From the Blogosphere
CRM Software Is Part of the QuickBooks Ecosystem
Interview with CEO and Founder Paul Jackson
By: Xenia von Wedel
Nov. 12, 2015 01:41 PM
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Please tell us, what is Method all about and what do you do?
Jackson: Method's vision is to simplify the way small businesses get their unique work done. We create customizable apps which sync seamlessly with QuickBooks. We believe small businesses become more efficient when they have personalized software that is customized to the way they want to work.
What are you presenting at QuickBook Connect and what problem does it solve.
Jackson: We are presenting two apps at our QuickBooks Connect booth. The first is Method:CRM, the #1 CRM for QuickBooks. With Method:CRM, QuickBooks users can keep their customer follow-ups and history all in one place. Many small businesses keep their customer notes, contact information and "to-dos" in a variety of "systems". Because these systems don't talk to one another, this information often falls through the cracks... which can wreak havoc on customer relationships.
Our second app is Method:Donor, the first place winner from the 2014 QuickBooks Connect Hackathon. Method:Donor enables nonprofits to accept online donations and keep donor follow ups all in one place. Small nonprofits typically have a very manual process to accept, record and follow up with donors. Method:Donor automates this end to end process.
In addition to the two apps we are showcasing at the booth, we are supporting our Method Partners as they compete in this year's Hackathon with apps built on Method's platform. For the most part, Method partners are not software developers... they are accountants, bookkeepers and consultants. The Method platform allows anyone to build apps using drag and drop tools, 100% code free.
Who is your target audience and how do you intend to reach them?
Jackson: Our target audience is small businesses who use QuickBooks. The most important data in a business is financial. We want our apps to use and contribute to this data... with no double entry. We believe so strongly in this - you can't use our apps without syncing to QB.
Intuit's Apps.com gives us a great way to reach this audience.
Is your product available in the QuickBook Marketplace?
Jackson: Yes, in fact Method:CRM is the #1 rated CRM on Apps.com.
How does your product fit in the QuickBook Connect Ecosystem?
Jackson: We fit into the QuickBooks Connect Ecosystem in multiple ways. Firstly, our apps help extend the use of QuickBooks in the areas of customer management and donor management. Secondly, we provide all QuickBooks users - whether they are accounting professionals or small businesses - a platform where they can build apps to fit the unique workflows of their business.
Do you have an Enterprise version?
Jackson: Method's products integrate with all versions of QuickBooks... including QuickBooks Enterprise. Many of our Method customers have 50-100 employees - they are mid-sized businesses.
I'd be curious to hear any general thoughts you have on market trends...
Jackson: One of the biggest trends I see in the market is personalization. To this point, the approach to small business software has been "one-size-fits-all". The problem with one-size-fits-all is that small businesses are unique, and therefore introduce workarounds to get software working for them... which is highly inefficient.
We conducted a survey of 500 US based small businesses this past February and learned that only 1 in 5 have implemented personalized software, software that can be customized to the way their business works. While they believe personalized software will bring efficiency to their business, 77% of them have not implemented due to budget constraints.
Method enables its users to become "citizen developers", building personalized business solutions that solve for their own unique needs - using tools and wizards rather than code.
What is the viral aspect of your product?
Jackson: A popular feature in our product is customer portals - which are self-service "My Accounts". These portals allow our users to give their customers a place to view and pay invoices, update account information and make service requests. A lot of these portal users are running a small businesses as well, and end up contacting us saying "How can I get one of these for my company?!"
How will your company make money? What's the business model?
Jackson: We are a SaaS business and charge our customers a monthly subscription fee based on the number of licenses they have.
Who are your closest competitors?
Jackson: No one is really doing what we are doing... which is providing customizable, QuickBooks integrated software to small businesses. Salesforce would be the best example of a competitor, but they are not focused on small businesses... as evidenced by the discontinuation of their QuickBooks integration.
What business or technology could yours disrupt?
Jackson: We are trying to disrupt the conventional "one-size-fits-all" approach to small business software.
Who founded the company, when? What can you tell me about the story of the company's founding?
Jackson: I had previously built and sold a one-size-fits-all software company. I founded the company in 2010 because I felt that our industry needed to move to a new personalized approach of creating software for small businesses.
What is your distribution model? Where to buy your product?
Jackson: We go to market through two channels... through Intuit (Apps.com) and direct (method.me)
What's next on your product roadmap?
Jackson: We are constantly iterating and improving our platform... to make it easier for our Method app builders to create and customize their apps.
Are you targeting a first VC round? If yes when and what will you use the funds for?
How much money is being sought?
Jackson: We completed a Series-A round in early 2013, and have since been in the fortunate position to experience rapid and consistent month-over-month growth. At this time we are not looking for an additional funding.
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