Ecoloads: How we increased our revenue streams
As a business owner, how can you tap into new revenue streams? Ecoloads founder Jordan Panos shares his creative thinking behind increasing revenue for his business.
Almost every business has untapped revenue. Finding it can mean the difference between sinking and swimming – especially during a crisis. Ecoloads founder Jordan Panos shares his creative thinking behind finding new revenue streams for his business.
Established in 2017, ecoloads connects customers who need something moved – cars, house furniture, boats, pianos and everything in-between – with transporters who have the means to deliver. The ecoloads platform hosts thousands of movers who quote on delivery and removalist jobs for customers all over Australia.
As with many other businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic saw operational challenges for ecoloads and its network of transporters. But founder Jordan Panos says one of its upsides was being able to take a step back from the day-to-day and look at ways to improve the platform, better serve customers and bring in new revenue.
“One of the positives of COVID is that it gave us downtime to reflect on the business and look into bottlenecks that we may not have noticed prior because we were flat out,” he says. “We were able to engage in conversations with our customers – both transporters and people looking to ship items – and really find out their needs and wants. With everyone at home, we could have some deep conversations about the problems we’re solving as a business whilst ensuring to remain environmentally minded. After all, sustainability is the driving force behind our business model.”
For Panos and his team of six staff, the process of finding new revenue started with putting themselves in their customers’ shoes. “It was effectively sitting in the seat of the customer and saying ‘If I was a transporter, what would I want?’,” Panos says. “We took a top-down approach and started by talking to the most engaged users on the platform, our ‘cheerleaders’. We also spoke to people who had been quoting on the platform but hadn’t booked many jobs.”
Customer surveys and emails helped the ecoloads team pinpoint areas to improve. “We used things like SurveyMonkey and eDMs to ask people a few questions about the platform. We kept it really simple – questions like ‘Would you prefer X, Y or Z?’ One of the things we found out was that the communication channels between the transporter and the customer needed to have more clarity. It was a pain point we were aware of earlier but we didn’t know how big of a problem it was.”
Armed with valuable customer feedback, the ecoloads team rejigged the platform to make it easier for people to connect. Now customers and transporters have the option to organise quotes and logistics directly on the platform or over the phone. “Removing communication barriers actually helped make the platform more sticky,” explains Panos. “Transporters are more engaged in quoting jobs and customers are more engaged in booking through the platform.”
“We realised that by making things easier, you’re creating a better product. If we put more emphasis on the product, the security and the payment platform, customers are more likely to book through the platform rather than offline.”
Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, ecoloads’ strategy for increasing revenue has been to improve and scale up the business’ most successful channels.
“We’ve doubled down on what’s working,” Panos says. “So rather than being really broad, we’ve realised we need to focus on scaling the individual verticals that are working. We know that our core categories are car transport and home removals, so we’re focusing on those categories and emphasising the synergy between customer and transporter.”
For Panos, customer engagement is a key indicator that their efforts are paying off, rather than gauging success purely by revenue. “If we can increase engagement, then the revenue will follow.”
Moving forward, Panos and the team aim to increase revenue by introducing a subscription-based model where transporters can sign up and use ecoloads to book and get paid more quickly for all their jobs.
“That’s what we think is going to give the platform a lot of appeal – giving transporters the features to run their day-to-day bookings, scheduling, invoicing and tracking through ecoloads,” Panos says. “A lot of the transporters still operate quite ‘old-school’ with managing their schedules manually through Excel or a diary. If we can help solve that problem for them, it’ll be the next step in increasing our revenue stream.”
He also has plans to partner with other websites to progress the business. “On the customer side, we want to partner with affiliate sites like Carsales or Gumtree to provide a transport service that’s environmentally sustainable and community-driven,” he says. “So, for example, if someone purchases a car on Carsales and needs it transported interstate, they can use ecoloads to get an instant quote for the job.”
For other businesses looking to increase their existing revenue streams or tap into new revenue, Panos says it helps to go back to basics. “It’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day of running the business and drift away from what’s important. But at the end of the day, it’s about the problem that you’re trying to solve as a business.”
This article is a general overview and should be used as a guide only. We recommend that you seek independent professional advice about your specific circumstances before acting.