Brand New Spotted App Set To Revolutionise Leicestershire Small Businesses
The newly launched mobile application ‘Spotted: App’ is streamlining the way that businesses reach new customers. Its creator, John Whitbread, is so passionate to help local businesses he has risked it all, even selling his house and put everything on the line to make it work.
When searching for local businesses and services, it’s easy to become overwhelmed as to where to start, and with biased adverts and algorithms, do you really know you are being shown all the results? As a small business, it can be a struggle to overcome the algorithms of social media to get seen by potential customers. Designed to shine the spotlight on local businesses, John created the simple to-use Spotted App to put the power back in their control.
It is designed to be accessible for all businesses and especially ones who are struggling with time and don’t have marketing budgets.
When customers require a job they need completing, they simply take photos of the job, submit via the app and the app will deploy this to all the relevant and local businesses asking if they want to quote on the job. This means a registered business gets a notification when each job appears – and they can send in a quote, if they please. Customers can check reviews, pay, message and much more through the app making it a more proactive and efficient way of getting quotes you want from providers working in your area.
The idea for the app struck when John was searching for a local dog groomer and realised there was nothing out there that housed all services under one ‘roof’, and sites presently seem to focus on the trades. John resorted to using his local Spotted Facebook page and hoping someone would spot the request and recommend. He illustrates the point further with the example of a local ironing service owner who was struggling to balance her time between work and being active on social media to market her business properly. Catch 22. She’d reply to people ‘looking for a local’ but had no advertising budget to go further – and no idea how to do it. He realised there was something missing in the market: a portal that linked buyers and sellers in a cost-effective way.
On the app, businesses list themselves for free for 2 months and it’s only 99p per month thereafter. With no hidden fees or commission on leads or jobs, John feels this sets him apart from the rest. The app is free to download and completely free for customers to use.
“It’s the simplicity of its use that I’ve been mindful of since day one. I realised that algorithms on certain websites and apps are making decisions on behalf of the customer, showing them what it thinks they want to see, rather than showing all options available, meaning they are less likely to make a well-informed decision”, offers John. “The Spotted App provides all options available to a customer without any algorithms, or adverts being biased to the top, giving you the ability to find the right business for their job”.
He continues: “It’s only through having all the options available that we can really make educated decisions, so I wanted to create that very thing: I wanted to link businesses and customers with technology aiding the process, rather than hindering it. Just because a small business doesn’t have a large marketing budget, it shouldn’t mean that they fall into the shadows”.
After a year in development and selling his house to fund the project, it’s safe to say that John is both excited and passionate about sending the Spotted App out into the world. He says: “This has been an interesting 12 months since I got the idea last December, as well as a steep learning curve, and I’m really proud of what I’ve created – this is just the beginning! If I can enable people to build a customer base on a minimal budget, and then hopefully I can encourage more people to go self-employed”.