chicken-or-egg

A chicken-or-egg scenario…

When starting Connect and Haul, I quickly realized I’d have to navigate through a chicken-or-egg scenario.

 

Here’s why…

 

In order for the site to be beneficial for the users, there need to be member junk removal services listed where people are posting jobs.

 

So I need members for users to have a positive experience. Makes sense.

 

However, while the junk removal companies I’ve spoken with love the concept, they also want to know that people are using the site before they’re willing to become members.

 

So I need users to get members. Totally understandable.

 

Okay, so I need users to get members and members to get users…

 

…crap, what do I do now?

 

So far, one of the best things I’ve done is alter the business model to allow junk removal services to create a free profile page, and then if they want to receive the inquiries via email and text when a user posts a job, they would need to become members. [Read my blog post about this: Small change, big impact]

 

This has allowed for MUCH more activity on the website. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had 12 junk removal companies from all over the US create profile pages, so at least if people use Connect and Haul to search for a great junk removal service near them, they’ll start finding options.

 

The question then becomes, how do I know who’s using the site and where they’re located?

 

How do I know if the site is starting to build traffic?

 

And most importantly, how do I use that data to help grow Connect and Haul?

 

So I asked my buddy Jason (a complete badass in the telecom industry) if I could trade him a bottle of wine for some business advice.

 

He agreed. 🙂

 

Actually, Jason has helped me in a lot of areas, but today, let’s focus on data collection.

 

He told me about Formstack. (FYI, I’m not getting paid by Formstack, and haven’t actually used it yet, but looking forward to trying it.)

 

Formstack allows you to create forms and embed them in your site. When people fill out a form made with Formstack, it securely collects the data for you in a way that you can easily analyze it.

 

That’s awesome because until now, I’ve been using a standard form plugin called Fast and Secure Contact Form. Nothing against FS Contact Form, it’s a great free option if you don’t need to collect any data. I’ve used it for years.

 

But now I need something more powerful.

 

So, for example, if I run a Facebook Ads campaign, people will start clicking through to Connect and Haul’s website. Now, let’s say people start posting jobs. With Formstack, I’ll be able to easily figure out which cities are showing high levels of job postings.

 

This will give me GREAT data to use when approaching potential junk removal companies about becoming members. Your area is getting 25 job posts per week makes the decision easier for them than my website gets a lot of traffic. It will also help current members analyze the locations they service, and perhaps show them areas they should be servicing.

 

In other words, if you can quantify a product or service’s results, you’ll ultimately show its value.

 

So I’m really looking forward to implementing Formstack and seeing how it goes. Thanks, Jason!

 

I’ll keep you all posted!

 

————

 

What are some great services or resources you’ve used and found helpful for growing your business?

 

Stay analytical,

Mike

 

Ps – This blog is about my journey while growing my startup, Connect and Haul. It’s a free search engine to help people connect with great junk removal services near them. Need a washer and dryer hauled out of a basement? Need to liquidate a house? Give it shot by posting a job for free. 🙂

 

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