Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded or joined Fixando
Miguel Mascarenhas: Fixando isn’t the first company that I founded with the team. Overall, we all have over 10 years of experience with online marketplaces and more specifically online classified ads. We took a closer look at this market and discovered a gap in the brokerage of services. There are a lot of platforms for buying and selling physical products – whether new or used – but not so many for services. That’s where Fixando comes in!
How does Fixando innovate?
Miguel Mascarenhas: Fixando is making it as easy as possible for customers and service providers to get into business. Our customers can hire a service provider with just a few clicks, and not just anyone, but an absolute expert in their field and at a fair price. This is where our rating function comes in handy, as every customer can rate their service provider once the work is completed.
The same applies for our service providers. We’re making it as easy as possible for them to gain new customers and business, and also to get access to new opportunities. This is really helpful for tradespeople, for example. Despite many being experts in their field, they often have a hard time when it comes to marketing, and especially online marketing. Fixando offers these professionals an online presence which is easy to manage and provides them with new business.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business and how are you coping?
Miguel Mascarenhas: Our service providers definitely were affected by the lockdown, they were out of work practically overnight, and we knew we had to do something to keep their businesses afloat. In less than a week – with all of our team working from home – we were able to work together and launch a new sub-brand: Fixando+24, where every service can be carried out remotely. In addition to this, all of our service providers can now identify themselves as “safe”.
They can do this if they adhere to specific hygiene regulations when working with customers, for example wearing a mask and regularly disinfecting their hands. We have also established a few features which allow the service provider to make their work processes even more efficient. This includes a calendar function and the ability to contact clients directly via Whatsapp.
Did you have to make any difficult choices and what lessons did you learn?
Miguel Mascarenhas: The pandemic showed us how important it is to quickly adapt to new situations and find growth opportunities in the middle of chaos, not only as a company but also on a more personal level. The last three months have been a real adventure: we had to scrap most of our 2020 business plans so we could find solutions to challenges that we had never experienced, or even considered before.
What do you think the future has in store for Fixando?
Miguel Mascarenhas: Our goal is to make hiring local service providers as simple and transparent as possible. We’re on the right track, but there are still some features that we want to build. We also want to continue our international growth – we’re particularly active in Spain and Portugal, and we’re already beginning to grow in a few other countries. Being able to move at this speed is once of the perks of running such a scalable business!
Basically, we want to develop a household name, i.e. a go-to place to search for local services. 10 or 20 years ago, everyone would use the yellow pages when they were looking for someone, and we want Fixando to be the yellow pages of the 21st century.