What are the Anthill Cool Company Awards?
The Cool Company Awards were launched in 2006 as a way for Anthill to acknowledge and celebrate Australian organisations that are doing things differently to bring about positive change. Cool Companies stay one step ahead of the rest. They breed leaders who are rule-makers and rule-breakers. They are trend-setters in attitude and action. Quite simply, they are … cool! More.
Company: Service Seeking
Category: Online Business
Yellow Pages, you’re on notice. The young men behind the job-bid website Service Seeking want to put you out of business.
But, well, short of that, they want to continue running the biggest site of its kind in Australia, giving consumers a place to compare quotes and prices from local businesses.
“It flips the ringaround upside down,” says Jeremy Levitt, one of the company’s co-founders. “Businesses chase you to win your work, not the other way around. It turns the Yellow Pages on its head, helping customers save time and money on finding and hiring service businesses to do their work.”
Levitt was a lawyer and childhood friend Oliver Pennington, a sales analyst. Sharing space in a flat with couple of other young professionals, they dreamed up the idea that would become Service Seeking (it was something they simply had to do because, as seen in the video below, their chosen professions were boring them to madness). They brought a web guru to build the site and launched it in 2007 (and earned Anthill’s attention in 2008).
Today, Service Seeking has had more than 300,000 jobs posted and had nearly 50,000 business registered to quote on work (Service Seeking charges a fee to post a quote). The website sees about 200,000 unique visitors a month. They partnered with TrueLocal, Realestate.com and rpdata.com to expand their base. Their have about 30 employees, including a back office in the Philippines.
“We’re inherently disruptive, showing SMEs that quoting on real work has much more transparent ROI than advertising in the business directory,” Levitt says.
The team also knows it’s important to maintain a lighthearted vibe to the site and to the office atmosphere. Levitt tells of an April Fools prank in which they sent their SEM analyst, a huge Lady Gaga fan, a bogus-yet-believeable email inviting her to a private concert. She struck back by creating an eviction notice from the Sydney City Council, tacking it to the office door and locking the door with a bicycle chain.
Just another silly day at Australia’s largest online marketplace for services.
“We want to be the best of our alternatives (Google, directories, word of mouth),” Levitt says. “We’re hungry to bury the Yellow Pages once and for all, and in so doing, to help customers save time and money by getting businesses to compete to win their work.”
How Service Seeking works
The history of Service Seeking
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