If you need to find well-qualified specialists, be it interior design, construction or other business fields, you have to do it yourself personally. Of course, this is a stumbling stone in the SME development, taking into account those who work in the interior design and low-rise construction segment. The client is confined to the location of his project and is forced to look for specialists who can attend the project meeting within less than an hour ride. Let’s assume you failed to find an ideal professional who has identical vision of the future interior just like your, what would you do next? Hire the one who does not match the requirements but is nearby? But it’s not a good option, and you know it.
The client can then do:
- Ask friends for the trusted contacts, but the max you will get is 2-3 good specialists or companies
- Search through ads (but you know that it is not the right solution)
- Google companies which mention the exact services you need. But be ready to read an excellent text without knowing the truth about the quality of the work and of course, no guarantees will be provided
None of the search options will give you the confidence to find a good responsible performer, and the search is also tied to the place of your residence.
Let’s imagine that your project is in New York, and the specialist lives in London. It’s not a challenge for the person to drive back and forth between the two cities but being hired for the profitable project. No problems at all.
But the search itself is only one side of the problem. The general issue is not realized enough by the customers and contractors: there is no common web-tool or admin-panel where you can manage your projects, approve orders of materials, goods, confirm money spends, view and approve documentation, lead communication with the contractor etc.
Finding a specialist is not so hard. Getting a result you expected is the real challenge for clients. At this stage of the process, the potential contractor\specialist is more than interested of being a “good” contractors because there is an influencing mechanism like reviews list on his profile page and claims to the website administration, for the worst cases.
What happens if the problem isn’t solved?
The market will be full of slackers, approximately 80%, who are not responsible for the quality of the work performance, therefore good specialists and companies will have no good clients because Google AdWords promotion price is high and you need to hire one more specialist for this job. And to be frank, nobody even looks at those ads.
The status quo won’t change: so much bad work, poor reputation is spread on good specialists, no trust at all and a very long process of selecting a specialist. As a result, the market is not growing because of this dead-end situation.
For whom do we solve the problem?
The product is useful for SME business, which has no additional funds for its own advertising campaign in several promotional channels. But the necessity to grow and find more clients is vivid.
Niches and business sectors — possible successful uses
You have a large catalog of fabrics for different use in the interior, but there is no opportunity to sell it online, only by phone or personally with the management. Using our product you can upload the database of your goods to the Store, add to the portal designers you collaborate with (not only interior but also clothing designers as separate specialists).
The portal will be promoted for keywords like “interior designer” (service specialists) and “fabrics for silk curtains” (goods). What is the advantage? You sell your products at retail prices to broader audience, if they know exactly what they are looking for; and in wholesale to their designers.
Also, you can sell designers’ advisory services according to the selection of the textile. This feature is on demand as few people have knowledge to hire a designer for the flat renovation, thus they will appreciate a one-time consultation, which can be carried out directly on the portal in the client’s Personal Account or through the chat.
All orders will be directed to your CRM or ERP system, in which the account and nomenclature are stored and updated.
The product can grow in such direction:
- designers post their projects and articles about them;
- the final customer can do the same about his projects which brings more attention to the portal as people see other real people who have realized their projects with the help of this portal;
- you, as a supplier/seller, expand the product catalog by adding to the portal other manufacturers who sell their goods through your website for a commission from the sale, the same logic as on Amazon and eBay
You make leather goods such as wallets and shoes, you need to sell them online but Prom.ua and Olx.ua don’t work for you at all. You create your Personal Account on this portal, upload just photos of your products, publish in a general catalog. Users will find your goods by photos, contact you in direct messages and agree on the price and payment. The scheme is simple with the business model of American etsy.com.
We remove the complex part with the order through the confirmation of the supplier, because the supplier is a handicraft master (self-employed person), not a sales rep. Clients are people from the Internet, looking for handmade stuff: bracelets, jewelry, leather goods, appliqué, etc.
Sellers are creators of those goods. If a handmade master, in our case also a seller, has photos of the goods in the interior or on the person, he/she publishes the thematic selection of the pictures. For example, album “Wallets”, “Bags”, etc. A user can leave a comment under the listing (product) and contact a seller. You can start selling just from the product picture, without using a shopping cart, online payments, goods in the seller’s Personal Account and other online shop features.
You are the owner of a small company for the construction of cottages and frame houses. You need the space where you can promote your finished objects. Having the website is not enough and the AdWords (up to 5000 dollars per month) doesn’t give true leads, who are ready to buy products at your prices.
You create an account on the portal, upload photos of the projects. If you have an article, you can publish it, too. You can ask your clients to leave a project review under the finished project, so the users can see them. The key idea here is to promote your account inside the portal.
If the lead sends you a direct message on the portal, you will start to negotiate the main conditions of the future collaboration. You create and manage the project on the portal as well: approve the drawings, project documentation, 3D visualization of premises, costing for each stage of work etc. The entire history of the project is stored in one place and it is duplicated in the client’s Personal Account.
How to grow such business-model even further: add a building supplies store on the portal and open it for the suppliers who are sick and tired of Epitsentr with its terms and conditions. You can get them interested with your live audience — you have targeted customers, contractors, the one missing puzzle is suppliers. But now you know how to engage them.
The portal is aimed to present independent designers who can’t afford to buy a presence in TSUM or Dream Town, but they still need a place to sell their stuff.
How it can work:
- upload photos of your goods into albums;
- each piece of clothing you mark with a tag, then you can provide a hyperlink to other resource or add a listing from a portal catalogue of goods;
- users see the entire look and can buy more items than one pair of jeans on one site, and shirt on another. The average cheque is growing and the sales conversion as well, because the problem “I have nothing to wear with these jeans” is solved.
How does our project solve the problem?
Our solution is not only the search but the interaction with the contractor from the first letter up to the acceptance report.
What’s under the hood
php framework Laravel 5.3,
pack Sleeping Owl package
AWS + Maria DB
Integration with CRM and ERP
The system works on such integration cases:
1. Client’s registration, activation and updating from your system. Also, the portal sends new client registrations to your system and sends a letter, requesting the moderation of the new client.
2. Requesting the product on the portal, sending it in your system, receiving the application status from your system, updating the order status in client’s Personal Account. Next step is to get completed and paid order from the portal to your system.
3. Import of a complete catalog of products from your ERP into the portal:
- Transferring of categories and sub-categories, updating them with the webhooks.
- Transferring and updating brands.
- Transferring and updating the brands’ collections.
- Receiving and updating of goods on the portal (one-way communication, no changes to the listings can be made from the portal, only the ERP is the source of changes).
- Receiving and updating product attributes
4. Time request when the contractor is available for the client reception in the office/showroom/salon. It can be used for any business that operates on the basis of personal receptions with an hourly visit schedule.
- Cloud architecture — up to 1M SKU
- Receiving payments — LiqPay
- API for integration with ERP and CRM
- Assignment of code permission
- Making changes in product functionality as a part of the prepaid support
- Adaptability for all browsers and OS
- Exclusive support from the development team and system administrator
- Security is provided by https data encryption protocol