I needed to make a quick form and had originally planned to utilize my free trial of Formstack and then quit before I needed to pay anything. I was working on my start-up, so anything that I had to pay for was unnecessary. Half a year later, one of my biggest regrets is not using Formstack from the beginning. It proved to be one of the most beneficial tools for me to test the market, iterate quickly, and demonstrate ideas to my developers.
The core of my start-up, LocalHands.co, is for a user to post up a home improvement or other DIY task to be bid on by the local community. One challenge though is to identify what type of tasks would be popular in Indianapolis, where I live. We assumed people would want some cheap labor in categories like lawn care, cleaning, and errands but had nothing to validate it. We used Formstack to help us gather information for what types of tasks people would be comfortable having a college student perform. It was fast and easy to make the form and extremely easy to copy and paste the code to integrate onto my site.
I had my remote developers build a simple form, to save time and money, and just use the categories we identified from the customer surveys. Real data and feedback started coming in through the site and we quickly realized the form to post a task was not effective. A blank form required too much thinking and the process was not intuitive and simple enough. Posting a task is the most critical funnel on the entire site, so I had to make sure the form I wanted was completely clear to my developers.
We used Formstack again, this time to build out a more advanced and intuitive form as an example for the developers. If you post up a task for lawn care vs. cleaning the information we need to collect is very different. We customized the flow for each selection and made sure only relevant fields were popping up. We didn’t want the form to be too busy, so we hid fields such as “select due date” and only had it appear if triggered.
I sent the form to my developers and they quoted me too high of a price so we decided to just manually test with only Formstack. We had people post tasks through our Formstack, and we would manually connect them to our service providers. The feedback was incredibly positive and we continue to use Formstack to improve our process and even test new ones. We will add additional “dummy” categories to identify additional tasks people may be interested in, and are also building separate Formstack forms for individual companies that we are building relationships with.
If I were to restart from the beginning, I would have been much more “lean” in the development of LocalHands. Creating demand is the difficult part for our two-sided market. We are still young and finding our niche in corporate and consumer markets, so being able to change the form quickly ourselves is extremely important. I made the classic mistake of overbuilding and now find myself adapting the site to my Formstack forms instead.
Kevin Vo is the founder and president of LocalHands.co. He graduated Purdue with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Economics. He has slowly progressed from a large corporate role, to a small office entrepreneur, now to a full-blown startup entrepreneur. Kevin is happy to connect with anybody via kevinpvo.com or @kevinpvo.