There is a new kid on the block when it comes to consumers finding products locally and effectively, as well as small businesses looking to put themselves out there. EZBZ.co is a new website that launched over a month ago and is growing exponentially. Currently restricting itself to New York City, this website already has over 14,000 businesses registered and counting.
I had the pleasure of sitting with Shana Schlossberg, founder and CEO of EZBZ.co. Shana previously worked on projects such as the merger of Bell Atlantic, GTE, and Nynex into Verizon, working with the yellow pages website, opening data centers in India, and working with FDNY to improve dispatch efficiency in the city. The idea of EZBZ emerged when Shana was in Israel working with a local newspaper. This is where she saw the problem small businesses face, costs of marketing. $1,000′s/month to put a company’s name in the market can be very costly for a small company that has cash flow concerns.
The model she helped to adapt in Israel was to take a little money from a lot of people. This proved to be very successful and she helped build up from what was a small collection of local newspapers into a website giant. This website offered a one-stop shop for small businesses with hosting, ads, and totally encompassed public relations. For a small business owner who has limited time, this was a great help because they are so busy making sales, balancing books, etc. throwing marketing into the fray would strain their resources.
Flash forward to 2011 and EZBZ took it a step further. Another a major issue that had to be addressed was: how can a business show its whole inventory? Because goods change rapidly in stores, it is hard enough to keep track of what the store has sold, let alone update an online page with ALL of the products available. The solution? Make the consumer like Walmart. A user is able to post and upload an image of an item or service needed and businesses can reply as to the price and location of their service. This greatly benefits both the consumers and small businesses; the consumers get the greatest prices and convenience as companies reply to posts and compete with each other and small companies prosper by getting additional sales.
This website can be compared to Amazon but with faster delivery, the ability to go pick up a product that day, as well as better pricing. As Shana put it, this site “matches people with businesses at a time of need”. For example, a woman posted a need for eye liner in the Brooklyn area. Several responses later, she decided to get the makeup delivered to her from a small local pharmacy. Small transactions may seem frivolous to most people, but a couple extra products can make or break a small company at the end of the day.
With Shana’s ambition and the growth they are currently experiencing, consumers in many of America’s larger cities can expect to be able to utilize EZBZ within the next few months. Shana is also determined not to sell out and change her vision of the website, which is to bridge people with their local neighborhood stores. I look forward to following EZBZ, as well as using it personally when a need arises…as Shana put it, when you need something “there is an easier way”.
For anyone interested, feel free to comment and I will publish an article about how companies can use the website.