Brian Javeline is the president and CEO of MyOnlineToolBox.com, an online software service for construction estimating and invoicing, designed for contractors to manage jobs and grow their businesses.
The product recently received a Dell Computer “Top 10 Innovator Award” and is a U.S. finalist for the Fifth Annual Dell/National Federation of Independent Business “Small Business Excellence Award.”
Javeline recently took time to answer questions about MyOnlineToolBox and how it impacts the HVACR trade.
NEWS:You talk about market disruptor technology when referring to conducting business online. What do you mean by that?
Javeline:Market disruptors are new technologies that allow individuals to quickly evolve against the patterns they are accustomed to. A great example is eBay. People were already accustomed to going to garage sales and flea markets to purchase items; then eBay simply enhanced the process. There is still a buyer and seller - they just do not need to physically meet. MyOnlineToolbox is a disruptor in the aspect of evolving the contractor from running his business on pen and paper to an easy automated process using the Internet.
NEWS:How does MyOnlineToolBox address market disruptors?
Javeline:MyOnlineToolbox is completely Web-based so it can be used regardless of where the contractor is, whether at home, the office, with the customer, or a parking lot of Dunkin’ Donuts. It requires absolutely nothing to be installed.
It is a Web-based “software-as-a-service.” The contractor just runs his company and doesn’t have to worry about start-up consulting, maintenance, firewalls, etc. This is critical for the small company that doesn’t have time and money to address these needs.
NEWS:How else can a useful online tool help busy contractors?
Javeline:The software should be designed with ease-of-use as the key component and the minimum functionality required to run a business. The KISS principal should be heavily emphasized. There are way too many applications that have too many options that are simply never utilized.
All of our development efforts are based on community collaboration deciding what is needed, how it is needed, and what suggestions can be scrapped. Software should allow for easy multi-tasking to handle interruptions. You can have many open items at the same time.
NEWS:How important is being able to access online tools in a mobile environment?
Javeline:Online software needs to be designed for mobile computing with the understanding that the user may lose the connection. All information that is unsaved should still be accessible when the user gets reconnected to the Internet, even if they log in at a different device.
NEWS:Will contractors get paid on time using online software?
Javeline:Yes. As an example, our software will be providing contractors one of the most cost effective ways to allow customers to pay online. Later on, we plan to team with a large New York Stock Exchange-listed merchant banker to provide this service.
NEWS:How do you get a mom-and-pop industry to buy into these new technologies?
Javeline:It is better to focus on value as opposed to the technology itself. For example, simply focusing on how the contractor can run his or her office while doing something, as opposed to writing invoices down and then saving them for a later time to then organize them.
The software solution should completely target the small person who is overwhelmed during their day. Most contractors are visual in nature when it comes to technology which is why we created two video forums, one specifically for our product and one talking about industry challenges and how they can be addressed.
NEWS:Whom are you targeting your marketing efforts to and how are you doing it?
Javeline:We are looking at contractors who have already embraced technology at some level. We are not looking for someone who is going to be getting e-mail for the first time while looking to use MyOnlineToolbox.
We are assuming standard advertising and e-mail solicitations, established industry leaders who already target contractors solely via the Web, involving companies eager to partner with someone with vision and determination, participating in forums that have already captured the attention of the Generation X and Y evolving market, and sponsoring www.thecontractorshow.com, leading people to MyOnlineToolbox and brand recognition.
For more information, visit www.myonlinetoolbox.com.
Q&A With MyOnlineToolBox.com President
July 21, 2008