As a follow-up to the company pitch that ran earlier this week, StartUp Beat conducted a Q&A with Bizwiki Co-Founder, Matt Aird. Comments are welcome below!
SUB: The site is free for businesses to participate, so what is your business model? How does (or will) the site make money?
Aird: As you mentioned, Bizwiki is completely free for businesses to list their information on, and also free for the public to use as a search resource. In the future we intend to add some relevant text advertisements to some sections of the site, allowing us to dedicate editorial resources to ensure the quality and reliability of the site’s information is maintained.
SUB: Do you pull any Yellow Pages information to populate Bizwiki’s listings, or is it dependent upon businesses proactively adding listings?
Aird: We have licensed some basic contact information about a wide range of companies, giving us a base on which interested parties can build up details about companies. Any business with an address in the U.S. is invited to add themselves to the site or add more information if we already have an entry for them.
We’ve also built our own custom search spider to help retrieve and update further information about companies, so we are being very proactive about tackling the issue of listing companies with a greater depth from as many angles as possible.
SUB: Who do you see as your primary competition?
Aird: What we are trying to do is become a primary resource for people who are looking for more comprehensive information about businesses, their products and their services. Although we are enabling people to publish detailed information for free rather than charging, that puts us in competition with the traditional Yellow Page publishers like Real Yellow Pages, Yellow Book and Superpages, particularly as they feel the squeeze in their publishing businesses and attempt to duplicate their printed books online.
SUB: It looks like you are getting a good number of businesses listing themselves on the site, so how has your traffic been so far?
Aird: The site’s traffic has ramped up since the beta launch, with well over a quarter of a million people already using Bizwiki.com per month. We see a great deal of room for growth when the full version of the site goes live next month. The beta is almost over and the new features and functionality are currently being tested before release.
SUB: How are you promoting Bizwiki?
Aird: All our promotion is done online or by word of mouth. We’re also working hard to make sure search engines can index our site, giving companies that don’t even have a website a chance to have their details found on Google, Yahoo and the other search engines.