Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software

Wpcurve like service but for Excel


#1

The web hosting world runs on wordpress with a market share of nearly 60%.
Similar to this most businesses use Excel in some form or another.

For WordPress there is Wpcurve where you can get 24/7 support and bugfixing for your WordPress installation.

This leads me to the question, do you think the same thing would be a viable business model in regards to Excel? Something like

'For xx$/month we will answer any excel question you might have and will create or fix your spreadsheets according to your needs, 24/7. ’

Is this already a thing? Is this a dump idea to begin with?


#2

When I worked for one of the well known management consultancies we had an Indian service we used where we sent the powerpoint (or even just drawings) or excel file and they completed it overnight. We had to do the thinking though and you had to be very precise in giving instructions. But it did save time and was helpful when you were too tired to care about details in excel / powerpoint.

I forgot the name of the Indian company we worked with but I remember it was a huge company. Our data was from clients and was very sensitive, as a result the setup was quite enterprise-y with no files leaving our own servers. But there may be room for an equivalent service in the SMB market.


#3

I think there could be. I’ve personally helped friends and colleagues out with Excel stuff from time to time and have been able to show them some basic tricks to save lots of time and they come away thinking I am some sort of Excel ninja guru!

But then again it baffles me that people will persist with an hour of some boring drudge re-typing or modifying something in a spreadsheet without thinking “There must be a better way, should I look for it?”. But maybe these people are beyond help and not customers?

Pros

  • easy content marketing. Excel tips!
  • as with all ‘wpcurve models’ its easy to give it a go to test it out, you don’t need to build anything but a basic site, some content, a ‘drip’ email campaign etc. Little investment, quick answers.

Cons

  • would you actually be interested in actually running a business like this? Its basically a support desk and we know how frustrating support can get. At small scale you’re doing this yourself, at large scale your hiring / managing low cost remote help. Also not very defensible.

#4

That is a good point. When working with customer data (for example to fix an error in a spreadsheet) it could be necessary to make arrangements to protect the data. Can you share how this has been accomplished?

I agree, some people are just beyond help. But then again if a clear support path is provided most people will use it. Unfortunately the normal IT support in any company will refuse to help with stuff like fixing Excel spreadsheets as this is not what they are there for.

Is there any business model where you don’t have to do or manage support?


#5

>Is there any business model where you don’t have to do or manage support?

No - but thats pretty much ALL these types of business are.


#6

There’s a definitely need for this, but not sure if there’s a market. As @Rhino pointed out, there’s a lot of people out there using excel in sub-optimal ways. I’m not sure how often they seek help, though.

Wordpress newbies know they want some small tweak done, they know they can’t do it, and they know they can hire someone for cheap. Wpcurve helps the subset of these folks who are willing to pay a little more to avoid the hassle of hiring someone.

It’s easy enough to validate a service like wpcurve: jump on upwork and find out if there’s a lot of small, simple, similar jobs. Likewise for Excel: jump on upwork and look for jobs. If there are people already looking for help with small, simple excel tasks, then you’re on to a winner.


#7

@danielherken, maybe we should chat… :wink: My product, with an existing user-base: https://www.formuladesk.com


#8

Great idea! I just spent an hour on upwork (oh god their UI is awful) and it seems that there are lot’s of jobs for creating or modifying excel spreadsheets. So far so good.

Maybe we should. I’ll send you a PM.


#9

That product seems ideal for Content Marketing around Excel tips.
Have you read Content Marketing by Dan Norris? it’s quite good.


#10

Thanks for your tip. No, I haven’t but I’ll add it to my shortlist. I have his “The 7 Day Startup” though - a great read.

I’ve always been a little reluctant to go down the content marketing route - it appears too time-consuming, but I suppose if the payback is there, then why not :wink: