What it takes to successfully launch a new app
Sumit Sharma explains how, together with business partner Amandeep Singh, he successfully launched their digital odd jobs marketplace. Success has been snowballing for our app, a digital marketplace for odd jobs in Auckland. It’s called Ezy Peazy, and it’s working well – although achieving success has meant keeping a close eye on similar apps which […]
Sumit Sharma explains how, together with business partner Amandeep Singh, he successfully launched their digital odd jobs marketplace.
Success has been snowballing for our app, a digital marketplace for odd jobs in Auckland.
It’s called Ezy Peazy, and it’s working well – although achieving success has meant keeping a close eye on similar apps which haven’t been quite so successful.
I’d like to share with you how we are making it work.
Ezy Peazy was conceived in 2019 after I found myself redundant from two career roles, and looking for a meaningful project to focus on. At the time, there were a couple of digital marketplaces which were trying to help Kiwis find handymen and women for odd jobs.
It was also a time during which I was getting up at 4am delivering newspapers each morning then putting in long hours taking care of my daughter, then aged 15 months.
Money was valuable, time was valuable, and I thought a lot about the concept of squeezing in ‘odd jobs’ between professional, consistent work – just like some Uber drivers who squeeze in driving work around a more meaningful career.
Having previously worked in computing and cybersecurity, I wanted a perfectly-functional mobile app which would match Kiwis who post tasks (‘Posters’) with experts to take care of the task (‘Taskers’).
I wanted the app’s point of difference to include harnessing the power of reviews and testimonials.
I also wanted Ezy Peazy to facilitate payment so it would take a transaction fee and pay for itself.
The app also had to resolve any chance of financial disputes so that Posters and Taskers would both come away happy.
We wanted Ezy Peazy to narrow the gap between wildly different quotations for jobs, and for Taskers’ references (endorsements and reviews) to be consistent and reliable.
Having closely studied the competition – including signing up and worked through them – to understand similar marketplaces from the inside-out, I also needed Ezy Peazy to have the right balance of Poster demand and Tasker supply.
Three similar Kiwi odd jobs marketplaces had investor money pumped into them before folding after a few years, but we made Ezy Peazy work.
Here’s how we did it:
- From Day One, me and co-founder Amandeep had a policy of being unafraid to step in and complete tasks (so long as they don’t require professional certification and licensing). We put our boots on and took care of landscaping, assembly, moving furniture and more. This was important back when the app didn’t have enough tradies to guarantee that every posted job would find a matching Tasker. If a job was posted and it wasn’t being filled within reasonable time, our ethos was to go do the job ourselves.
I’ve personally worked on more than 200 jobs. Doing this helped create reviews, helped spread the word and ensurde people got their tasks done. Plus, users could see the co-founders walking the talk.
- We bootstrapped the company – paying for it initially with those early-morning newspaper deliveries, so that we didn’t blow huge amounts on marketing which might result in an imbalance between posters and taskers – leading to dissatisfied users.
- We harnessed the power of user reviews which led to very a high SEO ranking on Google – all organic, and costing as little as possible (with a small amount of Google Ads investment).
- We controlled the services we currently list on the marketplace so that we haven’t prematurely bumped against a couple of other labour marketplace apps.
- We streamlined the payment gateway, so payment remains with the platform until each job is complete and a review is left. This means revenue from transaction fees is flowing into the business.
- We have one time password (OTP) and biometric identity verification, so we are responsible hosts of the people interacting on our marketplace. This means Taskers’ identities are verified and reviews can’t be hijacked or exploited.
- We have controlled our growth to within Auckland, for now. Once the model is proven within Auckland, we can’t wait to expand.
One benefit of “getting inside” the Taskers’ experience and seeing the app from a users’ point of view was that it helped me get a good understanding about pay rates, labour conditions, travel, contracting laws, plus the ability to describe the app to users from real lived experience.
I’m not sure all tech CEOs get out from behind their desks and assemble trampolines on Christmas Eve!
Delicately nursed and carefully grown, Ezy Peazy looks forward to capturing the Auckland market before going to other cities.
Meanwhile, ten percent of all profits have been going to the development team so far. And for the last quarter, ten percent of profit has been going to Taskers as bonuses.
We also have a plan for ten percent of our profits to go to charity and if you’d like to become our charitable partner, please contact us at www.EzyPeazy.co.nz
Photo: Amandeep (left) and Sumit.