Expertise is one of the Fastest Growing Online Marketplace Commodities

Speaking at a recent Trade and Industry dinner, Business Secretary Vincent Cable noted that entrepreneurs are now 10% of the workforce, compared to 6% two years ago, and talked about his hope that the UK can become a centre for disruptive technologies.

This type of disruptive thinking is what inspired serial entrepreneur Linda Cheung and her team to launch a new tool to help entrepreneurs and enterprise.

HonestyBoxx helps start-ups to monetise their output and access the advice they need, from the outset.

The likelihood is that prospects are already landing on your websites and blog posts via content, social media, recommendations or referrals. When bloggers or SMEs add HonestyBoxx to their blog or website they’re telling visitors that they are happy to answer their questions in exchange for a fair fee. By adding a simple widget, your readers can quickly and privately ask questions that are vital to their business and make a payment for the answer.

By providing an easy way to collect questions and payments from website visitors, HonestyBoxx instantly provides a new source of revenue and a stream of warm leads for larger pieces of work. It’s unusual now to find a business that doesn’t have a virtual shop front. HonestyBoxx is just like the honesty boxes you sometimes see at small stores – only for websites. It provides a new way to build know-like-trust but politely side stepping awkward situations where contacts have an expectation that you will give valuable time and knowledge for free. HonestyBoxx allows you to add a simple in line or fly out widget to your website. Now visitors can ask questions and pay a small fee for that advice.

HonestyBoxx has the potential to make an impact on the revenue of a wide range of online operators. Aligned in conjunction with a blog. The ability to pay for single issue quality pieces of micro advice could tempt many. Of course much will depend on the strength of your reputation and the overall quality of advice given. HonestyBoxx can help start-ups, small businesses and individuals access affordable expertise from lawyers, accountants, consultants and other services professionals and help professionals from across the globe find new clients.

HonestyBoxx CEO Linda Cheung said: “By helping buyers connect with professionals around the globe we’re changing the game for the little guy. Now small businesses, start-ups and individuals anywhere can get the expert advice they need to solve their problems and make informed decisions. By helping small businesses reach a new market for their expertise, we’re providing them with a stream of warm leads and clients at a time when new business is at a premium.”

“To be honest, I’m surprised that someone hasn’t thought of this simple idea before.” Linda added “The services sector has remained largely unchanged by ecommerce and the internet, but with the current economic climate we believe the time is right for change. Services firms have always won new business by demonstrating their expertise. These days the initial hook is provided by websites and blog posts. HonestyBoxx provides the next step so that experts can earn directly from their websites.”

Duncan Johnson who runs digital agency Yodelay added, “I think the HonestyBoxx concept is pure genius. Small businesses can get instant access to expertise at a price they can afford and the experts are able to make their downtime profitable. The simple process of paying for quality information also helps small businesses to value the time of a consultant whilst not breaking their bank account.”

Heather Townsend, British Accountancy Awards Judge 2011 and 2012, and co-author of ‘How to Make Partner and Still Have a Life’ said “HonestyBoxx solves a problem for many lawyers and accountants: How can you quickly get recompensed for your knowledge without your clients having to formally contract with you – particularly when all they needed was 10-15 minutes of your time. Now, small businesses can get access to the financial and legal expertise they need to grow, and accountants and lawyers are able to make their downtime profitable while building relationships with entrepreneurs.”

“It offers a great opportunity for the younger professionals in a firm to increase their chargeable time without requiring a partner or senior manager to have sourced the work in the first place,” says Townsend.

With the growth of the entrepreneurial economy there will undoubtedly be increased demand for affordable on-demand expertise and startups like HonestyBoxx will create new and disruptive marketplaces.

Mike Tinmouth, Founder of TheSocialPro
Mike is a journalist and entrepreneur who has worked with a range of dynamic businesses to build, engage and monetise online communities. His publishing credits include Your Better Business, LUX Worldwide and Entrepreneur Country Magazine, while writing regularly across the b2b press and worked with the BBC on a series of reports on the transparency of Facebook.

His experience of bridging the knowledge divide between corporates and small business has seen him work with startups, growth businesses and multi-nationals including Costa Coffee, IBM, Microsoft and Vodafone.