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  • Writer's pictureConnar Stratton

Startup Idea #26: Freelance tradesperson aggregation platform

Idea: A platform that aggregates tradespeople (tradies in Australia) in your area. Despite the success of platforms like TaskRabbit in America, there is still a shortage of such platforms in APAC. While TaskRabbit can be any odd job, this platform would be initially providing tradies to homeowners. You would be able to post jobs, get bids, and select the bid that you want to work with.

Problem: Almost a third of Australia's labour force are tradies, and yet tradie services are still predominantly procured through word of mouth. This leads to poor price, and quality competitiveness for consumers, and stifles tradie demand.

Insight: There is sometimes a lack of trust when it comes to tradies. You are not sure whether they are overcharging you, recommending you the wrong solution, or simply not working while you're away. This is why many Australians resort to getting recommendations from friends. Ratings and quality control would be an important business driver.

Validation method: Although the demand-side may seem like it has higher hurdles, the supply side is where I would start. The reason is you need to validate whether tradies have an interest in going onto your platform at all. They may already be generating enough business and would be scared of undermining their locally establish monopolies. Go online and call as many tradies as possible and ask if they would be willing to list themselves on your platform. If they agree, then you can start to create a simple database of tradies. From there, you can validate the customer side through Google ads. The MVP of this business is asking consumers to text you the job, then matching them to three tradies who can help them with price estimates included.

Notes: There may be a reason that this business has not taken off in Australia before. But it's not very clear why. Some hypotheses are: lack of supplier interest in being listed on platform, high acquisition cost of suppliers, and lack of supplier digital acumen. Targeting tradies through Instagram may be one of the most effective ways to get them onto the platform.

Why am I doing this? I’m an innovation consultant who helps businesses build new products, and ventures. And I want people to see how easy it is to build, and validate an initial business idea. Hopefully inspiring them to start their own business.

Am I worried that people will take the ideas? I hope they do. These ideas will hopefully make the world a better place. Just remember, “Ideas are cheap. Execution is everything”. What’s most likely is that within a month of testing the idea, the idea would have completely pivoted, but this is a starting point.


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