Spotlight on Startups: Busy Seed

Who is behind Busy Seed and is this your first startup?
BusySeed is a wonderful mix of people looking to make difference in the lives of small business owners. I, Omar Jenblat, am the founder and CEO of BusySeed and have been working with small businesses and startups for the past six years. I have led two previous startups that dealt with affiliate file hosting and developing a smart wallet, respectively.

How did you come up with the concept behind BusySeed?
We started in 2014 as a loyalty-based startup seeking to help merchants understand how to grow through their customer bases. In late 2014, Michel Boutros of Mike’s Calzones approached me asking for help with his business’s social media. He knew that he needed to market Mike’s through social media, but didn’t know how. After talking to a lot of small business owners, the realization became clear: social media is understood to be important but is very underutilized by merchants. Thus, BusySeed changed its focus from loyalty programs to social media management and marketing.

Give a brief overview of what your company does.
Business owners are constantly strapped for time, yet they know that a competitive online presence is crucial to their success. We completely alleviate small business owners of this responsibility and don’t just manage their online presence, but make it flourish and evolve. From managing their social media accounts (such as Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google Places, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) to making sure that their online reputation shines, we enable merchants to focus on putting bread on the table while we better their brands.

Where did the name come from?
Small businesses are the very seeds of our economy. Money spent in small businesses stays in the community and is used to help that community grow. Providence is a shining example of how small businesses create such a unique feel for a community. We make sure we help these seeds stay busy so that they can flourish; making everyone’s lives even better.

How many clients are you currently working with or have worked with?
We are currently working with ~20 local small businesses. Our clients are absolutely in love with what we do and they see how we are trying to make a difference. One in particular, Julio Fonseca of Geoff’s Superlative Sandwiches and Cafe Zog, had this to say: “BusySeed has done a fabulous job at managing the social media accounts for Geoff’s Superlative Sandwiches. The posts are classy, tasteful, and very professional, and the accompanying photos are just beautiful. BusySeed is a small business themselves and they embody that mindset, which means that they’re able to sympathize with all the issues that I, as a small business owner, have to deal with every day. The BusySeed team and I can relate on the same level, which is very important to me.”

What makes your business model so successful?
My father came to this country from Syria about 30 years ago with nothing but the desire to work hard. My parents didn’t have a lot of money so most days, you would find me in my father’s dry cleaners sleeping on rows of rolled fabric. I grew up in a small business, and I know what small business owners have to go through to make a living. We provide cost-effective services that allow small businesses to grow without breaking the bank each month. Yet I think the biggest reason why this model works is because we get very personal with our customers. We always sit down with our customers to learn what inspired them to become a small business owner. Every customer has my personal cell phone number and we help each other grow.

What is your company’s competitive advantage over other social media companies?
We understand small businesses and we absolutely adore them. We don’t charge hundreds and hundreds of dollars each month for simple monitoring tools or non-unique content posting. We are local and always plan to keep local presences no matter where we expand. We don’t believe we can successfully embody our client’s ideals without being able to drink coffee with them or grab some sushi from them.

Why did you start your business in Rhode Island?
I grew up in Providence, RI for most of my life, so it only made sense to help my hometown. As small as Rhode Island is, it is a wonderful collection of cultures and history that can’t be found anywhere else. I want to see Providence and other Rhode Island cities grow, and the key to that is to grow the small businesses.

What advice would you give to an entrepreneur looking to begin a startup?
In the words of Shia Labeouf, “Just do it”. Everybody will tell you that your idea won’t work, or that it isn’t attractive, but you can’t let that sway you. If you believe you can do some good, start doing it. Your idea may change down the road, but so long as you keep believing in yourself, you will become successful.

Are there any other insights you’d like to give to your clients?
We at BusySeed are absolutely dedicated to small businesses and to the wonderful people who own them. We work every day to make sure merchants can worry about doing what they do best. If we can make their job easier, we know that we are doing good for the community.

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Avatar About the Author: The Rhode Island Small Business Journal is a printed monthly magazine and an online resource for the aspiring and start-up entrepreneur and small business owner.

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