Whatever you need. Done
San Mateo, California, United States United States
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Company description

Redbeacon will find the right business or person to handle any local service need. 

Request a service (e.g., gardener, carpet cleaner, dance instructor) and interested local providers will receive your request and respond with their price to do your job at the time and place you need it done. 

You can see information about each service provider, how much they'll charge for your job and book your appointment online with the one you like best. Best of all, it's completely free to use! 

Redbeacon launched in September 2009 and won the top prize at the 2009 TechCrunch50 Conference. 

Whatever you need. Done.

Business model
The Company’s primary revenue source is a commission paid by service providers for jobs they win through Redbeacon. Unlike Service Magic (an IAC company with $124M annual revenues), Redbeacon does not charge anything to register a skill profile or even to receive qualified job leads from customers. Service providers are only charged if and when consumers select and schedule real jobs with them.
Redbeacon’s commission is 10% of the job’s value when a service provider quotes a price to complete an entire job, or 10% of their hourly fee (up to the first 5 hours) if they quote a per hour rate. Interviews and surveys with service providers indicate they believe a 10% commission is fair and reasonable and they are excited at the prospect of only paying if they win the job because it represents a more efficient spend than ‘pay per lead’ or ‘Cost per Click’ ad models.
Redbeacon is completely free for consumers to use.
Competitive advantage
With a market this big, there is room for multiple players, methodologies and geographic foci. It is a highly fragmented market, undergoing great change and transformation. But at the highest level, local search today can be classified into four models:
1. Business Directories have comprehensive listings but are essentially limited to browsing and searching with map overlay functionality. When consumers need to look up plumbers in their area or find specific phone numbers and addresses, they are sufficient, but only slightly more powerful than paper-based phone directories.
2. Rating and Review Sites are useful in making decisions about specific service providers, but limited in their functionality and narrow in their use cases. They don’t attempt to understand consumers’ particular service requests, and they don’t provide price quotes or allow jobs to be scheduled online.
3. Lead Generation Sites forward requests from consumers to service providers in their area. Contractors often complain about high fees for registering and receiving job leads, while consumers complain about countless unfiltered phone calls from service providers who may have received their lead.
4. Marketplace Sites are essentially free classifieds listings. Users post service needs or service offerings and hope the other party discovers it. They provide highly variable experiences based on who has recently posted listings and the amount of spammy responses consumers inevitably receive.
Redbeacon attempts to straddle these four models, taking positive elements from each. It has powerful search algorithms, decision support tools such as business profiles and ratings & reviews, a comprehensive base of consumers and service providers registered with the site, and a lead generation business model.
However, Redbeacon is differentiated in that it attempts to match service requests to the best service providers for the job rather than return a list of all service providers in the area. In addition, Redbeacon has innovated the space by soliciting price quotes on behalf of consumers, and allowing job to be scheduled online at the touch of a button.