In July 2013, the founder and CEO of DesignQuotes successfully completed a capital raising mission. Duckworth’s objective was to “make major improvements to the marketplace software, and further invest in an already successful content marketing strategy.”
The mission is now complete. Duckworth explains the strategy behind rebranding the company, and some of the major improvements to the company’s marketplace software.
“When we raised the capital it gave us a lot of confidence. We had been working with the DesignQuotes brand for years. The more we looked at our growth figures and lifetime revenue per customer, it became obvious that we needed to begin offering more service areas for comparison. This is how ServiceCrowd was born.”
Support from the board of directors and large capital investment enabled Duckworth to begin commercialising his product.
Duckworth explains how he discovered a weakness in the business model thanks to advice from a successful start-up in the United States.
“One of the most important characteristics of a successful business is repeat customers. Our business model is a subscription service that sells pre-qualified sales leads to service providers. So, we hit that nail on the head.
The problem is, we’re not a typical business model – we serve two audiences at the same time.”
While DesignQuotes was having success with repeat business from their paying customers, it was becoming increasingly expensive to acquire traffic that was looking for service providers in their marketplace. It’s the classic chicken and egg problem.
Duckworth explains how the founder and CEO of Thumbtack helped him connect the dots and commit to something bigger.
“I was watching a YouTube channel called This Week in Startups and they were interviewing Marco Zappacosta, founder and CEO of Thumbtack. One of the points he made was that the goal was to become a destination website – like Amazon is to shopping and Facebook is to social.
Marco explained that for every business they connect with a service, a new opportunity to connect to other services is created. They might initially request quotes from a locksmith. If they have a positive experience, they come back and request quotes from an accountant or web designer. We want ServiceCrowd to be a destination, not just something you stumble upon,” he said.
Duckworth explains how their new marketplace software helps businesses find relevant services faster than Google.
“We introduced a directory of all the service providers in our marketplace. Previously, one could only access this information if they submitted a project. Now, the profiles are available for the world to see, which we think adds a lot of credibility to the website.
The directory isn’t typical. It’s actually really smart because we’ve collected a lot of data about the service providers.
For example, if you’re looking for a combination of skills – like a service that provides product photography shoots, ecommerce web design and SEO copywriting for product descriptions – our directory can serve that up instantly. You can then request quotes from the services you find, instantly.
It sure beats searching on Google and having to read through tons of marketing material.”
ServiceCrowd connects people with local creative and professional services. At ServiceCrowd, people can browse profiles, portfolios and reviews from real clients. Simply pick the service providers and get quotes in under 24 hours. Use the ServiceCrowd Buyer’s Guides to help through the process of buying professional services.
Visit http://servicecrowd.com.au for more information.
Name: Daniel Duckworth
Phone: 03 9005 1942
Address: 317/198 Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, VIC, Australia, 3008