What should be the strategy for an internet based startup considering all its limitations like less capital, less resources etc?
We started working in an internet based start up with limited capital and resources. The thought behind initiating this work is to create a platform providing clarity to our customer in selecting the best construction professional present in market. In these type of businesses where you don’t find any MRP tag on the services architects, engineers and designers are offering, some common concerns that makes customer confused and uncertain. ----What is best deal for getting the job done? ----Who are the best Professional for your work? ----How much will it cost to hire them? In process customer end up with consulting n number of architects, constructional professionals/firms and fed-up in negotiating so as to reach to a optimum cost. BidArch targets this area by providing the online platform where one can easily connect to them all at one place and at the quickest time. So BidArch isAn online website/web application for all those who are planning to build their home or any other construction project. It is ready to launch now however marketing strategy to invite professionals and general public is our major concern as we have capital left with us. We require your suggest on, how to go for it from here?How can we allure our customers to come use our services? How to make impact on market?
The best internet strategy should be the one that generates qualitative leads. Yellow pages and appropriate keywords help, but positioning yourself with the competitive edge is important, and search engines should incorporate these.
Adding to what other professionals have expertly suggested, Wwat I would suggest to start with is to focus target market. Dig you database for those who are really looking forward to access such services. There might be many of them visiting your site through search engines, but others who could be potential customers/visitors should get a pop-up box showing BidArch existence. Your potential customers could be those filed for loan grants, purchased sites and plots, new approvals sanctioned by the government for welfare constructions etc. Imperative to repeat the saying, that it would matter a lot what benefit is your site offering to these visitors on customized needs basis. you have to make role-plays, for institutional and individual buyers, so that questions can come up to create more user-friendly web offerings.
Best wishes for your new venture BidArch. From your description and your website it’s clear that you are connecting professionals with potential employers. Let me highlight some points from the website end first. Your website has a lot of content in your homepage.
I would suggest you to crisp the content and showcase the major benefit of using your website. I would also suggest you to create videos for your concept. Video gives more conversion then text marketing materials. You can use websites like Fiverr to create a video for your idea.
What is the USP of your website and business? What is the additional thing you are offering to your users (both employers and professionals)? Why should a professional sign in your website? Why should an employer sign in your website? You need to find the answers to these questions first and then market your website.
Sell and market like crazy. Make social media your best friend and use it until it screams Uncle!
Hey guys. Very interesting concept. We are finding more and more that the "marketplace" approach to services creates a more even playing field, especially when it comes to creating a platform for leveling a local playing field and providing a better and more streamlined search platform.
What I would do is think about the best way to develop the platform to be so user friendly, that service providers and consumers absolutely love it. This will increase shareability (free marketing). Invest your limited dollars here and make sure you work with a developer/company that creates the functionality on a platform that is both open source, and scalable. I recommend WordPress.
Next, contact local people shopping for the service providers you hope to attract as users and ask them what they want. Take their feedback and mix that with some already tried and true platforms like peopleperhour.com and odesk.com. Obviously with yours just hitting the ground, you wont have such a complex system, but you can take their feedback and build a foundation platform.
After this is built, get in front of some service providers. Let them know that generating new leads is hard and you have created an easier way to connect with potential clients. You want them to use it and provide feedback. Find out what will make their life easier. Now you have consumers and providers on the same platform.
Try to think hyper-local first. Don't try to conquer the world in one go. Connect with the local community and create buzz around your product in both user arenas. search across craigslist, facebook, twitter for keywords to identify potential providers and consumers. Just send them a friendly not about what the company is all about and how they could benefit. Keep it as a "by the way" message so you don't come across as a salesman. At this point you are just trying to get automated traffic, not necessarily SELL the product. Nurture the buzz and awareness of your product until it starts to gain some traction.
At this point you can look at implementing new features and possibly playing with a pricing strategy. Who will you charge? There are multiple ways to play the pricing and charging game. Getting it just right is the key.
Hope all this helps. Good luck.
You write a lot about your "solution" and much less so about your customer. With limited resources, I'd really focus in on the customer that you desire. Write a use case and a personna for that target customer. Find ways to test your assumptions about that customer.
As an example, I built a brand new home less than 2 years ago in a gated community. Would I have been a customer for you? What is the value proposition that you would have offered me?
Rajeev - It's very important that you get your business modal designed and tested on paper before you spend any money. People have a tendency to over spend during the design phase and by the time they are ready to go live they don't have anything left.
We have recently launched an online business. My advice to you is that you should do as much as possible on your own to really understand your business. Next step is to outsource what can be outsourced.
The third thing join a platform that can give you wings to go global. Check out my website and communicate with them for ideas.
For BIDARCH, but this is basically the same model for a start up with no customer and no cash flow. First, I would recommend you to make a precise list of potential type of customers interested by your platform.
Secondly, you must defined the regions you are ready to serve. Start local then get abroad. When you have the type of customer list, get the address and name of contact. (Bank, insurance, architect, builder, etc....).
After that, think about the simplest and cheapest way to contact them personally. Those guys know the market and talk. You must convince them first.
Start by the institutional, then up to the individual one.
Next, think about how to contact them globally by type of client, i.e. fair, show rooms, add, youtube…etc…Don’t spend money in advertise campaign before your get your first client. Then, once you have a base of client, you will be able to communicate on fact you have accomplished.
These are big and complex questions that tell me one thing. You need one or more experienced advisers or mentors with gray hair on your team. That person will save you research, time stress and likely give you a fighting chance in the brutal world of start-up market entry. Your idea is sound and simply put is "AngiesList for DIY Home Builders". There are complicated issues here and some will need trial and error and some iteration - like reaching local critical mass. Most web companies reach critical mass nationally or world-wide because they can instantly service all areas. You will need a marketing strategy to get over that hump in local markets. Building the application without this already known is a mistake but correctable. The technology is not that tuff. Cracking the marketing and sales formula will be the major challenge. If you do not have a strong marketing person with online experience you need one. Problem is if you are a technical founder you will never know a good one when you see one. Another red flag to get a mentor. I know it is self-serving because I am one, however, I would also recommend the CEO Boot Camp DVD course at www.StartupPlanet.com. You clearly need the big picture, vision and business model design tools it has. It is available at Amazon.com too.
This sounds like a really good idea and because it does, it will strike others the very same way. The first thing I would do is invite customers to check out how easy it is to navigate your forms. Then I would invite contractors to investigate the number of people looking for their services. It might be best to have them sign some sort of agreement that they will not circumvent your company and go directly with the customers they find there. It may also be advisable to let the customers know that they have an avenue for complaint if the contractors does not perform as expected and prices does not stay reasonable.