Paul Douglas of GovOneStop tells us how the company helps people and businesses access government and related resources.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded GovOneStop.
Paul Douglas: I have over 20 years of state government experience as a Senior Policy Advisor and 3x Acting State Enterprise Architect.
My experience also includes government IT digital transformation, customer service delivery, data sharing and integration, project management, strategic planning, digital strategies, and enterprise architecture.
After helping lead hundreds of state agency e-government and digital transformations, I founded the company.
I am super excited about helping make it easier for people and businesses – especially in rural communities – to access government and related resources.
I know what it is like to grow up in a small town, not have money for school lunches, and to go to bed hungry. I’ve experienced natural disasters and extreme climate events.
Often, people don’t know there are resources to assist.
Do you have small habits that made a meaningful impact on your life and business?
Paul Douglas: I eat healthily, take walks, meditate, read, play music, and love to smile.
For the business, I focus on listening to customer needs and adding value.
How does GovOneStop market its products/services online?
Paul Douglas: GovOneStop makes it easy for governments, non-profits, businesses, faith-based organizations, and others to promote their services.
We help you reach a broader audience and boost targeted campaigns.
We offer products and services like Service Listing/Web Pages, Advertising, Web Portals, and Consulting.
Our self-service options make it easy to add and manage a resource listing/webpage at: https://govonestop.com/add-business.
Agencies and entities can create and maintain news, information, and service listings/web pages.
In addition to governments, businesses and non-profits can list their products and services.
We help boost SEO for businesses, non-profits, and faith-based organizations that list their products and services.
We also augment promotions and updates via social media channels. Our Twitter @GovOneStop provides regular updates and information to help people be aware of weather-related events, government information, and various resources to improve their quality of life.
Who are you partnering with?
Paul Douglas: GovOneStop is an official NOAA WRN Ambassador for weather-related events.
We participate in the FEMA Resilient Nation Partnership Network (RNPN).
We are a registered government contractor with the US Federal government and various state and local governments.
What is your solution?
Paul Douglas: GovOneStop® helps deliver and promote government and related services and resources. We help cities and rural communities provide more equitable services to citizens and businesses.
Imagine being able to find information and resources like “health & wellness, housing, and food, disaster assistance, COVID-19 info, social services, disability services, pay utilities, change address, start/run business, do business with government” and more in one place.
With our MyCity app, you can find services in any city or zip code in the US. https://govonestop.com/mycity
Currently, our website gets about 45,000 page views a month. https://govonestop.com.
Our patent-pending web portal, social platform, and SaaS solution are designed to streamline cross-border and cross-entity services.
On the front end, we provide easier access to services. On the back end, we make it simple for governments, small businesses, non-profits, health care providers, and faith-based organizations to provide services.
We also provide advertising and management consultant services.
What advice do you have for someone that wants to create a startup?
Paul Douglas: Join an accelerator program.
One of the best decisions we’ve made was to join the Leading Cities community.
As an AcceliCITY QBE 2020 Resiliency Program semi-finalist, we learned a lot in a short amount of time.
AcceliCITY helped us with business planning, networking, funding models, mentors, and feedback.
Leading Cities has a new program called LaunchPad 11 that startups can join anytime.
Network and Build Great Relationships
We’ve built great relationships with other companies, startups, and people.
Startup accelerators, state and local small business assistance centers, community events, and places like LinkedIn are great ways to network.
Provide Clear Value
Focus on a need and tie it to a known problem/opportunity area when possible. Be specific and link it to larger, common goals within areas like government, corporate, community, or social.
While your idea to solve a problem might be clear to you, others might not yet understand it.
For example, GovOneStop makes it easier to find resources. Yet, more importantly, we help people struggling to find housing, food, and shelter.
Tell your story
Online publishers like startup.info and The Smart City Journal can help you tell your story.
Like a vocalist or instrument in a crowded band, they can help you punch through the search engine music.
Smart City Journal: https://govonestop.com/go/smart-city-journal
We also interview and write articles for startups, political candidates, non-profits, and businesses dedicated to helping others. https://govonestop.com/posts
Who are your competitors? And what makes you unique?
Paul Douglas: Our competitors are NextDoor, Aunt Bertha, and 211.
We provide a better user experience. While our competitors are doing great work, GovOneStop’s approach is unique and provides an integrated, easier solution for people and businesses.
Tell us a customer success story of yours.
Paul Douglas: We enjoy helping people and businesses.
We’ve helped a number of people with housing assistance, benefits, access to services, and more.
It can be very stressful when someone is about to lose their home.
We are creating a collaborative approach and encourage others to post on our Forum and respond to comments and questions.
User Forum https://govonestop.com/forum.
We’ve had some great feedback from businesses and users.
“GovOneStop is one of the world’s most promising startups.” – QBE Insurance, Leading Cities, AcceliCITY 2020 Challenge.
“Looks like a very useful site, this govonestop.com” – Rik de Boer, RegionBound.
“Wow…this is pretty cool.” – Scott C., Seattle, WA
“This is a $1,000,000 idea!” – Sami M., Apache Junction, AZ
Your final thoughts?
Paul Douglas: We need to work together to help others.
Let’s end hunger and homelessness. Let’s help Veterans get access to the services they need. Let’s prepare people and businesses for extreme climate events and natural disasters. Let’s help enable startups that create solutions to improve the quality of life.
We live in an amazing time, yet many people need better and easier access to resources.