|Hello and welcome to Start Local! We're glad you've stopped by.|
What is Start Local?
The best method for Australians to find who they're looking for...in under a minute!
No....now we sound like a dating site. Let's go for something a little more standard:
Start Local was designed to become Australia's most accurate, usable local business search engine and directory.
So, Start Local (originally ECEF) was launched in 2006 and although the initial version of Start Local was created by its founders, it has evolved many times since then through user feedback and contributions.
Since we're constantly striving to make the site more usable and feature rich, odds are, tomorrow it will be different.
Start Local has been steadily growing since it launched and is now getting more than 1.4 million monthly visitors and more than 3.3 million monthly page views.
Why does Start Local exist?
Start Local exists because we (it's founders) thought that there should be a simple way to find local businesses anywhere in Australia.
We realised that, since hundreds of thousands of Australian businesses open, close or change their details each year, we would need to have multiple avenues for us to update this data; including making it easy for users to suggest updates for their favourite businesses.
What makes Start Local different?
Start Local was built from the ground up to focus on relevance and user interaction.
Whenever you do a search on Start Local you'll be able to further refine it, expand it or modify it on the fly. We want to make it as quick and easy as possible for you to find the local businesses you're looking for.
Start Local also offers free listings to all Australian businesses with an offline presence which is another way that we're able to stay as comprehensive and up to date with Australian business data as possible.
Start Local also has a relatively small (although rapidly growing) and very flexible team which means that when our users suggest new ways to improve the site, we can act on them without needing to get it signed off by 34 levels of management.
We listen very carefully to all feedback, comments, criticism and suggestions and have integrated many of these.
Who are the people behind Start Local?
The guiding hands behind Start Local are:
Robin Sallay (Director of Business Development) and
Brad Slade-Smith (Director of Web Strategy)
Together, they have managed ad campaigns, web strategy and websites that have received more than 1.2 billion monthly page views. They have also been responsible for more than 505,000 enquiries to a variety of businesses.
They have spent the last ten years learning and refining their skill sets by growing a variety of businesses both online and offline. Their key areas of strength are online advertising, search engine marketing, website usability and increasing the bottom line by making business processes more efficient.
The rest of the Start Local team are passionate about helping our users and the team is expanding rapidly to accommodate our growing user base. In fact, if you've emailed us you've no doubt talked to one of us here!
What grand ideas do you stand for?
We believe that all local, Australian businesses should be able to be found (possibly with the exception of brussels sprouts factories).
Do you guys also write the Start Local blog?
We have a variety of different writers (both on-staff and guest writers) contribute to the Start Local Business Supercharging Blog.
The blog is here provide you with useful articles on how to massively increase the success of your online and offline activities with your business and as such we like to have a variety of opinions and skill sets for our writers.
If you'd like to be featured as a guest writer please send us through your article idea and a link to your blog and we'll let you know.
Why don't you have a phone number for Start Local listed on your contact page? What are you trying to hide?
Yes, you guessed it...we're actually an evil conglomerate with our hearts set on world domination (however with a bad receptionist).
Ok, so the answer is actually a lot simpler than that (and far less cliched). We've got a great support system for responding to feedback, comments, updates, additions and removals that is designed to maximise accuracy, save everyone time and ensure that the correct business listing is being worked on - it just works through email rather than by phone.
We've found that when we use the phone for support, things are sometimes misunderstood and the wrong thing ends up getting done which just wastes everyone's time.
Since email is far less time consuming than the phone it also means that we can spend more time launching new features for the site that will enhance your experience on Start Local.
So tell us; what's next for Start Local?
Hold on...you're not one of those dang competitive spies are you?
Ok, well we were going to tell you but now you're just going to have to wait and see on this one however we can give you a hint by telling you that our aim is to turn Start Local into the premiere Australian marketplace and community that connects business owners to one another while also connecting customers to businesses.
So, stay tuned as many more features are in the works right now.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Please, please, please if you have the time, take a minute and write in to us and let us know what you liked, what you hated and what we could do better. If you run into problems or you think something is missing please tell us and we'll get it fixed/added.
We'd love to hear from you as you've helped us grow into what we are today and will guide us to be what we are tomorrow!
Thanks for taking the time to use Start Local.