How to Create Profitable Online Service
Andrew Prudko, the founder of the international linguistic online freelance platform 2Polyglot shares data about online services industry, its prospects and tips on developing such business.
Research company Рayspacemagazine specialized on financial online services and E-commerce published data about the analysis of sales on the Internet in the world. In 2014 volume of sales was about $1.3 trillion – 5.9% of total level of retail sales. According to preliminary data in the end of 2015, sales will increase for 21% and will reach the sum of$1.59 trillion, which is 6.7% of total retail volume. According to data of the company, this level will become $2.4 trillion. Even now, 63% of all population in the USA buy products and services via Internet, that means online shops and online services become more and more popular and are promising enough direction in business. Today we do not have to go to the bank branch in order to make a payment; we do not have to go to the library for reading and interesting book. We may do this and much more staying at home. This is enough just to have connection to the Internet on a smartphone. All services, which can be provided in the shortest term and with maximal comfort definitely have advantages in comparison with classical services. And such services can be provided only by online services.
How much time is required for self-repayment and how much money is needed for creating online service?
A little amount of funds is needed for creation online services in comparison with other industries. For launching international platform it is required from several to tens of thousands USD depending on technologies used in developing service. Much more funds will be needed for promotion and access to the international market. Interesting that online services under a high demand reach the self-repayment for 1-2 years. Although, for example, famous social network Twitter started receiving first profit after 8 years of existence. Everything depends on monetization and efficiency of business model of a service.
How to promote such service?
If service is oriented on access to the international market, than the right strategy will be to build a stable business in frames of Internet space of one’s native country at first and then to create campaign of promotion for abroad. The second principal move should be complete implementing full functionality of the service. First impression is always the strongest, that is why this is necessary to impress every new visitor. If the functionality is not completely developed, than the only content will not be able to satisfy users. At last, all serious mistakes and bugs should be corrected and eliminated. The key word is “serious”, otherwise it is possible to be late. Everything needs a balance including the principle of speed-quality.
What kind of difficulties do such projects have?
A main difficulty in creating such services is not even the necessity of programming knowledge, but rather increasing trust of the service among existing and potential users. Firstly, the service has to solve client’s issue. It has to make one’s life more comfortable and to turn discomfort into several fast finger pushes. There are a lot of entertaining services now and it is hard to make up something principally new, but there are many unsolved human problems.
How to create online service?
The idea of creating the international online platform 2Polyglot for freelance linguists (translators, copywriters, language tutors and tour guides) has occurred to me one year ago when in my own Internet marketing company I faced the necessity to translate fast and qualifiedly website interface into other languages and to fulfill it with qualitative content. Translation agencies’ services occurred to be quite expensive and surfing tens of multidisciplinary freelance marketplaces was very uncomfortable. That is why I decided to create an online platform for specialists of language area and customers who would need such services. We have even made up a term for such freelancers “lingualancers”, as they are free workers in linguistic area. It was decided to promote our services for both market here and abroad. We were gradually learning from our mistakes, but there were not less obstacles. We faced the issue of choosing electronic payment system, which would have acceptable fees and would give a possibility to implement an option of Safe Deal on our service. For promotion we use such channels as search optimization (SEO), social networks (SMM), classical PR in Media. We participate in different conferences and startup battles, create partnership with educational centers and implement loyalty program for our users. Our goal is providing highly qualitative linguistic services in short terms and creating virtual vacancies for people possessing foreign languages.