Spark announces WeDo: Connecting SMEs with Kiwis
Wednesday 25 July 2018
Local businesses can get ahead of the game by setting up a free profile on the site today
As a tradesperson, it’s the crack of dawn and you’ve already got a pile of jobs to attend to, the phone’s ringing and you’re behind on invoices and chasing payments. As a consumer, the hedge is overgrown, the place is a tip from the kid’s slumber party and you’ve just found out the downstairs toilet won’t flush. Sound familiar? Spark now has an answer – WeDo.
WeDo is a new online service that makes it easy for consumers and tradespeople to connect and do business in their local area. With platforms like Uber and Airbnb now common-place, consumers and businesses expect digital services to operate with a new level of convenience and transparency. WeDo’s vision is just that, and today is calling for great local tradespeople across Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch to set up their free WeDo profile today.
WeDo Lead, Kayne Munro says Spark has always been in the industry of connecting people. “It wasn’t that long ago we ran businesses like the Yellow Pages service, helping connect Kiwis looking for businesses. Now we’re stepping that up - connecting great tradespeople with busy households with a revised sense of ease and convenience.”
“Our small business customers tell us they often don’t have the time or resources to maintain an online presence but know it’s critical in a digital world. WeDo isn’t about controlling or facilitating the work, but rather about providing a platform for small business owners to cultivate their customer base online, get paid quickly, plus have a fair shot at winning jobs - all without clipping the ticket on their hard-earned work.”
A survey conducted by Spark showed almost 50% of all households have a job at present that could benefit from WeDo. Often these jobs have been left unsorted and as a result, have been described as annoying or stressful[i].
“The work required to find the right tradesperson is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding someone available and to then gather and compare prices and credentials can be time-consuming, resulting in jobs getting pushed further down the ‘to do’ list. WeDo finds the available, and suitable, needles from the haystack for you,” says Munro.
To post a job, consumers are guided through a brief, visual step-by-step process that actively generates a price estimate based on similar jobs, meaning consumers have an initial idea on the costs involved. In return, businesses receive qualified local job-leads that allow them to spend less time on the phone figuring out what’s required and more time doing the job itself – a win-win for both parties.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates there would be a $34 billion impact on productivity if all New Zealand businesses made better use of the internet[ii]. With SMEs accounting for 97% of NZ businesses and employing nearly a third of the population[iii], online platforms like WeDo can give some NZ SMEs an easy way to grow and truly find their edge.
Electrician Danny Bowen says when his father co-founded Silverlake Electrical in the 80’s there were two ingredients which made for a recipe of success: good relationships and technology. Thirty years later Danny plans to keep those going, now with new digital technologies that’ll let him reach even more prospects.
“We are a fast-growing, small business with a loyal set of clients. But we want to continue to diversify and platforms like WeDo will help us reach and grow relationships with a new set of clients. I think as a consumer it’s difficult to determine the quality of a supplier’s work until it’s completed – that’s the beauty of WeDo, it’s a simple way to help consumers navigate and find reliable companies that provide a quality service,” says Bowen.
“Our main goal right now is to ensure we have a wide selection of businesses available in cleaning, gardening, plumbing, electrical, moving and painting before opening up the service to consumers. The platform is still very much in a beta phase, so we’ll be capturing feedback from both businesses and customers and refining it based on the suggestions we receive,” says Munro.
“For Spark, this is an exciting next step as a digital services company – helping all of New Zealand win big in a digital world.”
WeDo will officially launch for consumers next month where they will be able to use the service for free.
The process will be simple. Once a job is listed, WeDo will match the job with the best local businesses available, based on their star rating, proximity to the work and their profile. When a business’s profile is a good fit they will receive a job lead to review, which they can accept or ignore. WeDo will aim to provide consumers with three to five quotes, which gives them a good range of cost estimates and profiles to inform their decision and offers businesses a good chance at getting the work.
To help enable informed choices, consumers can compare providers’ profiles, reviews, credentials and prices before awarding the job. Once the work is complete, both the consumer and the provider can rate each other’s experience. Taking payments by credit and debit card is also easy on the service, a convenience both businesses and households increasingly expect.
To kick off the start of WeDo, providers will be able to quote up to 10 jobs every 30 days for free for the rest of 2018. If a provider wants to quote more often, WeDo offers businesses a range of 30-day subscription options without taking a cut on the jobs.[iv]
For more information and to sign up as a provider visit www.wedo.co.nz. To learn more about WeDo as a consumer check this video out.