XU Magazine - Issue 18

How Tradify gave traders their freedom back

Written by Kaye Harding

Xero’s app marketplace has over 700 apps which help small businesses and their advisors reach their goals. Each month we celebrate an app partner who really stands out for helping small businesses thrive. Introducing Tradify, our January app partner of the month…

Five years, seven regions and thousands of customers in, it is no exaggeration to say Tradify is a market leader in software built for tradespeople. The app looks after job management, scheduling, quotes and invoices for a group of customers known for being out of the office – all tasks.

Chief Revenue Officer at Tradify Emma Crawford-Falekaono says slow down the day for tradespeople.

“We streamline the entire end to end job management process of a trade or construction business. Operating in the Cloud means that can happen any time, anywhere, and we focus on getting the tradespeople back to what they enjoy doing and what they are good at – being on the tools and running their business.”

Starting strong by nailing the niche

Tradify began five years ago and was built to Xero from the very beginning. A big part of that decision was building where their customers were, but also to provide as little friction as possible for users of the product. Emma explains how being an industry specific piece of  software meant partnering with Xero was a no-brainer.

By knowing if they have a customer that is using Xero and Tradify, Emma is confident that they are going to be a much more successful business. Tradify want customers using both apps to get the most from them.

While different types of traders are using Tradify, Emma says knowing who the app helps the most has influenced their marketing, their messaging and the product overall.

“We benefit many different trade businesses, but we add the most value to electricians, plumbers, constructions and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) businesses. Their processes are really aligned to our software.”

How customers helped Tradify grow

By tailoring the product early on to their core customers, Emma says Tradify found loyalty and referrals were big competitive advantages for growth.

Tradify have seen a lot of organic growth through brand awareness and referrals. Quite often the trade and construction industry as a vertical is heavily dependant on referrals – as Emma describes, people like to have a yarn to each other, recommend new software and who’s good to work with.

As well as organic growth, the integration with Xero saw customers come through Xero’s ecosystem. Tradify have found that more customers are coming from the Xero app marketplace due to advisors pushing clients to investigate products and software they really need.

With growth coming from all directions, Tradify has grown over 100% year on year and have big aspirations to raise those numbers over the next five years.

Finding markets outside of New Zealand

“One of the things we are really proud of is we’re a Kiwi company and founded by a Kiwi, we’re based in New Zealand, but the majority of our revenue and customers are offshore, which is something a lot of New Zealand businesses struggle to achieve.”

Now, Tradify find the majority of their customers based in Australia and the United Kingdom, with the latter being an interesting market due to its familiarity. This year the UK is a key part of Tradify’s expansion plans.

Tradify have found a lot of customers have come naturally through from the UK, with the market being quite similar to New Zealand. One of their strategies
is to ignite the market and create huge opportunities for Tradify in the UK.

With innovation at the core of the product, Emma says new markets continuously improve the way Tradify operates and its features. By carrying out lots of market research, Tradify have pinpointed exactly where their growth will be coming from; even down to the fine detail of which growth channels work versus actual regional, geographic locations.

It is these markets which Tradify have pinpointed as markets full of potential.

Advisors are a hungry market, so give them something to eat

Tradify has seen massive demand from accountants and bookkeepers who want to take a step into the advisory space, particularly around software advisory or industry specific advisory. Emma says partnering with advisors is a big push for Tradify moving forward.

Tradify want to partner with those accountants and bookkeepers who are focussed on the trade and construction vertical in their practice, so it can give them the tools to be able to succeed in that new stream of work.

The Tradify team identified many trade and construction businesses and the people who run them are practical, and they like to be hands on.

As Emma describes, traders suddenly have real time business advisory services given to them because app advisors have access to all of this information which they never had before. Tradify is all about cutting the BS and giving tradies their freedom back by eliminating the manual, mundane tasks. Advisors will help us help them get back on the tools, and back running their business – what they are best at.

#goals for 2019

With the past year focussed on a scale strategy, continuing to improve the product and making sure the team culture is right, Emma says the goal for 2019 is simple – continued growth for the business. Getting more connections through Xero, continuing the YoY growth of 100%, and growing the UK market.

Heavy investments into product innovation is on the cards for Tradify, to ensure the best products for their customers. It is all about product, channel acquisition, partner strategies for Tradify and they will heavily invest in this across all regions; a it is the way the accounting industry is moving forward.

Find out more…

To find out more about how using Tradify can pay off for your business visit: tradifyhq.com

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About the author

Kaye Harding

GM Partner Experience, Xero.

Before joining Xero Kaye held a number of strategic and commercial roles in telecommunications, utilities and IT companies in NZ and the UK. Kaye’s passion for delivering excellence and coaching others has led her to build a number of high performing teams. Kaye also mentors a number of women, both inside and outside of Xero and holds an MBA from the University of Auckland.