Saturday, 17 September 2011

Market Resarch should be country specific

My husband and I both like to excersise so with small kids in the house it's a bit of a juggling act and we have to 'book' our slots and there's a 'use it or lose it' policy in our house. So this morning when I was about to embark on my bike ride, the sky was not exactly cloudless but it wasn't heavy either. Perfect, I have recently acquired a 'shower proof' jacket, that will do the trick. An hour in and of course the shower starts - I guess the only way to test how shower proof your jacket is to go through a shower - the answer to that question for me? "not very". It's not a cheap jacket either so I spent the rest of the ride infuriated by the misleading marketing of the item and if nothing else, it gave me something to think about and in turn write about.

Market reasearch is a fundamental part of starting a business, in the good old days before everything went global, your local market was just that, your local market and the sample of people you researched were indicative of where the product/service/brand was going to be. Nowadays, one tests shower proof jackets in a country where clearly their idea of shower and our idea of shower are two completely different things. My shower proof jacket would have worked in a country where a shower is a mere drizzle, in New Zealand, a shower is anything from strong to torrential. In the country the jacket was 'researched' it must have been a brief WARM shower and then the strong warm trade wind following to help dry up any bit of moisture along with the bright yellow sunshine soaking it all up again. Now, on my ride when the rain iteself feels like it's barely a few deg above freezing level, the wind which prevails from somewhere in the arctic coupled with wet clothes and NO sunshine, Waterproof jacket became a new brand called an "ICE MAKER" - I was wet cold freezing and unimpressed.
Logajob would not work in some countries but it works in New Zealand as there is a high % of internet users, very advanced users, the Tradesman themselves are the guys both on the tools and on the phones and there is still an uncanny sense of 'community feel' in New Zealand as well as a high level of trust compared to many other larger countries with large populations. I'm a small company and I have gone through the effort of at least thinking about tailor making my service to best suit the requirements of the county's users. Unfortunately I cannot say the same for the makers of my so-called Waterproof jacket but it's made me realise that where possible, for weather gear buy NZ made because only they understand how showerproof a garment has to be to be truly shower proof under the so called 'showers' of NZ skies. There is no warm wind or sun to help so the product has to be quality from the outset. Mass marketing and globalisation are to blame for the flu I'm about to get -

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Two years of brainstorming turns from steam to dream

How did it all start?
My husband and I and our then one year old (now 5 with a younger 3 year old brother) emigrated from beautiful South Africa to start a life in tranquil, safe, scenic New Zealand.  We dabbled a bit in property in SA before coming to NZ and were lucky enough to be around in an era where there were still run down houses that could be flicked off for a profit once they had undergone a general DIY makeover.  A million miles away packing boxes, liquefying baby food and trying to decide which loved possessions stay or go, I get a call from my husband (in NZ already) to say we now own property in NZ!!! He ‘sweetens’ his statement by saying, worst house in the best street. Some real estate agent saw him coming – anyway, being on the other side of the world and busy with my own stuff I wished him luck with his latest renovation project and now felt a tad more pressure to complete my task of selling property in SA to pay for said property being acquired in NZ!!!

NZ renovation was a learning curve compared to the SA way with one of the largest frustrations for us being unfamiliar territory. We were new in a country with no contacts no referrals, we relied on the yellow pages to find tradesman.  Apart from the fact that this meant taking a chance hoping your pen had landed on a decent tradesperson who would do a decent job, we also found the quoting ‘system’ somewhat tedious. Each tradesman said he could only get round to seeing the work or job required in a week or so, then it took them a couple of weeks to get round to sending a quote through. Finally, when a quote was accepted, they were able to start the job 2 weeks out??? Oh dear, we should have thought of this before we ripped our old roof off the house.  3 weeks of no roof in a house in rain drenched Taranaki mid July/August was not my idea of fun!!!!  In addition, I had moved from full time career woman to full time mom and I was exhausted. Looking after a toddler was the hardest thing I’d ever done.  I NEEDED him to go down for the midday nap – no sooner had he gone down and some tradesperson would be rat tat tatting on the door to come and inspect to quote, this rat tat in turn alarmed the sleeping dog who now became barking dog which in turn woke my sleeping toddler which in turn meant the rest of my day was going to be sheer hell and it was only 10.00am!
But as they say, good things can come from bad experiences. I needed a way to get these tradies to quote on the jobs I desperately needed done without having to come to my door. Without inadvertently waking the dog and waking the kid and ageing me by 5 years.  Trademe was still a novelty to us as this concept would not work in a country like South Africa.  We were intrigued by Trademe, and how interactive it was and how people were legitimately honest due to ratings etc. attached – the site worked for people so people had no need to be dishonest and they were accountable through way of a rating.  LOGAJOB was born as a combination of all of the above.
An interactive site that allows Tradesman to quote via the internet.  Allows myself and other homeowners to view these quotes in the comfort of our homes at a time APPROPRIATE to us. As the site evolves so does each registered persons rating and referral and each person’s online name metamorphosis’s into a personality. No more ‘eeni meeni miny mo” with your pen to choose someone out of the yellow pages.  Now, the work is taken out of your search for someone reliable, professional and available and tradesman can concentrate on delivering the end product to a higher standard as their quoting time is reduced. Their time spent searching for work is reduced as the work finds you.  Logajobs’ purpose is to provide a WIN WIN situation to all parties involved and we are confident it will do just that.