How We Started a
Local Services Marketplace
Hi! Who are you and what business did you start?
My name is Tariqule Khan, CEO, and Co-Founder of MyBee App. We are a local services marketplace connecting people with the services they need faster in real-time. When anyone is looking for any service, they can find and get help right away. We help skilled-trades and professional workers to get clients and manage their schedules and receive payments all one in place.
What is your personal story and how did you come up with the idea?
It started with a small group of aspiring developers who wanted to figure out a way to put out a service that can help a multitude of people with their own needs. While we were negotiating, a stranger asked us to help move some furniture. We did not have experience with moving furniture, but we still decided to help out. After that task, it gave us an idea! What if we can build a platform where services are provided to the public, and be easily accessible for the right price? That is why we created the MyBee App.
The purpose of the app is to let users easily access a catalog of services provided by companies or freelancers. This app is really important because not only does it helps out users with their needs, but also gives an opportunity for small businesses to grow.
What challenges did you face when creating your product/service?
The most challenging part of my startup was to keep the team motivated at all times. We had a lot of ups and downs in our journey. As we are all developers making a company, we didn’t have any idea how to market the product or get our first clients.
The main problem was that none of the team members wanted to talk to clients and do cold calling, so it was pretty difficult to establish the business. We had a product that works but now we can’t get it out there. It was very hard to stay focused and stay motivated!
The idea we had initially changed entirely once we started developing due to lack of research. Our target was just to make something that works. Later on, we realized that we should do more marketing and reach out to people.
Who is your target market?
Our target market is skilled trade workers in Ontario who are willing to earn money through the platform. Once someone posts their service on MyBee ,we have automatic Google and Facebook advertisement that runs on their service for free for the first month.
How do you market your business and which approaches have been the most successful?
We market our business on LinkedIn and Facebook.. Linkedin has been the most effective so far. We got free advertisement promotion on Facebook when we made our Facebook page that helped us to get initial followers
Currently, cold calling our clients is working better for us at the stage we are in now.
Since you launched, what has worked in not only attracting but retaining customers?
Well, always contacting our customers helped in building the relationship and at the same time retain our customers.
What kind of culture exists in your company, and how did you establish it?
Our team is very diverse, we have people all over the world working in the project. Fun Fact: we found our team members randomly in a Starbucks. As we used to also sit at a coffee shop we always had people around! We always used to go to a library or a coffee shop and worked together to bond and get stronger as a team.
What software, services or tools do you use within your business?
What are the most important lessons have you learned on your business journey?
I have learned a number of lessons in my business journey. Firstly, I would never trust anyone, no matter what, and don’t take anything for granted. Always think about the worst-case and be ready to handle that. Appreciate everyone’s work and even though it might not be what you were looking for. Lastly, never give up hope.
What is your favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is that you do something great with your time and you don’t have to work 9 – 5. You can take a day off when you feel like it. Most importantly, motivate others and inspire others with your work and effort! It feels good when people envy you for your work.
What is your LEAST favourite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
The least favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is that you have to accept failure and keep in mind that things don’t always go as you expect. You have to ready to accept uncertain situations and difficult times. As an entrepreneur, you can feel lonely and sometimes also feel like nothing is going in the right direction.
What books, podcasts or other resources have inspired and influenced your business journey?
My favorite of all times for motivation is F.U Money by Dan Lok. This book really inspired me to start a business and leave my 9 – 5 job. I was listening to the audio version of the book in the audible app while I was doing my morning walk or in the gym.I would recommend this book to anyone!
Where do you see your business 2-3 years from now?
In 2-3 years I expect everyone to use MyBee to find help easily or at least know about it. We would want to keep our costs low so they can be more affordable to everyone. Right now we have 11 employees. In 3 years, I expect to have more than 50+ people working in MyBee.