by Alex Repola
I had heard the company name 1SpotInfo.com many times, but I never really knew what their services could provide me as member of the community. After delving into it, I learned that whether you live in or work in the area or are just visiting from out of town, 1SpotInfo.com is the fastest, easiest way to find everything that’s here. I jumped at the chance to meet the owner of such an innovative organization.
I wasn’t quite sure what to think when I first walked into City Pub on November 18th. This was the place that Pam Rubins, owner of 1SpotInfo.com, and Eric Pratt had planned to meet prior to me asking to tag along. Of course, I first noticed the University of Colorado Buffalo flag hanging right alongside what looked like Ralphie, (CU’s mascot that they parade around the field before each game). I then noticed our biggest rival’s flag, Colorado State University, hanging not far away. Not something I’m comfortable with being a graduate from CU, but I soon got over it.
There were only a couple tables with people around them and I figured Pam, Eric, and I would have the majority of the place to ourselves. It wasn’t long before groups of six and seven people started pouring in the door, filling up the tables around us. In fact, it got so noisy that once Pam arrived and I had introduced myself, we had to move across the room so we could hear one another and to begin the interview…
Alex: How did this idea come about?
Pam: Local search hardly existed when we moved to Denver a number of years ago. Yet, and I’ll argue this point until I’m blue in the face, it is easier and more cost-effective to do business locally. So we decided to bring everything online. We spent two years on proof-of-concept and development of the initial site, which is largely built on the “convenience factor,” and haven’t looked back since.
Alex: Describe 1SpotInfo.
Pam: 1SpotInfo was built to be a resource for local business by making it easy to find one another. Our site is based on “tightly-localized” search and we offer free listing and mapping in the ten areas we currently cover. We will do the same in several new areas that are in development.
Alex: What’s your message?
Pam: There is no room for complacency in this economy. Recent surveys indicate as many as 83% of consumers search for local services online, and that over 25% of commercial online searches in the U.S. are for local merchants. You have no choice -- your business has to be found on the Internet.
Alex: Who are you targeting?
Pam: Any business that needs to be found online in the local market.
Alex: What service do you provide to your customers?
Pam: The primary focus of our business is affordable and effective SEO on Google, but we are starting to focus on Bing as well. We use proprietary software to optimize our clients for as little as $200 a month.
Alex: What are the steps in getting a company listed?
Pam: It’s on our website, go to Get Listed.
Alex: Tell me a little about 1SpotInfo 4 Schools.
Pam: This is a business-driven initiative designed to broaden the exposure of local companies among a key demographic while providing a steady stream of undesignated funding for local schools. How it works is very simple. When someone makes a purchase from an involved company, that business sends a pre-determined percent of the sale to the participating school of the customer’s choice. This is a free service for the schools and our clients. 100% of the proceeds of this program are donated to participating schools.
Alex: With a lot of small to medium-sized businesses just now bouncing back from a rough couple of years, are you seeing more business owners shifting towards helpful tools like 1SpotInfo.com?
Pam: Everybody is pulling out of print and shifting to the Internet. Its way more affordable and you reach people that are actually looking for you; it’s a whole different ball game.
Alex: Is the same thing happening with strategic local partnerships in communities?
Pam: Absolutely, referrals are the highest compliment you can give to any business. It means that you trust that company to do a great job. It’s like what happened with you guys. We connected through Rev Networking and, after multiple meetings that focused on the respective benefits we provide, we’ve started referring prospective clients to one another.
Alex: Why choose you?
Pam: Results and affordability. There is no ambiguity here; you show on the first page of Google or you don’t, that’s it. We are very proud that our customer retention rate is over 90 percent.
Alex: What do you see the future partnership between 1SpotInfo and QeH2 looking like?
Pam: You guys are a great resource; I love your business model. You’re the anti-consultants! Our focus is SEO and we do a great job at it. I see you guys shifting more of that towards us. Similarly, we don’t provide IT support, that’s your specialty. If we have a client who can use your services, we’ll happily make the connection.
Alex: Closing thoughts?
Pam: We are very happy to be working together; we think it’s the beginning of a great relationship.
The background noises fazed neither Pam nor myself. Eric showed up soon after we had moved tables, adding strong points here and there. I walked away from the interview completely satisfied, spending the next few hours tooling around on 1SpotInfo.com, checking out the different pages on the site and thinking how helpful it would be to have this tool in every city across the country.