Russ: Welcome back to The BusinessMakers Show, my guest today John Philippe, President of Zephyr Salvo; John…
John: How are you doing Russ?
Russ: Welcome back to The BusinessMakers Show.
John: Thank you, it’s been a long time – almost 10 years. That’s fantastic.
Russ: Absolutely. I congratulate you right up front because the kind of sector that we look at there’s a lot of people that aren’t in business or have changes and pivoted to something else, but you’re still relatively the same?
John: We are. It’s our 25th year in business, 11,000 websites all custom from scratch, all done with unlimited changes for one flat, turnkey price; all with our own in-house crew, we don’t outsource anything.
Russ: Wow, unlimited changes, that’s pretty unique isn’t it?
John: Until it goes live. When it goes live we’re done and because of that we’ve started a service recently where you can sign up to have us on call to make changes.
Russ: Well that’s what I heard about, that’s how you got on my radar.
John: I know, I know. It’s the only one of its kind, not only in Houston but I believe in America, where you pay one flat, yearly price; you get access to a custom dashboard and you can upload from your phone, your tablet your computer documents, pictures, video – any kind of change you want to your website with instruction – and we’ll take care of it. So you just upload, hit a button, walk away.
Russ: Okay, now is that only for your customers; people that you’ve built their website?
John: No, it doesn’t matter who made the website, doesn’t matter where it’s hosted; doesn’t matter at all. It’s simply on call web IT for one flat, yearly price.
Russ: That’s pretty unique, so I assume you’ve done some sort of financial modeling and you think that it’s totally under control.
John: Absolutely, absolutely.
Russ: So it’s a viable business model?
John: Absolutely. Zephyr Salvo means calm before the storm – clients ask for one thing but we deliver a lot more – and we took that same methodology that we’ve applied to over 11,000 projects and applied it to web maintenance and web IT. I started keeping track about a year, year and a half ago, the kinds of phone calls we were getting and 70 – 80% of them were people that just wanted us to fix their website even though we didn’t make it. Somebody who built it they can’t find anymore or maybe another firm that built it is too expensive and their like I just want this thing to work; I just want to think about my business, I don’t want to think about my website. It should be out there working for me instead of me babysitting it all the time and everything else.
And so that where came up with – we custom built from scratch with our own programmers an on call web IT platform that you can upload any kind of file from your phone, from your tablet, from your PC. You can have conversations with the person touching the project so you can tell them exactly the way you want it and if something’s not done right you can guide them to how you do want it. And it’s all done for one flat, yearly price so you’re not getting nickel and dimed every month or anything like that.
Russ: Okay, now is this a complete shift for the business or are you still doing what you were doing before?
John: No we’re still doing what we were doing before; this is more of a compliment. It’s something, again, I saw as a need based on the calls we were getting and so far we’ve been live with it a couple weeks and we’re getting sign ups every day so it’s great.
Russ: Okay, so what do you call it?
John: Zephyr Salvo’s on call website IT department – the world’s worst name, I know, but that’s really what is. It’s not IT in the traditional sense, it’s web IT, which is very different than your email, than making your computer work right, than your phone system. It’s making your website work right. And then we layered on top of that, with every package, every single week we back up your website to our servers, so in case it crashes we have all the data. Every single day we monitor for malware and any kind of infection so it’s always up. We give you monthly reports about your analytics and your site security, everything else. We roll all that into the on call service also so you’re getting a lot more than just – just like Zephyr Salvo, clients ask for one thing but we deliver a lot more.
Russ: Okay, what about social media though?
John: Absolutely, you can use it for that. So you can request hey, I’m at a business event, I took these pictures with my phone, put all these pictures across all my social media and put it on my blog; you just hit a button, uploads it off your phone and we’ll take care of it across everything.
Russ: Wow, okay so you’ve been talking about it, it sounds real good but it sounds real good without knowing how much it costs. I mean, it could be too expensive I guess.
John: the base package is $395.00 a year and that includes 30 minutes a month of on call which is actually a lot if you’re just asking for some text changes or something like that. The higher end is $595.00 a year and that includes an hour a month and custom graphics, etcetera. So if you want to change the graphics a lot, even if you just have a meeting coming up and you need a custom PowerPoint designed you can use it for that. So it’s not just web changes either, we’re your custom graphics department on call, we’re your custom IT department on call; anything having to do with digital media – you want to upload a video and have us edit a logo to the front of it and post it across YouTube with key words, no problem, we’ll take care of it.
Russ: Wow. So I don’t mean to be trite but 30 minutes a month, okay I don’t use all my 30 minutes, do I lose what I don’t use?
John: You lose it at the end of a year. So our base package is $395.00 a year and that comes with 6 hours of on call time – we suggest around 30 minutes a month. And so one month you might use 2 hours of it and you may not use it again for a couple months, then it’s there again. We’ve programmed a progression bar across the top of your dashboard so you can see how much is left so you’ll know what to request and everything else. What you cannot request is development – take that 6 hours I bought and make me a new website – can’t do that.
Russ: Okay, really interesting. So what do you think about barriers to entry? I mean are other people going to hear about this and say wow, I can do that too?
John: Absolutely they can. In my experience they won’t get it done as fast as we can, they won’t be as open to all the different methodologies of things as we can; if your site was done in PHP, .net, My Sequel, WordPress…
Russ: You don’t care.
John: We can take care of it. We have 11,000 experiences with all of those things as well as thousands of hours of online video editing, etcetera, so there’s a lot of things in play than just hitting a button and changing a website. There’s a lot of things to make sure – it works right with mobile or works right with tablet – everything’s optimized the right way. And sure, someone can come along and rip me off, absolutely they can. I doubt if they can meet the pricing but yeah we can.
Russ: All right, well it sounds cool, good luck, I’m going to check back with you.
John: Please do.
Russ: You bet. And that wraps up my discussion with John Philippe, the President of Zephyr Salvo and this is The BusinessMakers Show.
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