Serial entrepreneur Beth Schoenfeldt is leveraging her considerable skills as part of the YEC team to help members save time and money by negotiating discounts with vendors for everything from health insurance to payroll services. “Essentially, we work with companies, helping them set up their operational needs, making sure that nothing falls through the cracks,” she says.
Schoenfeldt is no stranger to the intense demands that startups place on their founders. Her award-winning entrepreneurial career spans more than a decade and she’s been called on as an expert by The Wall Street Journal and the Today show, among other media outlets. She grew her second company, Ladies Who Launch, to encompass more than 53 cities and 100,000 members. Six years later, she founded Collective-E, another member-based business serving entrepreneurs.
Schoenfeldt’s current company, FundedBuy, is a high-touch business that works directly with YEC members, free of charge, conducting one-on-one audits of their existing line items to determine where they can save money. She then provides them with access to pre-qualified vendors who offer products at significant discounts. “They need payroll, HR, benefits, liability insurance, bookkeeping and accounting, and valuations,” Schoenfeldt says. And as their companies grow, she says founders often come back to her for a wider range of needs, such as office space, SEO, and PR. “As I see it, our job is to help people make fully informed decisions,” she says. “We’re not telling people what to do — we’re simply saying ‘we’ve done all this research, we’ve been in the weeds for years, and here are our best ideas.’ We’ve been doing this for over ten years now.”
"I don’t think any two businesses are the same,” says Schoenfeldt. “What we’re doing is not click and buy. You can do that already. What we are doing is setting people up with scalable solutions."
“People have told me they have spent weeks figuring this stuff out,” Schoenfeldt says. “We can help them do it within a couple of hours at the most, all in. We get quotes, we present them, we do analysis for them, and then they can say, ‘okay, I want to meet this company.’ And then we introduce them and they have a much more expedited sales process.” Sometimes, she finds that companies are already getting the best deals from their existing vendors, in which case, “we’ve just saved them a ton of time, effort, and energy,” she says.
“We save people time and money,” says Schoenfeldt. “And I haven’t met one business owner who’s not stretched for time and money. But what I've discovered over the last ten years is that time is more important.” The cost savings, however, are often considerable; Schoenfeldt says her services have saved clients millions of dollars.
According to YEC member Kim Kaupe, co-founder of ZinkePak, Schoenfeldt and her team “helped us better manage our expenses and procurement costs—they stepped in and helped facilitate the sales process, were able to negotiate great rates, and introduce us to some helpful service providers.”
“I don’t think any two businesses are the same,” says Schoenfeldt. “What we’re doing is not click and buy. You can do that already. What we are doing is setting people up with scalable solutions, and it’s individual. There’s not a one-size-fits-all answer for most of the things that we do,” she says. Her relationship with YEC members doesn’t end after vendor recommendations are made. Members, she says, “always have us as a backstop. If anything's going wrong, they can let us know and we'll help them. There are always hiccups. We just try to make business owners’ lives easier. That’s what makes us happy,” she says.