Today we talk with Mateusz Saniewski, founder of Afreedeals. A new classifieds site in West Africa. Mateusz is an IT specialist with a great experience in CMS and big size projects for important companies. Now he leading this new venture in Africa with his team.
Afreedeals.com - Gambia
Introduce your company: ¿Who you are? ¿What is your business? Why a classifieds website?
We want to create a concentrated online database of deals/businesses/services/products/news/jobs for Western Africa which, we believe, will make a huge difference here where internet awareness is still developing but people are eager to grow.
We're bunch of Polish friends, life-long travellers, who live and operate in Western Africa with a headquarters in Gambia.
What we noticed is that it's extremely difficult to get useful, accurate information about anything here. You have to drive around for many hours to find what you are looking for. This is absolutely not efficient. So we decided to create one big database to make finding good deals and information simple.
Our project will serve not only local people, but also people interested in doing business or visiting Gambia and the whole of West Africa. Our page will help with everything from renting a car through ordering pizza, finding a tour guide to even buying land and starting an import/export route. All this without getting up from your bed.
What are the strategies you follow to acquire customers?
Social media is a big power here along with traditional outdoor advertising and sponsored events. We are actually trying everything that comes to our mind and then we check the stats on the page to see if it works :) As soon as we grow bigger we plan to aquire some strategic partners from local companies.
How important is Yclas in your online business? Tell me one thing that rocks!
First of all it's great that we could setup our page so quickly and painlessly. We didn't have time to develop a whole new site from scratch. It takes a lot of time and a lot of funds. Hiring devs, designers, thinking of all the features and safety issues is a nightmare, we've been through this before. Besides, why should we renovate the wheel if it's already there.. we decided to work in MVP (minimum viable product) mode.Yclas allowed us to jump straight into the marketing phase instead of wasting our resources on the deveopment. And you did provide us with all the necessary tools, gave enough space to setup the whole page exactly the way we imagined. Pricing is also fair. Basically, Yclas is the ultimate solution for new startups who want to give it a try.
What are your recommendations for people who want to start a classifieds site?
Go and do it. Find a niche. Save resources for marketing. Start as fast as possible and grow/improve with time. Your product doesn't need to be perfect at the beginning. Adjust it according to your users suggestions. Just don't do it in West Africa. It's our neighbourhood now :)