Founded by Carolyn King and Taco Fleur, Clickfind™, is an online business directory that charges a monthly fee to businesses that list their products and services. Established for the Australian marketplace, its intellectual property is owned by clickfind Pty Ltd which means the clickfind™ technology and brand can also be licensed to international markets.
Taco one of the co-founders describes:
The idea of clickfind came about when we wanted to list our own businesses in business directories, one of them being the Yellow Pages. We had an experience that left a bad taste in our mouth, an empty wallet and no results. Thats when we decided to create a business directory/search engine for Australia that is different and excels in the areas others don't.
Let us explore a bit more about Clickfind and how they are progressing:
• How long it took to get up and running?
The business was set up in mid-2007. Business scoping, brand design and web development took approximately six months and clickfind™ was launched as a fully functional website in December 2007. It is Australian-owned, run and managed by an experienced, enthusiastic team based in Brisbane. Clickfind’s aim is to become the best business search engine in Australia and become the definitive source for all of Australia’s over 2 million registered businesses.
• What is unique about clickfind?
- Comprehensive listings: Unlike other directories or search engines, clickfind™ allows a business to add individual listings for each of their products and services (up to 500 of them), as well as basic business info. This allows a business to create a complete online product catalogue which can be shared and syndicated in several ways. A clicking listing can also act as a mini-website for small or start-up businesses, and a business can have its own unique URL.
- SEO performance: As well as being a self-contained directory, clickfind™ has been built to optimize performance in external search engines (such as Google) and drive traffic to clickfind™ customers’ websites. Other directories don’t utilise search engine optimization (SEO) techniques in this valuable way.
- No advertising: clickfind™ does not display any paid advertising (banners). Other sites often display ads of competitors next to business listings, reducing the effectiveness of the listing. They also offer premium listings, which means the most relevant results are often not shown first. Instead, clickfind™ focuses on making the users’ search as useful and relevant as possible.
- Genuine Aussie businesses: only businesses with a valid ABN are listed on clickfind. This means users will know they’re dealing with a local business (unlike those often found via search engines).
- Additional unique services: clickfind™ includes a number of additional features not found in other directories, including a wiki-like article-sharing feature, free email service, postcode finder, and maps with driving directions. These features are either already available or under development, and other features are in the pipeline. The aim of these services is to increase clickfind’s overall value and usefulness, driving more traffic and thus more revenue.
There are two main target markets, which overlap to some extent:
- Owners/managers of Australian registered businesses: mostly small/medium businesses, but can include marketing/IT managers of larger corporations
- The general public: anyone looking for products or services in Australia. Could include international audiences, but primarily targeted people living in Australia
To address the overlap in these audiences, click find's marketing strategy is multi-pronged:
- get the general public to use the website and realise how useful it is so that they will then advertise their own business (whether they own one, or work for one)
- get business owners on board, stressing the competitive advantage they will gain, and encourage them to use the website to find products/services for their own use establish the clickfind brand in Australia and raise awareness of what it is.
Clickfind™ is in the process of reviewing its marketing strategy, bearing in mind the two main target audiences and both current and long term business priorities. So far all the marketing has been online: Google ads, email campaigns, blogs, press releases and the website itself. Following recent PR, interest in clickfind™ is growing, but direct approaches to businesses have yet to pay off in listing sales.
Marketing channels under consideration (or in progress) include:
- Advertisements in publications read by small-medium business owners
- Regional radio advertising
- Viral email campaign
- TV advertising to promote the brand to the general public
- Ongoing SEO optimization of the clickfind™ website and blogs
- Press releases through several channels, including AAP
- Referral campaigns
No. of unique website visitors (in 1 month)
% of returning visitors
No. of page views (in 1 month)
No. of businesses listed
No. of products listed
No. of services listed
No. of listings viewed (from launch)
No. of clickfind pages indexed on Google
No. of visitors who come to clickfind from Google
Visitors from Google as a percentage of pages indexed
%. of visitors who come to clickfind from Google
• How are you measuring the success of your venture? Are there any special mechanisms/tools in place to monitor the progress?
We are using Google Analytics to measure site stats and conversion rates. We also have created our in-house stats to measure success. One of the things main things we're keeping track of is the number of enquiries businesses receive, which is something we see increasing every week. In the end, it's all about businesses getting enquiries, enquiries turning into sales. Our customers will be happy and stay with us. In short, if business enquiries keep rising, we will be successful.
• Which are the main competitors or major players in this market segment?
Clickfind’s main competitors are local directories:
- Truelocal (owned by News Limited)
- Mylocal (owned by Microsoft, has a business association with Yellow Pages)
- Yellow Pages (owned by Sensis / Telstra)
- Google Business Center
• What are your thoughts on the future trends of your service and the market segment you are in?
With more and more businesses moving to online advertising, our market will only grow and we'll be offering more services like; affiliate marketing, permission marketing etc.
• What are the main technologies used behind this start-up?
- MS SQL Server
- Windows OS
• What has been the easiest to use, out of the box and most helpful technology?
ColdFusion has been the most helpful to us in regard to the development of the site. It's a rapid application development tool with lots of extra features like fancy flash graphs on the fly and PDF creation to mention just a few.
• How much money is needed for the start-up?
We are actively looking for investment to take the business to the next level.
• What are the main barriers in general for people to start their venture in Australia.
I believe the main barrier is raising capital and getting media exposure. We've been trying to break through with paid wire services that distribute our Press Releases, but nothing major has been picked up or used.
Thanks, Taco for sharing your thoughts. We look forward to hearing from you in future on the progress of Clickfind. All the best for Clickfind.