Monday, June 03, 2013

Matt Baglia of Slick Text, NYS SBDC Technology Innovator of the Year

The idea for Slick Text was born in 2012 when founder Matt Baglia worked for a company that was considering adding text messaging to its marketing mix. After reviewing several providers Matt recognized some common flaws among all of them. Each platform was fairly difficult to understand and use. None of them placed emphasis on educating their customers on how to be successful with their product, and all lacked personal customer service. Matt and his partner Ryan Kinal realized that if they could create a service without those flaws, there would be an excellent opportunity for a piece of the industry’s pie.

“When Slick Text first launched, the platform had very few features. It was intended to be a minimum viable product so we could get it in front of customers and start covering our costs. Even though it was relatively basic, we stuck tight to the core ideology of simplicity and it really resonated with the early adopters,” commented Matt Baglia. “Over the past year, new customers have continued to come aboard and ask for new features and functionality. We’ve been able to manage those requests in a timely manner and develop new features that everyone finds valuable. We test, measure, learn and refine on a daily basis in efforts to maintain the best text marketing platform in the industry.”

From a technical side, both Ryan and Matt have a background in website programming, design and development. Their skills and knowledge in the marketplace allowed them to start developing the service, and then countless hours both of them poured into the website got it up and running.
“From the business side, we found the guidance from the Small Business Development Center at JCC as an amazing shoulder to lean on with all of our business related questions and needs. With so much on each of our shoulders, we really had no interest in the business side of things in the beginning. Irene Dobies was there to set us straight and keep us from making mistakes in the beginning that may have cost us the company” added Matt.

Matt further describes the obstacles he faced, “Our biggest obstacle so far has been marketing ourselves. You may have an awesome product but if no one that cares can see it, it’s really not worth much. In the beginning we had zero dollars for advertising so we literally had to go door to door to business all over the area explaining what we had and how it would benefit their business.”

A few months after the initial launch, an excellent salesperson was added. After a solid cash flow was secured, marketing funds were then applied to email, print, paid search engine ads and SEO. This is one of the biggest hurdles for businesses in any industry. How do you get in front of the right people, at the right time, in the right place with the right product? “It’s a much taller obstacle that you might expect”
There are currently 3 officers for Slick Innovations, LLC all sharing responsibilities to keep things running smoothly. There is a need for sales and customer support staff within the next year.

Every day the employees at SlickText build new relationships and learn about new issues that their technology can address. One of the most important projects is an API (application programming interface). This will allow the Slick Text platform to plug into third party systems giving organizations like doctor’s offices and other health care networks the ability to send tailored text message alerts and reminders to their patients.

Matt’s best advice for new entrepreneurs is, “Make sure that what you’re doing is something you’re truly passionate about. Then make sure it makes sense from a business perspective and pursue it relentlessly. You must be constantly hungry for more and be willing to do whatever it takes win.”

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