You have built the team, the project is on pace, deadlines perfectly covered up since the geeks love to code and the product is finally ready as planned and shaped, But the work is still not over. You the entrepreneur still have an important thing to take care of, creating a proposal for the client or investor whoever you wish to meet up or face in skype.
And creating a proposal is not as simple as it sounds. There’s lot of factors that come from both ends, your’s and the clients that need to be appropriately considered and tapped in while creating the proposal. Now that’s just the data part, the other important part is the presentation, making it polished and insightful is what will create an ideal and effective proposal to your audience.
A Visual Designer from Spain with a keen eye for aesthetics, experienced the chaos of creating and maintaining proposals for clients and took on the challenge of resolving it, and after immense sets of hard works and burning midnight oils he created nusii. A simple little platform for the creative minds to create and manage their proposals.
We got an opportunity to get in conversation with Nathan Powell and dig deep and understand nusii and the story behind it.
There are platforms available which allow you to create online presentations and proposals both. How would you describe Nusii’s USP?
nusii was born from a need to keep things simple. Other solutions out there can be a little over zealous in their approach. I wanted something that freelancers could quickly setup and get them creating proposals in minutes. nusii is aimed squarely at people in the creative sector and having been a designer for the best part of ten years I think I have a unique insight into what’s needed to clinch that deal, and what’s not.
What got you into the idea of creating an online Proposal Management System?
Like most designers I had my systems in place. I used InDesign to design my proposals; from there I created a PDF and then I emailed said PDF to my potential client while crossing my fingers. The real issue I had with creating proposals was the time I’d invest into putting them together. Would you rather spend 2-3 hours writing a proposal, or would you prefer to work more efficiently and invest that time in other areas?
I had tried other solutions but none of them seemed to fit, I wanted something designed from the ground up, something with just enough to get the job done well and not too much to be complex or frustrating. I knew there had to be a better way, and it seemed that the only solution left to me was to create nusii.
Tell us about the technology used in making of nusii? And how do you plan to scale as the number of users grow?
After a lot of research and discussion with people in the know, I opted to build nusii in Ruby on Rails. I contracted out the development to a great guy not far from my home town in Wales. I was very much in his hands and took his advice as gospel. The public facing web is a simple HTML site but the back end Rails app is securely hosted with Heroku.
User authentication is handled with devise, while payments are in the safe hands of Paymill, Europe’s number one contender to Stripe and Paypal. Last but not least, all email services are provided by Mandrill.
The main reason I went with Ruby on Rails was for its adaptability, allowing for easy growth should it be needed. also allows for growth based on the needs of the client. If I need more “oompf”, then Heroku will be able to provide it.
How’s the startup scene in Spain?
The startup up scene is booming in Spain. A financial crisis brings out the entrepreneur in a lot of people and Spain is no different. The issue faced by most startups in Spain is the one of finding paying customers within it’s own borders, the majority of Spanish startups need to go elsewhere to find a viable market.
nusii was originally created for the Spanish speaking market, written entirely in Spanish. My Spanish design colleagues had warned me against this approach but I was determined to give it a go. Unfortunately it didn’t take long to realize it wasn’t going to work. The attitude to SaaS applications is quite different in Spain. A lot of folks are still reluctant to pay for online services. The American and UK markets are far more open to the process, and there seems to be less of a “fear factor” involved. I hope this changes soon, as Spain is missing out on so much, and a lot of their top talent is going elsewhere.
Is nusii Bootstrapped or have you received any fundings?
nusii is 100% self funded. I have no real interest in funding. This way nusii is100% under my control and I don’t have to answer to investors. Am I a control freak? Probably. Sure it would be great to have a bunch of money to throw at nusii, but it’s currently more important for me to be in the driving seat. Who knows, maybe this will change in the future.
How has been the response so far?
The response has been slow, having said that it’s only been live in it’s English version for about 2 weeks. It’s early days. I’m concentrating on building an audience through nusii’s (nusii.com/blog). I’m trying to bring value to subscribers through helpful posts about the freelance world, and of course on how to better your chances at winning proposals. I have a free guide available called “5 ways to write better proposals“. Which you are more than welcome to download.
Tell us something about the team behind nusii.
I contracted out the development of nusii, it’s a one man team My name’s Nathan Powell and I’m a Visual Designer originally from South Wales in the UK, but I’ve been in Spain since 2000. I’ve worn many hats in my career as a designer, the latest being a micropreneur.
I still work part time as lead product designer for an international startup based in Madrid. Along with running nusii I’m writing a book titled “Freelancing on the frontlines” which will be out in November and I’m also partner to Nuria and father to my little girl, Leonor. The present is pretty busy, and I’m hoping the future will be too.
What are your future plans for nusii?
I’ll continue to slowly build on nusii, adding useful features and improving existing ones. I’d love for nusii to be mobile also. The ability to quickly create a proposal on the move is interesting for any freelancer on the move, but I think this is a while off yet. I need to establish nusii as a serious player before I can go down that road.
If I can establish a healthy user base by the end of 2014 then I will consider nusii a complete success.