UnifiedPractice is breaking new ground with a web-based technology solution to help practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine streamline administration and focus on their patients. We talked with co-founder and CEO Peter Ungureanu about how a free PipelineDeals bootstrap account is helping the company ensure a successful launch.
What is UnifiedPractice?
We’re building a practice management and electronic health records (EHR) company to meet the needs of Chinese Medical Physicians, commonly referred to as Acupuncturists. It’s an underserved market and existing options are outdated, while newer solutions focus on meeting the needs of western medicine doctors.
Tell us a little about your growth path.
We started almost two years ago with three co-founders and our team has grown to eight now. Currently almost all of us are focused on launching the platform. We just launched our private beta version and are looking forward to our official launch this summer.
We’ve had previous success in business and exits with other companies, but none of us has had to raise money before. It’s not something we take lightly. To date, our company has been funded by the co-founders and our friends and family. In addition to validating our business model initially through customer interviews, our goal is to self-fund to the point where we can show traction with a product that is launched and used by clinics.
Why did you decide to try a PipelineDeals bootstrap account?
In my other business, I became a PipelineDeals customer a few years back after having tried other CRMs. I really like the table views. They’re easy and customizable, and you can get a good list of your opportunities. I wanted PipelineDeals for UnifiedPractice, but we couldn’t really afford it at this stage since all our money is going toward development.
How is PipelineDeals helping your business?
The free bootstrap account opportunity came at the perfect time for UnifiedPractice. Before we started using PipelineDeals, we were managing a couple hundred contacts in an Excel spreadsheet. In the past few weeks, the number of interactions we’ve had with potential clients has gone up exponentially and continues to grow as we get closer to launch. If we were still using Excel, we’d be in big trouble.
PipelineDeals does a really good job. It allows us to manage people and deals very easily. If you compare it with something like Salesforce, it’s just significantly easier to use and it does everything we need. Also, because I’ve been a customer for a while, I’ve seen how they constantly improve the features and the user experience, and I know they’re amazing with customer support.
Do you have any tips for other bootstrapped entrepreneurs?
We were lucky that we implemented a CRM at the right time. Earlier we wouldn’t have had much use for it, but if we’d waited, we would have missed quite a few opportunities with potential customers. For each company, there’s a window of opportunity to implement something like PipelineDeals. Ideally, you’d implement a CRM a couple of weeks before you need to start adding any significant number of customers.
My other advice is the usual lean startup stuff. Watch every penny. For SaaS companies, don’t be afraid to keep features and development at a minimum to get it out there. Focus on having a really good customer experience and learn from your customers. Analyze everything you’re doing to see how necessary it is. Cut anything that isn’t necessary.
PipelineDeals offers an unlimited free account to any bootstrap (self-funded) company in the world. Having made it through our own tenuous early years as a bootstrap, we created this program to support other companies that have the gumption to build themselves the old-fashioned way—one dollar a time. Learn more about free bootstrap accounts.