Startup Opportunity


Lead the Online Transformation for Your State


Amazon's growing dominance in online retail (over 50% of all online retail sales in the US) has forced even the largest of traditional retailers to shut down stores and downsize. Small, local, and independent businesses are at a greater risk due to lack of access to technology that can help each to effectively counter the potential threat from Amazon's recent expansion in the grocery, service, and other local markets.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has also become an expensive and time-consuming overhead for all businesses, and is no longer a level playing field for startups and small businesses, as SEO favors the more mature and established companies. The "optimization" that almost every business is investing in, is nothing but an overhead dictated on businesses by search engines.

Technology, time, and cost hurdles are preventing small, local, and independent businesses to compete effectively online. In addition, traditional website platforms and service providers in the industry are limited in their ability to help small businesses differentiate and win online.

Local communities are losing out on online sales from residents transacted on global marketplaces with corporations that do not have a physical presence in the state. Local dollars are draining out of the community, that would otherwise circulate within the community and help the local economy.   
The problems are diverse and demand a comprehensive solution that addresses not just a subset of the problems, but the whole gamut. The problems, threats, and challenges are all described in detail in the book Escaping SEO and Amazon, along with a prescription for the next generation platform that will enable new possibilities such as:

  • Local alternatives to Google and Amazon that do not dictate any overhead on business owners and community advocates.
  • Lowering the technology, time, and cost hurdles for businesses online, through platform standardization and better services.
  • Maximizing retention of local dollars online by introducing new conveniences and incentives for online shoppers to shop local first.
  • Equal footing in online shopping marketplaces for service providers, fresh food/produce, and all other industries, alongside retailers.
  • Search engines that do not rely on crawlers, but rather source data directly from websites in real-time and remove the overhead of SEO.
  • Unlimited outlets for independent websites through a global network of community-centric search engines and shopping marketplaces.

If Amazon had a business model where each state owned and managed the corresponding subset of Amazon, and where resident businesses were easier to identify and transact with, there wouldn't be any concern about monopolization by Amazon, or draining of local economy, or resident businesses losing out to Amazon. Similarly, if Google allowed each state to own and manage the corresponding subset of Google, and had technology to display independent website data in real-time and SEO was no longer an overhead, there wouldn't be any concern about monopolization, or the need for businesses to escape SEO, and resident businesses and economy will thrive better.

  • Startup costs for development and infrastructure alone, to support a single community, can add up to several hundred thousand dollars, not counting maintenance costs, and is beyond the scope of most new startups.
  • Diversity of technology currently adopted by independent businesses for their websites and storefronts demands a replacement strategy that leads to standardization of the underlying technology, over time.
  • Multi-level collaboration between businesses and community advocates is essential at all regional, state, and national levels, and is therefore not achievable by independent communities operating in a silo.
The opportunity is for a single startup per state to deploy, own, and manage their own state's exclusive search and shopping alternative to Google and Amazon.

Under this program your startup team will receive all the business guidance, training, and support, from registering your own independent business to developing a business plan, pitching to investors, and exclusive platform training and privileges on SharedMall, to offer personalized website, e-commerce, and marketing services to your resident small businesses for immediate revenue.

The best way to overcome the challenges is to embrace a socially responsible and collaborative solution where the costs are shared across multiple entities (1 startup per state) operating independently on common goals and strategies that coincide at the national level to bring all small, local, and independent businesses together into a 3rd option online, alongside Google and Amazon, that will change the dynamics and favor small businesses and local economies online.

You will adopt SharedMall's multi-phase, multi-year strategy. Phase 1 will begin with adoption of SharedMall's proven business model and existing infrastructure, that you will be certified to offer services on. In this phase you will offer exclusive services to help your resident businesses overcome their technology, time, and cost hurdles. In the 2nd phase you will receive guidance to build community partnerships, to further help your resident businesses, and in the last phase you will have everything in place to readily launch your statewide search and shopping alternatives to Google and Amazon.

You must have a team of 3-5 members, comprising of a minimum of 1 experienced website developer and 1 with business background, each member 100% committed to the startup. The lead member of your team must have the defining traits of a prescription leader described here.

You will have zero platform development costs or overhead, as the online infrastructure for your entire state will be developed, managed, and provisioned by SharedMall, enabling you to start offering your services on SharedMall to resident businesses for immediate revenue. You will need to plan for an initial capital of $100K towards infrastructure, operation, and marketing costs for year 1, during which your startup will focus primarily on revenue growth and profitability.

Got what it takes to lead the online transformation for your state?
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