Story image

Spark to launch new online service to connect Kiwis with SMEs

26 Jul 18

What looks like another nail in the coffin for chunky phone directories and supermarket noticeboard cards, Spark has launched a new online service that promises to connect consumers with small businesses in their local area.

The service, called WeDo, allows consumers to post a job and SMEs are able to receive relevant job leads.

Spark says that people expect digital services to operate with convenience and transparency – just look at platforms like Uber and Airbnb.

“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,” comments WeDo lead Kayne Munro.

He adds that small business customers tell Spark that they don’t have the time or resources to keep up their online presence, even though they know it’s important.

“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.”

So far it looks like Spark is rallying tradespeople (electrical services, cleaning, gardening, moving, painting, and plumbing) across Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, and Christchurch for the initial launch in August.

“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.

According to electrician Danny Bowen, his father founded Silverlake Electrical in the 1980s, when there were two things that made success: Relationships and technology. Danny says he plans to use new digital technologies to reach even more prospects, 30 years later.

“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.

The company says there will be more locations and categories to be announced in future.

52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
GirlBoss wins 2018 YES Emerging Alumni of the Year Award
The people have spoken – GirlBoss CEO and founder Alexia Hilbertidou has been crowned this year’s Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) Emerging Alumni of the Year.
SingleSource scores R&D grant to explore digital identity over blockchain
Callaghan Innovation has awarded a $318,000 R&D grant to Auckland-based firm SingleSource, a company that applies risk scoring to digital identity.
IDC: Standalone VR headset shipments grow 428.6% in 3Q18
The VR headset market returned to growth in 3Q18 after four consecutive quarters of decline and now makes up 97% of the combined market.
Spark Lab launches free cybersecurity tool for SMBs
Spark Lab has launched a new tool that it hopes will help New Zealand’s small businesses understand their cybersecurity risks.
Preparing for the future of work – growing big ideas from small spaces
We’ve all seen it: our offices are changing from the traditional four walls - to no walls. A need to reduce real estate costs is a key driver, as is enabling a more diverse and agile workforce.
Bluetooth-enabled traps could spell the end for NZ's pests
A Wellington conservation tech company has come up with a way of using Bluetooth to help capture pests like rats and stoats.
CERT NZ highlights rise of unauthorised access incidents
“In one case, the attacker gained access and tracked the business’s emails for at least six months. They gathered extensive knowledge of the business’s billing cycles."