Anyone who founds a startup is 100 percent convinced by his idea. So we are, too! But still we wanted to know if we are right with our assumptions. Does the market need a product like ours? And how exactly does it have to look so that the potential customers would be satisfied with it? That was our motivation in a non-representative survey. We surveyed more than 50 companies, all of them craft enterprises with company sizes from one to about 200 employees.
We wanted to know this very well and asked precisely: Which software programs are used in companies? What will be sent to customers in which format? How satisfied are the entrepreneurs with electronic tools? What are their wishes?
The good and pleasant news are that digitization in the craft sector is quite advanced. There is no fear of contact with Information Technology. Around 90 percent of companies use special software programs for offers and invoices. Only 10 percent still work with Excel and Word in combination together with an e-mail account.
However, completely different software packages are used, ranging from sector programs for craftsmen to special solutions for a trade and various accounting programs to the widespread MS office solutions. Depending on the solution used and the size of the company, the monthly costs, which are between 25 and 120 euros per month for the paid subscription solutions, also differ.
The picture gets clearer when the entrepreneurs describe what they lack in existing programs. These are the lack of mobility of the applications on the one hand and the lack of opportunity to take photos directly on the other hand. Many entrepreneurs find existing programs too complex, they want simpler user interfaces and the possibility to enter standard texts. Asked about what would make their job easier, requirements ranged from a WhatsApp-like site-building program, to simple and fast tools, to a digital build that included everything from inquiry through offer to billing. Data storage in the cloud is also on the wish list of craft companies. What all really have in common is the desire to make organizational processes as time-saving and efficient as possible. Time is a deciding factor for the interviewed entrepreneurs.
The findings from this survey are a benchmark in product development for us. The zip.app must be easy to use, focus on elementary functions and be both stationary and mobile, as well as usable online and offline. The sending and filing of photos to orders is also a must. We are pleased that our assumptions have been confirmed by the surveyed companies and show us that we are on the right track. We are working hard on the implementation. With passion and the conviction that we build entrepreneurs a digital tool which helps to manage projects and simplify processes.