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Commercial cleaning industry taps into rise of ‘now economy’

Australia’s commercial cleaning industry is capitalising on the ‘now economy’ thanks to online services such as OneFlare. INCLEAN editor Claire Hibbit spoke with OneFlare’s head of technology, James Martin, on the sharing economy’s growing impact on the sector.

James Martin, head of technology, OneFlare

James Martin, head of technology, OneFlare

OneFlare is among a growing number of online marketplaces such as Airtasker and ServiceSeeking allow businesses and consumers to outsource tasks including commercial and domestic cleaning, which according to OneFlare’s head of technology, James Martin, has been one of the early adopters of the platform.

There are around 80,000 requests listed on the OneFlare platform, which first launched in 2011, across 160 service categories, with cleaning one of its top categories. Users, which includes individuals and businesses, create their own profile listing their qualifications, services and contact details.

“People want everything now. They want their Uber now. They want their groceries delivered now. Companies like OneFlare and Airtasker are trying to make that connection with people that need services done,” said James.

“It’s really a targeted form of advertising. Traditionally, a commercial cleaning business would take out an ad in the local newspaper or place an ad on radio and it’s quite a scatter gun approach, you don’t know who you’re going to hit. With websites like OneFlare and Airtasker you can really refine and drill down to find people in your area.”

James said there is a mix of commercial cleaning business listed on OneFlare, ranging from small, family-owned and operated businesses through to franchises.

“We’re seeing more and more small business jump on board because they see it as an effective way to find business. These companies might not have the marketing budgets of the larger players to be able to advertise and even social advertising can be expensive as well.”

As part of its rebrand in July last year, OneFlare launched a second app, dedicated to on the go business users, which James says continues to gain traction month on month. New features on the app include the ability for businesses to instant message customers.

“The trend in this day and age for customers is moving more towards texting as a way of communicating rather than calling and a lot of companies are starting to take advantage of this.”

To read more, check out the full article in the January/February 2017 issue of INCLEAN magazine here.

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