Elevator Pitch is a new regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Jacquie Bull, director of Melbourne-based startup Sidekicker.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Sidekicker is a workforce in your pocket. It gives businesses and professionals access to a network of dynamic, prescreened workers ready to provide office assistance, staff events or run your errands for $29/hr. We provide businesses access to a flexible, scalable workforce and individuals access to their own personal assistant.
All 'Sidekicks' have been prescreened and vetted to make sure only the best people are completing your jobs. All you have to do is post a job and your Sidekick will get the task done. Some jobs completed include data entry, customer service calls, packing showbags, serving food and drinks at functions, attending property inspections, cleaning and much more.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We use a number of marketing strategies to grow our business such as direct sales, promotions, content marketing and social media. However like many new businesses we have a limited marketing budget so we rely on providing an awesome product and customer experience and having great Sidekicks completing jobs so job posters keep coming back and refer their friends to Sidekicker. Sidekicker was initially financed by contributions from the founders and a venture technology partnership with our web agency Loud and Clear and now uses revenue for growth.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
Like many start-ups the biggest challenge for Sidekicker is probably managing our cash flow and making sure the money we spend is producing a good return on investment. There is also the challenge of educating the market about the cost saving benefits and ease of using a service like Sidekicker, as outsourcing your business or personal jobs through an online platform is a relatively new concept in Australia.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
It would have to be Dropbox. I use it everyday to access all of Sidekicker's files from my computer or my iPhone.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
The best business advice I've received is to remember that you can't be everything to everyone. You need to focus on solving a real problem for one or a few core niches, and target them with your marketing. Then when you have a strong brand in one area you can add verticals.
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