Jessica Choi, Co-founder of Hirely (www.hirely.asia) was one of the first people I met in HK in my startup journey. And she has certainly been very supportive and friendly since then which is a lovely thing. So I was excited when she was able to share about her startup journey with us at Next Chapter.
What is your business?
Hirely (www.hirely.asia) is an online booking platform for events professionals and entertainers, like photographers, caterers and magicians. We deliver customized quotes to people & corporates planning parties so they can compare pricing, read reviews, and hire the right professionals in a click.
How have you incorporated technology into your business model?
We are bringing a fresh twist to an inefficient process of party planning.
Organizing a party should be fun! Yet, it’s dreary and painful and looks a little bit more like this - digging through directories and playing phone tag with vendors that give ridiculous quotes. Our technology transforms the way people hire vendors by bringing the expertise people are seeking straight to them, simply and quickly.
Here’s how it works:
For the Party Organizers
1. Submit a job request on Hirely (www.hirely.asia).
2. Receive quotes and compare professionals based on business profiles, photos and reviews.
3. Hire the best professional and throw the perfect party!
Similarly, we aim to help event service freelancers and small businesses gain access to real-time demand for their services, painlessly choose which opportunity they want to take on and help them manage their bookings and requests online.
For the Party Professionals/Entertainers
1. Submit a professional profile on Hirely (www.hirely.asia).
2. Start receiving job requests and send quotes. Communicate with the party planner anytime.
3. Get hired and grow your business!
What is the biggest challenge / impact in merging a traditional business with new technology?
The biggest challenge is educating the vendors that have been running their business offline for many years. It’s never easy to switch old habits overnight. However, once they understand the value of Hirely and get used to the simple functionalities, they keep coming back. They’re hooked!
Any suggestions on how people can incorporate tech into their business model?
Always start small! There’s no point spending months on end (and bleeding hard-earned money!) for the bells and whistles that your customer don’t find value in. Instead, stick to the lean startup model: build, measure, learn, repeat. Communicate with your customers (no matter how small of a group) consistently to improve your product. Finally, user experience is extremely important. Keep things simple and easy-to-use.
Can you share insights on where technology will continue to impact your industry?
It’s a huge market here in Asia, but it continues to be a fragmented and underserved market. It is also one of the most archaic industries in the way that things are done. There are awesome startups in this space already in HK trying to disrupt this giant market - VenueHub.hk, Pelago.events, Ticketflap.com - just to name a few!
What is your #dreambig for your company?
To change the way Asia parties!