Our strategic moves to own the tradie ecosystem
I’ve always had a healthy obsession with customer stickiness.
It was front of mind when I worked as an auditor and accountant for large firms in the late 1990s, and it’s a cornerstone in our hipages Group strategy to help tradies build their businesses.
Obviously you want your customers to love your product so they stick with it. And one of the best strategies for customer retention is to be indispensable.
We’ve done a good job helping tradies get more work, and I’m proud of what we’ve built with hipages as a lead generation platform.
But the accountant in me knew tradies also struggled with their business admin. So we invested in building our Tradiecore platform to help them quickly solve common small business challenges, from quoting and invoicing to scheduling work, and most importantly in a tight economy – customer retention.
Now we want to combine our hipages and Tradiecore platforms to make it even easier for tradies to manage and grow their businesses in a single app. We’re already seeing strong signs it’s the right strategic move for their businesses – and ours.
Tradiecore stickiness shows we’re becoming indispensable
Early adopters of Tradiecore love how it’s freeing them from the burden of business admin by connecting the dots from job opportunities to quotes to invoices to payments.
My favourite comment in our recent NPS feedback came from a tradie who said: “I was using Invoice2go, but since using Tradiecore, I’ve never used it again. You’ve made everything simple.” I love that.
I also love what we can achieve for new businesses, like D&G Fencing Solutions in Victoria, which was started by Dario Djurkovic in January 2023.
Dario told us he joined hipages to build his customer base and now, three months in, he has a permanent team member and two casuals working with him to keep up with the jobs he’s winning.
“One hundred percent of our work comes through hipages and we’ve recently picked up a Government contract via the platform, too,” he says. “Anyone can pick up Tradiecore and navigate with confidence. The business has demonstrated it’s working with tradies to build the best product for them.”
Dario was a Jim’s Fencing franchisee before setting up his own business, and as he notes, nothing prepares you for the volume of admin that comes with quoting, scheduling and invoicing customers as a trade.
“A winning point for me is that with hipages I have access to Tradiecore,” he adds. “It populates all my customer information throughout the documents I need from the moment I accept a lead on hipages. On average, I make 50 quotes per week and Tradiecore saves me around five minutes for each one. That’s 3-4 hours per week I save using the app.”
Tradies like Dario are doing good business thanks to the winning combination of hipages and Tradiecore.
It’s also good business for us. We’ve found that tradies who are using both platforms are four times stickier. And in turn we gain recurring revenue.
They stick with us because we’re helping them win more jobs with hipages, and we’re improving their customer retention and revenue with our handy toolkits on the Tradiecore app.
We’ve recently expanded those toolkits (and our territory in the tradie ecosystem) with several important enhancements:
- – Overhauled our in-app guided onboarding to make it easier for new customers who are logging-in
- – Streamlined financial administration with the integration of popular accounting platforms
- – Added additional functionality to allow tradies easily add multiple quotes and invoices to a job
- – Tradies can now also add their Terms and Conditions to invoices
These enhancements are just the beginning. I can see big opportunities for other innovations that will make work/life easier for our customers, especially in the payment-management space, though more on that in a future update.
Merging hipages and Tradiecore will drive our growth further
When we launched Tradiecore in January 2022, a smart early decision was to build our tradie-software-as-a-service platform with a modern programming language called React Native.
It was a choice that makes the roll out of enhancements for our tradie customers more efficient and effective. And those enhancements perform equally well in both versions.
It’s also a technology that’s quite easily understood by our engineers. You don’t have to be a specialist in it, so in a time when many organisations are cutting headcounts, we can do more with what we have – and support our higher growth ambition.
It also makes sense hipages should transition to React Native, too. It’s a prudent move towards greater cost control, for starters. And I believe it will boost our cashflow as well, helping us achieve our ambition of positive flow ahead of schedule before the end of FY23.
Right now, hipages already gives us an impressive acquisition funnel for FY23/24. Since the start of summer we’ve accelerated to nearly 5,000 tradie registrations a month and we’ve successfully upsold close to a third of those sign-ups to new products including Tradiecore.
I think we can push those rates higher to 40% when hipages and Tradiecore are combined on a single platform.
It will be a big win for our 31,000 tradies because it gives them one powerful app to attract, convert and retain more customers – and I’m confident it will deliver the same for us.