Xplor Inc. founders explain their niche marketing business
Anju and Andrew Lynn started their company, Xplor Inc., out of a Bradenton home office in 2010. Since then, Xplor has grown into a 5,200-square-foot office space in an area known as Manatee Village, just east of downtown Bradenton.
Xplor now has eight full-time employees to help with the company’s three divisions of business: promotional materials, employee engagement, and travel and event planning. Other businesses provide similar services but usually separately; the Lynns said they haven’t come across many companies that combine the three.
“To make it work, we found you need all of the facets of the business that we offer,” said Andrew Lynn, chief innovation officer at Xplor. “So we’ve had success with that as far as finding that niche.”
Xplor often has success working with franchise companies, said Anju Lynn, CEO of Xplor.
For example, Senior Helpers, a franchise in-home health care company, is one of Xplor’s clients. The Lynns help them design logos and branded apparel, which is available to franchisees on an online store. Having such an online portal assures uniformity across different locations, the Lynns said. Xplor also helps plan the company’s annual conference.
Small business assistance: Anju Lynn is half Indian and half Eastern European, qualifying her for membership in the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council, which she said has helped Xplor “get their foot in the door” with companies. The Lynns have also received help from the Small Business Development Council office in Bradenton. They’re also working with the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. on promotion and assistance with employee training.
The employee engagement division of Xplor aims to help companies boost workforce morale and retain employees through incentive and recognition programs. Additionally, most companies’ human resources departments may not be fully equipped to incentivize and motivate employees in today’s changing workforce.
“With all the millennials coming into the workforce, they want instant recognition. They’re always looking for the next best thing,” Andrew Lynn said. “And we help with with employee retention. It costs so much money to hire an employee. Why not spend a little bit and keep them?”
A 2010 study out of the University of California-Berkley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, “Employee Replacement Costs,” estimates that the average cost of replacing a worker is $4,000, including $2,000 for manual and blue-collar workers, and up to $7,000 for professional and managerial employees. The figures include costs related to recruitment, selection and screening costs, the cost of learning on the job and separation costs.
We really liked the Bradenton vibe
Anju Lynn, CEO of Xplor Inc., on choosing Bradenton for a place to live and start a business
A low-cost employee-engagement tool currently under development by Xplor is an app designed to provide quick recognition for employee accomplishments. Anju Lynn describes it as “Facebook, but for your company.”
“Immediately you get a notification that someone recognized you and it goes on the feed,” she said. “Everyone in the company sees this thing you did and how great it is and we can link it to points and rewards and prizes and all kinds of stuff.”
With the three divisions of Xplor, the Lynns’ ultimate goal is to help companies with employee engagement.
“Everybody wants to be recognized for the work that they do,” Anju Lynn said. “You can’t tell me that anybody gets up in the morning and goes to work all day long and doesn’t want any attention or recognition. Even the most modest person still would appreciate someone saying, ‘Great job today, thank you for what you’ve done.’ ”