View Full Version : Website launching soon.

20-12-2007, 11:05 AM
I have penciled in the 27th of December to launch my site, funny time to launch I know but going to try and tie it in with new years somehow.

The problem that it attempts to address is that I have found it is very difficult to know how good the businesses you are dealing with are. By looking up someone in the phone book you dont know how good they are and referals from friends tend to be best although they often havent used more than a few people before. Also it can be quite time consuming ringing around for lots of quotes to get the best price.

The site lets you post a description of the job that you want done, then people bid on doing the job. It wont simply be a race to the bottom as users can leave feedback on members allowing you to see who has a good reputation, its alot like the ebay feedback system.

On this site there are alot of threads that say 'I need some printing done' or 'good hosting service provider.' Hopefully those people will use the site. Obviously someone like Phil at Openminds has an extremely high customer satisfaction rate so would have a good score on the site and hopefully he would get more business, and the customers get better service.

I would appreciate your feedback on the idea although obviously the site wont be available till the 27th. (its free at the moment by the way, tried to keep it as simple as possible to start with, may add extra features and charge for those if it proves popular)

Some Questions

Firstly, can I have permission to post a link to it in a weeks time.

Secondly, I would appreciate it if everyone could think of something that they could post on the site when its launched. It would be appreciated and it wont cost anything.

James Smith
20-12-2007, 11:34 AM
You can put the link in your signature for your project.

The main issue with open bidding is that this encourages the "least cost is best" mentality. People also don't always want to display their prices as comparisons for services, and also it is very hard to quote "unseen". Ie people would get a rather miffed if they can see that I offered to do X's accounts for 500 and Y's for 1000. It may well be a very good reason for it, but Y would probably just think they where getting ripped off.

If you have a "sealed bid" system this may work better, ie people submit their price for the work and don't compete against anyone in a public manner. You must also remember than in a service business quoting takes a heck of a long time and if people think there is a (say) only a one in five chance of getting the work they may well not bother to tender for it.

Hope this helps

20-12-2007, 03:13 PM
I like James's suggestion of a sealed bid system, as open bidding WILL turn into a price battle whether you put guidelines in to prevent it or not.

Take a look at some of your 'competitors' in this area, as this idea is not entirely unique. Skill Fair being the one I've heard of the most: http://www.skillfair.co.uk

20-12-2007, 04:38 PM
Sounds like a very useful service, I'm looking forward to seeing the site! I also like James's suggestion about a sealed bidding system, it should help the client get a selection of competitive quotes that they can then compare against the providers feedback to choose the best choice for them.

Good luck with the site launch :)

James Smith
20-12-2007, 05:02 PM
The thing to remember about services is that you can always deliver a cheaper service - you just keeping cutting corners until the time spent meets the fee on offer.

For example I can key a self assessment tax return in about 15 minutes flat - it would be complete garbage and as a client they would be no time in the budget for you to get a copy or review it, but i can keep punching buttons until its complete enough to get accepted by HMRC data checks and hit "send" on my on-line filing software..........so anyone want a "no frills" tax return for 25?

Thought not.....my insurers might withdraw my cover too!

20-12-2007, 10:25 PM
I expect what will happen is that feedback scores and quotes will be highly correlated, so that those with good feedback scores can charge higher prices. I hope that the feedback will ensure that it isnt a race to the bottom, although its possible.

It will suit different services differently, finding someone to do your accounts is different to finding someone local who will walk the dog or do your ironing in there spare time. For accountancy I would imagine that users may just compare hourly rates and feedback scores, I am the first to admit its not perfect but hopefully its better than a phone directory.

I know that businesses would prefer sealed bids but I am not so sure customers would. Perhaps it wont suit professional services at least initially until I add extra features. What about everyone can see your bid but not your name? I will seek user opinion when/if I upgrade the site which I expect would be a few months after launch. I have tried to keep it simple to start with just to make it easy to use and understand.

29-12-2007, 05:01 PM
I think the sites up now, that took I lot longer than i thought but you live and learn.

Please take a look.

29-12-2007, 05:56 PM
Looks nice, best of luck with it.

Are you going to "vet" every single job that is posted prior to it being added to the site?

29-12-2007, 06:04 PM
Its not set up to do that at the moment, I will just be monitoring the site, if it becomes a problem I will change it.

31-12-2007, 01:25 PM
Anyone else had a chance to look at the site yet? I would really appreciate it if you could think of a job to post to get the ball rolling, doesnt have to be anything big. So far I have a printing job by me and car signwriting in devon.

02-01-2008, 01:32 PM
Originally posted by MaverickJGR
Anyone else had a chance to look at the site yet? I would really appreciate it if you could think of a job to post to get the ball rolling, doesnt have to be anything big. So far I have a printing job by me and car signwriting in devon.

Unfortunately I think you are going to find it VERY very very tough to populate your site.

You might consider adding some "latest jobs" to your homepage.... (even if it's only the two that you have added yourself)