Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Shendon Ewan, co-founder of Gobbill.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Gobbill is an online service that automates bill payments. It checks and pays your bills on time and securely stores it all in one place. It also centralises all your payment relationships. With Gobbill, you can stay in control of your money and easily switch and change payment details online via our web portal. We built Gobbill to save users time and money, but also protect you from cyber scams. Gobbill’s patented process digitises bills, checks them for fraud and schedules it for payment. All users need to do is forward their bills to Gobbill email address and we take care of the rest. Gobbill is sponsored by Microsoft and is a partner of the Commonwealth Government’s Stay Safe Online initiative.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We’re extremely focused on delivering the best customer experience. We believe this is the key to growing our idea. We’re always looking at ways we can do things better, which is why we’ve invested in 2 years of R&D and private testing. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to finance and back Gobbill without external investment, though we may explore a funding round in the future to scale into new markets. The platform is showing steady growth and we’re confident we will reach our business goals.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Spreading the word. Brand exposure and awareness of Gobbill as a new and easier way to pay bills has been our biggest challenge. As a relatively new business, communicating the idea and reaching our target audience takes time.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
We put the customer at the centre of everything we do, allowing them to have full control over everything from payments and scheduling to payments methods and billers. We are independent of banks and service providers. Gobbill was initially built for ourselves and our family and friends. We wanted something more than just direct debits or internet banking. It just grew from there. We’ve used simple yet smart tech to make it extremely easy to switch banks, credit cards and service providers by having all your payment relationships in one place. Because of this, Gobbill was a finalist for Best Tech Innovation at the Finder Awards this year.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Email is ubiquitous and a vital application to us not only to connect with our customers but also to receive electronic bills and invoices.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Give it a go. Gobbill was an idea that started in a Melbourne pub. After months of research and planning, we decided to give it a go. Two and half years later, who would have thought we would be here. Whether it’s an established or new business, innovating and testing new ideas is important to maintain a competitive advantage.
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