Open Talk @DSIM
An Interview with Rahul Sachdeva ,Founder & CEO of Archibiz.com
Archibiz is a habitat of all the desired architectural products and services. It is a powerful online product information network, an exclusive resource for specifiers and other building industry design makers
Q1. Hi Rahul, thank you so much for joining us. We are going to talk about your business. I’m not going to ask you how did you come up with the idea, but how did you get started? What are the steps to make a business out of a site?
Ans. Starting a business is like writing your very first book, you keep on thinking you’ll start writing soon. But the moment you hold the pen, things get blank before your eyes.
I had this idea in mind without any revenue model plan. But seeing others’ and my own experiences while finding the right vendor or professional in developing or renovating a space, I decided to work on this model. I made blue prints for all possible things and met a tech expert to discuss the idea and flow of website.
Later on I started building the team and worked a few months to improve our product i.e. archibiz. Simultaneously I found out a revenue model and our sales team in a period of month proved the success of business model by executing the sales.
a) This single word “Hiring” could decide whether your business would go out of sight or not. Take time but always hire when you believe in them.
b) Do not focus on sales in the initial period; going out without a well functioning product (website) ends up making you lose your client.
c) Make sure your company executives understand the product as much as you do, the more they know the product, the more your product will succeed.
Q2. Wonderful Idea Rahul. I know that ideas are plenty, but going from an idea to actually doing something is the hardest part. How did this work in your case?
Ans. I adapted archibiz as my full time work and moreover it was like solving a problem rather than executing an idea. Indian construction market is one of the biggest markets but still I’ve seen people reporting for not finding the right architect, contractor or vendor. So I wanted to make something, which could organize and connect the whole market bringing solution to local vendors, building industry professionals, and the users developing their dream space. This way, being an architect, I knew this industry from roots and it helped me out in many operations including sales, marketing, product categorization and clients handling.
Q3. Rahul you got the benefit of being an architect. There is quite a lot of competition in business. What’s special about Archibiz? Who is your typical customer and how do you find them?
Ans.True, there should always be competitors in your business field; they keep on reminding you if you’re wrong or late somewhere. But I’ve a different perception about competition; it brings no huge profit or specific services to anyone. I’ve always wanted to make archibiz a new product which could benefit everyone and solve all possible problems related to the construction industry.Archibiz works on B2B and B2C model.
We’ve our USP’s including:
a) Product specific search result: If a user searches for a shop selling epoxy paint then archibiz will display a store only if it deals in epoxy paint. Providing all nearby paint shops result is never appreciated.
b) Location based search results: We’re currently operating in Gurgaon and expanding to Delhi/NCR. So when someone searches for a vendor or professional in any locality (out of our reach), at archibiz then we prefer showing “Sorry no result but soon will be” instead of showing him/her result from other far localities.
c) Product specific gallery: Users searching for chair shop nearby their locality will not only be provided information about chair shop but also the pictures of chairs that the vendors deal in.We’ve our services for all the users building or renovating home, office or commercial space. We reach them by making sure that we’ve a large network of archi-professionals and vendors. There’re millions of users who search for such services online every day, so the more data we get, the more cities we cover, the more customers we’ll provide services to, hereby increasing the target audience.
Q4. Coming towards brand promotion, what are the most effective ways for a company to promote itself online?
Ans.I should not generalize any statement here as online business promotion varies depending on the type of business and targeted audience of the company. A company being an e-commerce or directory listing would target the social media to promote itself online because of its product being on the Web. On the contrary a company or a startup not serving through the internet would go for offline promotion in forms of banner and hoardings.
For online promotion:
a) Make sure a company has its team working on all possible social media and blogging websites. You’ve no idea where your user would find you from.
b) Videos and graphical pictures now-a-days have become more attention centric than other form of contents. Short videos and info graphics defining the product and services attract more customers.
c) Blogs that contain moreover pictures than content are in trends now-a-days; people prefer visual ads than readable content. So it’s advisable to work on this art of work.
Q5. You talked about social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, affiliate marketing, which digital marketing model works best for you?
Ans. As I see, every model has two vertical:-The Customer (business partner) end and –The User end
So to develop business end, platform like LinkedIn is the correct place as you connect with the right person or executives there.
And to develop the user end, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc. should be the right choice because of being presence of all kind of users out there. You just need a good social media and content management to target and connect with the right audience.
Apart from the above mentioned, content and blogging always plays a major role in increasing your reachability. Brief and properly describing content is one of the most important tools to boost up your marketing.
And when it comes to develop your business in terms of product sales and marketing then Affiliate Marketing has always been the key strategy. It is being adapted by almost all the similar portals including e-commerce as well.
As they say “The beauty of affiliate marketing is that you don’t have to invest time and efforts to create a product to sell.”
Q6. Finally, at the end of our conversation, any big mistakes you did and your advice to other young entrepreneurs how to avoid?
Mistakes! When it comes to mistakes, an entrepreneur can write a book on just mistakes. So before talking about mistakes, I would prefer giving a one line solution (answer) to all of them. “Make sure that the very first person you hire in your startup should’ve at least 1 or 2 years of experience in startups.” S
/he would never let you repeat the mistakes that S/he once have made.
a) It’s hard to build a startup team and it takes more time than expected. But hiring the wrong guy just for the sake of hiring could get you in trouble.
b) The first problem is hard to avoid so later with time you get to realize, whether the candidate proves to be productive or not.
c) In case you realize the second point, don’t take time to say good bye. A vacant place is better than the wrongly assigned candidate. We spent a few months and lost unnecessary money just because of this “How can we hire him/her?” issue.
d) If your business is web based then keep track of the SEO from the very first day. Hiring experienced candidates for SEO is always recommended.
e) If you’re from non-technical background then take an oath to read about tech at least two hours a day. Tech, codes and SEO knowledge is the basic attribute to become a good Tech Entrepreneur.
Thanks Rahul for giving your valuable time to DSIM. You explained everything very well and many young aspirants will get inspiration from this and will avoid mistakes. DSIM wishes you Good Luck for your future.