Have an idea for online marketplace but not sure whether it makes more sense to learn how to code it yourself (about 2000 hours of consistent learning) or to hire developers ($44k for an MVP on average)?
In early 2019, I launched Unicorn Factory to New Zealand businesses and freelancers. Today it is New Zealand's largest freelancer marketplace, where over the last twelve months, I helped over 1500 Kiwi businesses find and hire over 550 local freelancers.
It costs me around $500 per month to run the platform, I don't have any employees and it requires about 4-5 hours of my time each week. This year, Unicorn Factory is expanding internationally with the launch of Unicorn Factory Canada.
And I did all of this without knowing how to code, without hiring developers and without needing to quit my freelance work to bring it to life. More importantly, it has allowed me to have a huge impact on freelancers and local businesses in New Zealand.
Through starting Unicorn Factory and working with other marketplace startups, I have learnt that building a successful online marketplace comes down to five key points:
That all sounds pretty straightforward but in reality launching your own marketplace comes with a lot of challenges:
Building a prototype can be expensive. It would typically involve hiring good developers and being clear on what needs to built. Without tech experience it can be very difficult to find the right talent for your project, and hiring the wrong person will cost you time and money.
An alternative to hiring someone to build the platform for you, is to learn how to build it yourself. It can take years to learn how to code or how to use No Code tools on your own.
If you are relying on others to build and run your platform, you are signing up to significant ongoing costs before knowing if your business will make money. That is one of the most common reasons why marketplaces (or any business) fail - they run out of money.
There are a lot of different ways to monetise a marketplace, but the right one for you will depend on your niche and how much traction you have. Picking the wrong business model will make it very hard for you to run your marketplace sustainably.
The MVMP Coaching program was created to help aspiring marketplace entrepreneurs who can't code (or can...) get their platform up and running faster without having to invest tens of thousands of dollars in developers or spending 2000+ hours researching different content on the internet. Throughout this program I take you through the exact process I went through to create the Unicorn Factory New Zealand and Canada.
What will you learn?
The MVMP program is not a get rich quick scheme. Learning how to build a No Code marketplace requires serious commitment. If you are serious about starting a marketplace and you think that No Code is the way to go, then this program will be perfect for you.
You will get access to our MVMP template, which you can use to modify to fit your niche and use case. This is the exact template that I used to create Unicorn Factory Canada. Some of the features included in our template are:
You will also get access to a tutorial library that you can access throughout the course and after. You can use this course library to prepare for our sessions, revisit specific workflows that we talked about in our call and plenty of other fun things. Some of the highlights include:
And then finally... eight one-on-one sessions with me. Throughout these sessions we go over different aspects of building your site and I will answer any questions you might have about your specific marketplace.
If this all sounds good to you and you want to explore this further, then the next step is to schedule a call with me. I only have finite spots available at the moment, so I need to see if we are a good fit for each other. During our one-on-one call we will go over the feasibility of your idea and you will also get an opportunity to ask any questions you might have about the program.Yes, let's talk!
Chive Charities is an online directory that makes it easier for Kiwis to find and support their favourite charities in New Zealand.
Founders Alice and Stephen, who have involved in the charities space for years, came to me in June 2020 with the idea for Chive. Over the course of six weeks we designed, built and launched the platform.
They have since gone on to sign up over 100 charities in New Zealand. They have added several new features to Chive by themselves, using the knowledge they gained through our one-on-one sessions. Finally, they successfully validated their pricing strategy in under two months and are now on track for a huge 2021.