Peterborough-based company Whoocan Ltd has launched a new web-based
service that will reduce the risk and time involved with finding
good, reliable trades people to do work in
people's homes and in businesses.
- is the brainchild of 19-year-old city-based entrepreneur
Sophie Hurford. The new service is being piloted free to people
based in the Greater Peterborough area until 17 July before being
rolled out across the UK.
Searching for good, reliable
tradesmen to do work around your home can be extremely time
consuming. There is also the risk of employing a rogue tradesman,
which could result in long delays getting jobs finished and
expensive remedial work.
Whoocan overcomes these problems by
linking people with relevant tradesmen who want their job. This
allows them to select one based on a price quoted for their job and
feedback and ratings from other people that the tradesman has worked
for in the past.
"Whoocan has been in development for
almost a year and I am really proud that Peterborough will be the
first city to use it," said Sophie, managing director of Whoocan.
"From market research we carried out when developing the service it
was clear that the public were crying out for something more
advanced and useful than just a directory of tradesmen. They wanted
help with sourcing reliable tradesmen and they wanted to reduce the
time spent finding them.
"Whoocan automatically matches the
type of job that needs doing with relevant tradesmen who then, once
approved by the customer, provide a quote through the website.
Uniquely it also incorporates a rating system where people who have
used a tradesman's services post feedback on how well they think the
job was done - in a not too dissimilar way to how Ebay provides
feedback on sellers and buyers.
"This, along with a quote for the
work they want doing, gives purchasers of trade services informed
choice about who they decide to use," continued Sophie.
"I have great ambition for Whoocan.
I want it to be the way that people find tradesmen to do work around
their homes - not just in the UK, across the world.
"Any time anyone needs a tradesman's
services - Whoocan do it!"
Whoocan has received interest from a
number of investors keen to see the service get off the ground. It
already has over 250 tradesmen in the Peterborough area registered
on its website, including builders, carpenters, plumbers,
electricians as well as many other specialist tradesmen.
To use the system, people simply
register on the website and post details of the work they need
doing. This information is then automatically sent to relevant
tradesmen for them to provide a quote. Over a period of either seven
or twenty one days, this is selectable by the user, tradesmen then
respond with a quotation for the work.
Once all the quotes have been
received people are then able to select a tradesman based on the
price quoted for the work and feedback that has been posted on the
website about that tradesman by others. If there has been negative
feedback about a tradesman they might not be chosen to do a job even
though they may have provided the lowest quote.
People can also spend a lot of time
contacting tradesmen who they subsequently find out are too busy to
take on more work. Through using Whoocan, they will only get
quotations from tradesmen that have the capacity to take on work and
are therefore more likely to get the job done quicker and for a
Tradesmen will also benefit from
using Whoocan. By registering on the website they will be sent
enquiries free of charge. It will also help them to manage peaks and
troughs in work load by only sending enquiries when they want them.