Young entrepreneur sees dream realized site launches Feb 10

March 6, 2014
by Candace Harrell

Many of the world's greatest business innovations came about when someone saw a need and worked hard to fill it.When Tim Joyce saw a need for an easy to use web design tool, he recognized it as an opportunity to build a business. With a bit of help from Braintree Business Development Center and a lot of hard work, Joyce's company SimplyLaunch will officially launch on Feb. 10."Generally, websites take days, weeks or months to build," said Joyce. "We developed a way to do it in minutes.""My partner and I are constantly approached to build a simple website on a low budget. In order to build a site that is visually stimulating, easy to use, and effectively displays your content on a small budget, we knew we had to automate parts of the process. And that's what SimplyLaunch does," added Joyce.Joyce, of Mansfield, and partner Markie Arnold, of Fort Worth, Texas developed the software for SimplyLaunch by collaborating remotely.Joyce notes that writing the software was straightforward, "I knew exactly what we wanted to accomplish, what needs we were fulfilling, and how to fulfill them.""What I didn't know was how to get my software in front of people. I didn't want to have it fall into a black hole never to be enjoyed by anyone," noted Joyce, "I needed marketing guidance."In September of 2013, Joyce discovered Braintree via the internet."I thought there were some opportunities there for me to learn how to market my product at a low cost by doing it myself," said Joyce. "I am more than willing to put in the work. I just don't have the startup capital and I wasn't interested in lobbing off a piece of the company's equity to compensate a marketing specialist in order to get traction for SimplyLaunch."Joyce met with Bob Leach, Director of Operations at Braintree Business Development Center, and Barrett Thomas, Microfinance Administrator at Braintree Business Development Center. After the initial meeting and explaining his business idea, Joyce took part in Braintree's Entrepreneur Class."I took a four week class with Barrett on developing my business model and also came in for a few one-on-one sessions to discuss my product. The discussions were lengthy and took sometimes a couple of hours, but I never felt rushed. Throughout these discussions they would poke holes in the business plan. There were many faults, at first, and each time I would fix or adjust the plan to accommodate the new information, the plan would callus and be stronger than before," said Joyce.After one of these business plan rewrites, Joyce came up with the idea of "partnering" his software.Joyce explained, "This is also what separates us from other builders is that you can 'white label' our software and sell it as your own."White labeling is a process in which a product produced by one company can be rebranded by other companies and sold as their own."Not only is this a good tool for other developers, but it can be used by talent and modeling agencies, event and wedding planners, even recording studios," noted Joyce. "These industries could offer websites to their clients as an added bonus to their services. Every business owner looks for something to make them stand out from the next business. Providing a web presence to their clients could be the solution.""This isn't even limited to existing businesses. Entire business models can revolve strictly around the SimplyLaunch software," added Joyce.In addition to business and marketing plans, Braintree has continued to assist Joyce in his start up of SimplyLaunch by setting up meetings with consultants that Joyce deems "technology rock stars.""They put me directly in front of these people to show them my software. I could never have done that on my own," said Joyce.Joyce used these opportunities to improve his software based on input from these consultants."I definitely wouldn't be at the marketing level I'm at now if I hadn't met Braintree," admitted Joyce, "Starting Feb. 1, I will have an office on the second floor of the Braintree building and I am extremely excited to share a building with such accomplished industry professionals."Joyce is planning ahead. Based on his business plan, he should have 1,800 customers within the first year. According to the same business model, in five years he hopes to have 38,000 customers."This has truly been an adventure into uncharted territories on so many levels for me - as an entrepreneur, a developer, and an individual. I can only hope that I get the chance to return the favor to other young entrepreneurs."