Being still quite a young product, there’s always plenty of enhancements that we’d love to make, enhancements that members might like to see and then there are the enhancements that we actually do make to the CircleSource Platform. And I’m not talking about minor bugs, fixes and changes that are just part of normal business operation, it’s more about anything that takes the platform just another little (or big) step forward, improving the experience for our members. Whether it’s an enhancement to existing functionality or something completely new, user experience is at the core. Of course, we have to think about things like complexity, time and cost, but foremost it’s about the benefits; will it help make things easier for members, is it cool? Coolness is not a formal measure but sure comes into it when you create something.
Latest Product Enhancement: Budget Range
So let’s take a look at this new enhancement, and what it does.
A pretty simple but powerful change, the ability to now post jobs with a budget range replaces the previous ‘free’ field where a Buyer would enter an exact amount. We found in many cases the first question that Suppliers will ask is “what is your budget” so shifting to a set of budget ranges was a logical step, providing a number of benefits for all members:
- We know it can be difficult coming up with an exact amount but we also know Buyers usually have a sense of where they think the cost might fall, or at least how much they want to spend. Using a range of say $2000- $5000 is much easier than coming up with an exact figure.
- Setting a budget amount too low or too high are both problematic scenarios. The former can deliver some real shocks and the latter may put you in real danger of paying too much. There’s something to be said for ‘gut feel’ so budget ranges make it much easier to follow that.
- It’s also important for Suppliers to have a sense of the size of the Job. This not only helps them determine if it’s suitable for the size and scale of their business, but if they do pitch, they have a good idea of what the Buyer is thinking about. This works for both ends of the spectrum, small and large Jobs alike. Suppliers, from sole traders to larger organisations, need to know whether it’s either too big for the size and scale of their operation or it’s just not worth their while pitching.
There are not many times when we have no idea at all on the dollars and I for one certainly have some sort of “what I think’s about right” or “what I’m comfortable with” range somewhere in mind. Really helps manage expectations for all parties at the end of the day.