1.5 years with you.

The system will be up early April and we look forward to getting your feedback at that time! The good, bad and the ugly as long as it helps us progress and improve PeerFX!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weekend Before Going Live

The past couple weeks have been crazy - or more like Julien and I have driven our development team crazy. We probably spend around half of our work day in our developer's office and now Julien thinks he lives in Richmond.

Now we're getting ever closer to our launch date and I'm excited and anxious. Well, at least now it'll be out on the market and it only gets better as we keep improving it! :)

Two major tasks lie ahead: marketing and operations/development. We're splitting this to make the most efficient use of our time and I'll be taking care of the operations/development portion while J will work around the clock to get customers on board (yes, you will work around the clock and to be fair I will too).

I think one thing that I'm learning to do right now with 500 things on my to-do list is to make decisions fast. This doesn't mean that I don't put thought into it, more like I have learned to listen, digest and process information faster to make the most informed decisions possible given the time constraints. It's fun and suddenly I feel like I'm in another phase of building and running a business - learning how to get it off the ground.

I foresee many busy weeks ahead and I'm so glad that right now I have J to share the burden (yes, that's what I call giving you more than 24 hours of work in a day).

We will keep you posted on our progress! Check out the website and of course we want YOU to sign up to join us in Changing Exchanging!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Learning More Tricks!

Well Hello Again,
Who say's you can't teach a an old dog new tricks! As we're ramping for our PeerFX official launch in April, we're streamlining all our social media tactics to get to create...not ripples but massive waves!
Keep tuned into our blog in weeks to come as we'll reveal the (fingers crossed) success of our efforts and explain our implemented marketing mix.

Thanks for visiting!