BusinessNSW talks to Elizabeth Ball from communicationgame.com about putting professionals in touch with each other.
Who is your target market?
Anyone in the communications industry, from writers and designers to printers and events personnel. My past experience in the industry led me to the idea. I listened to so many colleagues and friends talk about how hard it is to find the right people to work on a project.
What is your yearly revenue?
I project around $250,000 annually.
How many staff do you have?
Just myself and a webmaster who performs programming and maintenance for approximately 15 to 30 hours per month.
What’s on your site?
Contact details and portfolios. Professionals are categorised by industry and sorted by the kind of work that interests them.
Once an individual or company has signed up for an annual membership fee they are allocated space on the site to advertise contact details, showcase a corporate portfolio and specify the sort of work they’re interested in.
A big part of any project is trying to find people suited to the work. Like trying to find a printing firm to do a run of 100 when everyone has a minimum order of 5000.
Communicationgame.com also offers a monthly email newsletter, The Spin, to promote members, their professional exploits and business happenings.
The site also features a high-profile visitor from a relevant industry every month to write an article on industry trends and tips.
How much did it cost?
The site itself cost around $13,000.
What kind of expenses are involved?
Programming is one, although most of the cost goes into support and marketing materials such as media kits and advertising (both print and online). There is also the expense of conferences and seminars I attend for networking purposes.
What kind of research did you do before launching?
My background in the communications industry provided me with the contacts. I conducted my research by talking to my contacts about their needs.
What kind of backend systems are you using?
I use an SQL database for the professionals’ details on the site.
What makes a good site?
A website which offers a unique product will always stand out. There are always several that offer the same thing. Sites which don’t get anywhere are hard to navigate, the service is expensive to enter into, or download times are too long.
What mistakes have you made?
I spent too much money on the launch of the product. Also the timing wasn’t the best — it was right after the tech wreck. Something else I would do differently is employ stronger sales skills or have some sort of sales training under my belt.
What are your favourite websites?
ANZ Bank and Officeworks.