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“As I grew up, the “things” changed, but the core concept remained the same, work hard and you’ll reap the benefits of your successes”

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Founder and Chief Executive Officer Corey Leff brings entrepreneurial experience and an analytical approach to the spendLO team. With the 2005 launch of early cloud storage provider Document Nation, Leff gained the experience of successfully operating a web-based start-up business. Document Nation’s steady growth between 2005-2010 under Leff’s leadership led to the 2011 upgrade in facilities, the realization of the extensive problems associated with the service provider hiring process and ultimately the formation of the spendLO concept.

SpendLO’s structured, web-based, “name your price”, service request process enables consumers to provide service specifications in a manner that ensures an apples-to-apples comparison between prequalified, local service provider bids. Pre-qualified local vendors are notified when postings applicable to their business are submitted, and are given the opportunity to submit their most competitive bid within the consumer’s budget, in an effort to earn the business. Ultimately, the consumer hires a service provider based on the bid prices submitted and the businesses’ reputation. As a result of the competition created by crowdsourcing service providers, spendLO consumers consistently receive the lowest pricing available, while spendLO’s network of service providers are provided with a cost free, risk free method of driving new revenue.

MO: Where does your strong entrepreneurial spirit come from? What key lessons did you learn early on during your first ventures as a teenager?

Corey: I’ve always been motivated to be successful. I understood at a young age that in order to have the “things” I wanted, I would have to work hard and make a lot of money. It started at a young age, probably 13 or 14. I grew up a NJ Nets fan just 15 or 20 minutes from the arena. I would always want to go to the games with my friend’s family who had season tickets. Tickets at the time might have been $30 or $40, and while my parents would sometimes give me money for tickets, other times I’d have to come up with my own money. I began to sell player autographs that I collected at the game, to cover the cost of the tickets. As I grew up, the “things” changed, but the core concept remained the same, work hard and you’ll reap the benefits of your successes.

There is no doubt, my earliest ventures helped to shape my current sales skill-set. With limited outlets to showcase inventory, this is “pre-eBay”, I predominantly used AOL message boards and sports memorabilia tradeshows to gain exposure. Selling my product over the phone, via email, as well as face-to-face (remember I’m 13, 14 and dealing with grown men), and having some early success gave me confidence, that only continued to grow as I matured both physically and intellectually. By the time I launched my next venture at 17, I had a “toolset” far beyond my years.

MO: Can you talk about the inspiration behind spendLO? How did your previous experience at Document Nation help contribute towards the direction development and vision of the company?

Corey:  The concept for spendLO was born out of my frustration soliciting mass transport vendors during a Document Nation office facilities upgrade during Spring 2011. Each time-consuming inquiry asked the same exact questions, required the same responses, yielded vastly different (all out of budget) quotes, and resulted in endless follow-up bordering on harassment. I quickly realized the need to streamline the service provider hiring process and developed the concept for a consumer driven pricing platform.

SpendLO provides the price savings, time-savings and privacy sought after by today’s savvy consumer. The site enables the consumer to “name their price”, by crowdsourcing its network of pre-qualified vendors and devising its processes to encourage competition between service providers, spendLO offers users the most aggressive pricing available locally for the service requested. The company’s simple one-pager service request form and proprietary matchmaking software provide consumers with a time effective solution to identify and hire service providers. By withholding all consumer contact information until the user accepts a vendor’s bid, and limiting consumer-vendor interaction to correspondence through the spendLO platform, spendLO users avoid unwanted solicitation from overaggressive salesmen.

As the Managing Partner at Document Nation, I detested buying leads through traditional lead generation services. I found that I was not in fact paying for business leads, but for the contact information of a potential customer. Unfortunately so were Three (3) to Five (5) other service providers at the exact same time, making the odds of landing the project slim. Likewise, I realized that bombarding the consumer with sales solicitations from a handful of overeager service providers was not the best method of earning one’s business. There was a clear discrepancy in what the customer was looking to get from a lead generation service, what made sense from a businesses standpoint and the existing lead purchase opportunities available to local service based businesses. Ultimately these revelations helped to formulate the concepts behind implementation of spendLO’s modified reverse auction platform.

MO: How does the spendLO process work?

Corey: The spendLO process is simple! SpendLO’s structured, web-based, “name your price”, service request process prompts consumers to provide service request specifications in a manner that ensures an apples-to-apples comparison between prequalified, local service provider bids. Pre-qualified local vendors are notified when postings applicable to their business are submitted, and are given the opportunity to submit their most competitive bid within the consumer’s budget, in an effort to earn the business. Ultimately, the consumer hires a service provider based on the bid prices submitted and the businesses’ reputation. As a result of the competition created by crowdsourcing service providers, spendLO consumers consistently receive the lowest pricing available, while spendLO’s network of service providers are provided with a cost free, risk free method of driving new revenue.

It is FREE for both consumers and vendors to register on spendLO. There are no fees associated with posting one’s service needs or to submit a bid on a service opportunity. SpendLO receives Ten Percent (10%) of the accepted bid price on a transactional basis upon acceptance of the vendor’s bid. At that point consumer and vendor contact information is exchanged.

MO: What are the advantages of using spendLO for both the customers and the businesses you represent?

Corey: The advantages for both the customers and small businesses within spendLO’s network are plentiful! SpendLO provides local small businesses with risk-free, cost-free, revenue generating opportunities, which they previously have been required to pay for in the form of undesirable leads as described in Question 2. Naturally, new opportunities lead to new consumers and ultimately drive revenue.

SpendLO is providing customers with a simple web-based platform that provides for the time and cost savings today’s savvy consumer requires. Having service providers virtually compete for the right to service a project ensures the consumer gets the lowest pricing possible. By protecting the consumer contact information until a bid is selected, spendLO provides users the privacy rarely seen in the marketplace. By pre-screening every service provider prior to acceptance in to the spendLO network, users can be assured they will be getting quality work regardless of which service providers’ bid is selected.

MO: If I could grant you one business related wish right now, what would you ask for?

Corey: I would ask the magic business genie for an affiliate partnership with a media conglomerate that would provide spendLO with the exposure necessary to become the “next big internet startup”. It is critical that spendLO achieve first to market status and begin to capture significant market share. Relentless exposure offered by traditional media outlets would put the company on the radar of prospective clientele and help to stimulate the viral component necessary to quickly achieve “top of mind awareness” in our test market of South Florida enabling us to expand the model nationwide.

MO: What’s next for Corey Leff?

Corey: I am determined to cultivate spendLO to become a household name. Using the invaluable feedback we are receiving from industry experts, business advisors and of course our dedicated base of users to improve the user experience, we are confident it is just a matter of time before the company is a national player along the likes of Angie’s List, Service Magic/Home Advisor, and Red Beacon within the booming local service vertical.

 

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