A Staffordshire business which offers consumers the chance to find tradesmen in their local area for free has gone international, after launching just 18 months ago.
Online PR News – 10-June-2011 – – The site, which was the brainchild of ex BT directory sales manager Craig Powell, entered the Finnish market last week, with plans to expand into Sweden within the next month.
LocalTraders.com, which launched from their Newcastle-under-Lyme base in 2009, hope to dominate both the UK and Scandinavian markets within the next couple of years.
Craig Powell launched the site with the help of former BT colleague Ross Edwards after the pair worked together for the telecoms giant for more than 12 years.
Craig came up with the idea for the site after he struggled to find a tradesman to build a deck in his garden.
LocalTraders.com now has more than 2,800 registered tradespeople across the UK, covering 23 trades and has grown from 2 up to 30 employees in just a year and a half.
The firm turned over more than £217,000 in its first year and with rapid expansion plans they now expect to break the £1m turnover figure later this year.
Mr Powell says he’s delighted with the site’s progress and says he believes the model will work well in foreign markets.
He said: “I launched the site in 2009 with the aim of taking what I’d learned working in directories and putting it online to help match people wanting work done on their house with people in their local area who were able to fulfil the need.
“The response we’ve received from both consumers and tradespeople has been fantastic and after a strong first 18 months we decided to take the model to other foreign markets.”
Mr Powell says he believes the first mover advantage he will gain by entering markets early will be key to the development of the company.
He said: “We will be the first site to offer this type of service in Finland and we believe the model will transfer perfectly. We plan to enter the Swedish market by the end of the month (MAY) and will be one of only two firms in the country offering direct and immediate contact with local tradespeople looking for work.”
He concluded: “It’s been a fantastic first 18 months for the company and we’re really proud of all that we have achieved. The plan now is to help as many tradespeople as possible increase their workload whilst at the same time making it easier than ever before to find people to fix your home.
“We want to do this on as big a scale as possible and as soon as we’re established in both Finland and Sweden we’ll be looking to enter other markets.”