Los Angeles, California-based entrepreneur Espree Devora, known as “The Girl Who Gets It Done,” launched her latest venture, MinneApp, an internet marketing agency, already at full capacity with a waiting list of clients to perform her online marketing skills. She began as a business owner in her early 20s, founding ZEXsports.com, an action sports event search engine, which is still thriving 8 years later.
MinneApp, formed earlier this year, offers services designed for today’s small businesses; SEO, website development, e-commerce and strategic marketing. MinneApp’s tenet is simple solutions that are delivered on time.
When MinneApp partners Espree and Spencer say they can deliver on time, that’s not just a promise, it’s a guarantee. One of the essentials for on-time delivery is having a concrete plan of action.
As a self-described visionary, Espree is quick to see an opportunity in just about everything and everyone she comes in contact with. Early on in her career, Espree realized that she’d need a way to better organize these opportunities. “I used to use a giant dry erase board. When it got full, or I needed to take notes out of the office, I’d take a photo of it, and start all over again.”
With a solid business established, Espree and Spencer began receiving request after request for their services. With so many ideas, projects, and plans simultaneously taking place, MinneApp needed a better way to organize, share and collaborate. Espree’s admitted to using other mind mapping solutions prior to MindMeister but “…never found them as simple and easy to use.”
As a small business owner, one of Espree’s primary activities is new client acquisition. One of her favorite tools to use with prospective clients is a MindMeister mind map. Together, they map out the prospects’ current situation, what they want to achieve, and how they can get there. Keeping in mind that Espree can easily throw out 50-100 business ideas in a single session, her mind maps often get quite expensive by the end of the consultation.
Once back at the MinneApp HQ in Los Angeles, Espree and her partner Spencer get to work on deciphering the rapid succession of notes Espree has sketched out. The team starts by organizing a mind map of their previously disorganized ideas, focusing on connections and a logical progression of workflow.
“MindMeister allows us to take complex thoughts and see exactly how they should relate to each other.”
Once the team has their plans mapped out, organized, and ready to go, they then use the mind map as a process management tool. Spencer carries the breakdown even further and creates individual clusters for each section of the project. This not only keeps him on track and on time but due to the open nature of a collaborative mind map, Espree can also check in on these individual branches to see what stage of development Spencer is at and vice versa.
The MinneApp team says that by the time the mind map is organized and converted into a process map, “We’re halfway done!”
Prior to implementing MindMeister as the mind mapping solution for their business, Espree and Spencer estimated that a “from the ground up” build for clients took nearly 3 weeks to complete. “When the client has the content ready to go, it certainly helps, but there’s still a lot of things to be put in order,” comments Espree.
“In addition to speeding up our processes, MindMeister also serves as a quality check before delivery,” says Espree. “We’ve found things missing that we simply would have overlooked without the mind map. Since it’s all there in front you, it’s easy to go straight down the list, placing a check mark next to each component as it’s completed.”
Since using MindMeister as their solution, MinneApp has been able to significantly reduce their turnaround time by 77 percent, or 16 days. Espree recites a recent story where the client was acquired on a Wednesday, by Friday the mind map was in place, and by Monday evening, the project was submitted to the client for approval.