Follow Quiktract’s journey to launch via its News & Management Insight Blog
I started Quiktract the day I saw a friend of mine get screwed out of $800. This was by no means the first time any fellow freelancer I’ve known has gotten ripped off, but for some reason this time it stung.
It felt permanent, it felt heavy, and must of all – it felt avoidable. As I sat there in his Toyota Matrix I knew this was a problem that could truly be fixed. The only question was, how?
My name is Cole and I’ve worn my fair share of hats over the years. Whether it was designing clothes or writing songs, I’ve always found my place nestled somewhere inside of the creative process. I’ve created things that I am tremendously proud of and equally also created things that make me thankful that there’s such thing as a “delete” button.
Like a lot of creatives in the freelancer industry, I’ve learned pretty much everything I know through a healthy amount of “trial-and-error” and YouTube tutorials. Well everything, except how to run a business.
The mindset of most freelancers (myself included) was always very interesting to me.
How was it that all of us decided to go at it alone, trudging through the maze of the business world, and yet hardly treated ourselves like the businesses we were?
We would find ourselves staring down the barrel of a 6th logo revision questioning why a weekend job has dragged on for a month; only to then wait weeks longer for payment that would then take 2 more weeks to clear.
The truth is, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. One of my favorite sayings ever goes like this, “what you tolerate, you encourage” and that just about sums up the woes of freelance life for me.
The even crazier part was how we would orchestrate these deals in the first place. Never mind tolerating the utterly ambiguous deadlines, the hazy payment dates, and the terms that would magically change. How could we ever expect this to work out?
What’s worse was sometimes deals like this would go off without a hitch, essentially just reinforcing this system. Stringing together two weeks’ worth of text messages to clarify things we could’ve made clear with a simple agreement if we both stopped being “cool” about it.
It was that idea of being “cool about it” that interested me the most during the conceptualization of Quiktract. As silly as it may seem, in the freelance creative world, most contracts have a stigma attached to them. They feel harsh, final, and reek of corporate America (I know right)!
It’s why Quiktract is all about removing that heavy-handed feeling. It’s never been solely about streamlining a process, but rather encouraging clarity.
This is what we strive for at Quiktract.
I want to live in a world where we all feel comfortable laying out the specifics of a job and know that we’re on the same page. I want to live in a world where if plans change we don’t send ourselves down a text conversation rabbit hole fishing for answers.
I’m excited for a future that looks like that, and I think we just might be on our way!
The last six months have been an incredibly busy time for the team at Quiktract and we’re excited to share that we recently marked a major milestone in our journey to make contracts and agreements easy. We’ve launched the Quiktract App on both iOS and Android for public use.
I am incredibly proud of what our team has accomplished, as well as their commitment to bringing a much needed solution to the marketplace. Service providers and buyers alike deserve contractual protection, as well as simplicity when transacting payments. They also deserve a platform and process that makes obtaining that protection easy.
While Quiktract 1.0 is only the first step in a journey that will bring additional functionality to service providers and buyers, we believe we have met our public launch objectives and look forward to garnering feedback from the public.
I’d like to take a moment to thank the team that has been working tirelessly to make the Quiktract App launch a reality. Start-up life is never easy and while we’ve had bumps and hurdles along the way, they have managed to execute on our plan and pull it all together. Quiktract is a first in the marketplace, and given its never easy to carve such a new path, our team deserves a lot of credit for reaching this milestone.
As noted, Quiktract 1.0 is only the first step in a journey that will see additional functionality added to the platform throughout 2019. Working with clients to obtain feedback, innovate and build quickly, we hope to grow the Quiktract App and its value proposition over the coming year. Productivity tools, provider search utilities and document management are just a few of the things users will see added in 2019.
We invite you to provide feedback and suggestions as you use the app to help us continue this journey, refine these future features, and build upon a value proposition that can assist upwards of 200 million Americans annually. Working together with our users I am confident our community and team can grow the platform in a way that helps the ever-growing solopreneur community.
Lee Midkiff, CEO
The Quiktract app allows service providers and buyers to avoid long-form contracts and inconvenient payment methods
Springboro, OH, March 13, 2019 – Quiktract Inc. today announces the release of the company’s mobile application on both the AppStore and Google Play. The Quiktract app provides individual service providers and buyers alike with the ability to get legally binding contracts in writing via their phone, as well as facilitate payments at the end of the job without having to navigate long-form contracts or deal with only cash or check as payment methods.
With an estimated 191 million Americans either buying from or providing services to another individual annually, the person-to-person “gig” economy has never been stronger. From traditional freelance and design work, to landscaping and lawn care, fitness instruction, babysitting, coaching, pet sitting and more, Americans are increasingly dealing directly with each other for their individual service needs.
Despite the strength of the person-to-person service sector, most buyers and providers don’t get the terms of their service arrangement in writing. Quiktract offers buyers and providers “quick contracts” on a mobile platform that gets agreements in writing, amends them in real time as terms change, and facilitates payment at the end of the job. Protection and accountability are delivered to all parties via a process that takes less than 60 seconds and delivers a documented agreement on every job.
“Three quarters of Americans are part of the gig economy whether they consciously realize it or not. Consistently, more and more individuals are working with another individual to meet their service needs,” says Lee Midkiff, Quiktract CEO.
“Despite these trends, individuals aren’t getting the details in writing – even if just on the back of the proverbial napkin. Quiktract makes it easy to get it in writing with simple-to-use, convenient technology.”
The Quiktract app currently includes 14 templates that form the basis of a Quiktract agreement. Quiktract templates available immediately span the entire service sector and include areas like lawn care, digital design and software, pet care, babysitting, handiwork, coaching, tutoring and more. Each Quiktract may be amended in real-time and amendments must be agreed to by both parties in the event scope or job details change during the contracted work.
Furthermore, embedded messaging between the parties not only streamlines communication but results in the automatic creation of service exhibits appended to every Quiktract. Payments are likewise logged within each Quiktract and users are provided with the ability to pay or get paid electronically via the company’s QT Pay platform.
Quiktract Inc. is the first person-to-person contract platform with integrated payments designed specifically for individual service providers, buyers and the general “gig” economy. Via either the Quiktract iOS or Android application individuals are able to create and execute legally binding contracts in less than 60 seconds. Quiktract’s integrated payment functions further allow individuals to quickly send and receive payments electronically directly via the application. Headquartered in Springboro, OH, the company also maintains marketing and development teams in Los Angeles, CA, Minsk, Belarus and Bhavnagar, India.
Quiktract Media Contact:
Name: Sjoerd Martens
The Quiktract team is extremely honored to have been selected to exhibit at next week’s Startup Grind Global Conference. Possibly more so than any other conference, Startup Grind’s Global Conference highlights all sides of the start-up universe in a way that is hard to articulate to those not having traveled the start-up path before. Quite frankly, the name says it all. Startup life is a grind and no matter their success, entrepreneurs understand it is in fact a grind; albeit an exciting one.
With over 8,000 attendees, 212 start-ups from 34 countries exhibiting, and speakers representing those that have reached the pinnacle of start-up success, the conference offers something for everyone. This all comes together within the common theme of building a stronger start-up community. Most founders and start-up teams have all experienced the same challenges at one point or another. A conference that brings together individuals from all stages of the start-up community presents a phenomenal opportunity to learn, make connections, and possibly see what the next best things coming to the market are.
Having been selected to exhibit from thousands of applications is a great testament to our team and the vision they have crafted for Quiktract and Quiktract users. The conference will provide the team with a phenomenal opportunity to network, make some friends and hopefully educate a lot of individuals on the Quiktract App. With 8 out of 10 Americans buying or providing personal service annually, having the opportunity to demo our product, its value and build some excitement to such a large group of potential users is a great way to kick-off Quiktract coming to market.
If you happen to be going to the conference, or are in the Bay Area and consider attending, I’d encourage you to do so. I’d also encourage you to stop by our booth while you are there. The Quiktract team will be represented by members of our management and technical teams throughout the conference and relish having the opportunity to talk about Quiktract and the platform we’ve created.
For more information on Start-up Grind’s Global Conference, feel free to visit https://www.startupgrind.com.
Lee Midkiff, CEO
I was telling a friend of mine about Quiktract and she said she could have used it for her wedding — in a big way! She had a magical day, but definitely not all that was planned (or paid for). The weather, she said, was beautiful and the venue was gorgeous. But the flowers were nowhere to be seen! They finally arrived about 30 minutes before the ceremony was scheduled to start. Apparently, the florist lost track of when and where they were supposed to go. Nothing like a little stress to get everything underway.
The ceremony was perfect. The reception was set to be a garden party. And that was somewhere else Quiktract could have helped. First, the venue that had previously okayed all the games on the lawn verbally said that they had to be moved to an out of the way location on the property. She had no recourse but to have the wedding coordinator set up what she could. Few of the guests made it over to the more out of the way area. With a Quiktract, she’d have had it in writing…and had the games set up where she wanted them (and to which the venue had originally agreed).
Next, the bartenders did not have the instructions she had talked over with their manager on the “champagne buffet” — they ended up providing their own best guesses to guests which caused a lot of bad mixes with resulting fizz overflows. It ended up being a bit of a colorful mess. A Quiktract would have captured everything and ensured that it got passed along to the bartenders.
The food was great (who wouldn’t want a “bacon bar”?), but almost didn’t make it! There was a shakeup at the caterers with the person she had worked with leaving and taking all his files with him. Luckily, she and the caterer were able to piece together the menu, but literally only a day or two before the wedding. That was cutting it very close and added another stressor.
Also, the cake was two tiers smaller than expected and looked nothing like — you guessed it — the verbal discussions she had with the bakery.
After the reception, the wedding coordinator was working through the cleanup the venue required when my friend noticed that she seemed to be getting overheated (it was a very warm day). She and her husband and family ended up helping the wedding coordinator (since the wedding coordinator’s assistant had failed to show). The wedding coordinator was thankful, but there were no changes to the terms of the agreement my friend had signed before the wedding. I thought the coordinator should have offered a reduced fee. My friend thought she might have, but since nobody had a copy of the paper agreement it all kind of got lost in the shuffle.
The last thing on her wedding day was the limo, or really the lack of a limo! My friend and her new husband were waiting for the limo (which had been scheduled for after everyone had left), and waiting, and waiting. When they finally reached the limo owner, he claimed to have no record of the engagement (there was an e-mail trail, so my friend was not imagining things). My friend ended up calling her parents (who had returned to their hotel), who gave her (in her wedding dress no less) and her husband a ride to their house where they retrieved his car. She said that her husband said he felt like he was back in high school being chaperoned to the prom by his date’s parents.
The fun wasn’t done with the wedding day. When she got the photos from the photographer, many of the shots they had discussed were not among the pictures. When she asked the photographer it was clear that they had different perspectives on what was discussed. What my friend thought of as “requirements” were just “suggestions” as far as the creative (but less than thorough) photographer thought. Clearly, it would have helped to spell out what shots had to be included.
I wish Quiktract had been available for my friend (and so did she!). All her problems could have been eliminated or greatly reduced if she had had a simple, quick way to get all the agreements in writing in an easy to change form. (And all the payments could have been handled without her husband having to go through the ceremony with checks and a big wad of cash in his tux!)
I’m in the process of selling my house and the landscaping needed a quick refresh before putting it on the market — curb appeal is no joke! I contacted a small, local landscaping company run by a young couple just starting the business. They did a great job and even had a handwritten document to show the scope and cost of the job.
So, what could have made the experience better for me and for them?
First, while I was impressed with the handwritten, itemized breakdown of costs (on their letterhead no less), it was handwritten and a little less “professional” looking than some of the bigger lawn care companies. (Although more professional than the off the cuff single over numbers I’d gotten from other small outfits.) They also sat in my driveway to put the estimate together and then came back to the door to deliver it. What if they could have sent me an electronic agreement with the itemized list of costs, start date, etc.? Yeah, that would have been better.
Second, we added a couple of things to the list of things for them to do. We did it verbally and in passing — “Want me to take these small trees down while I’m here?” “Sure.” “How about $50?” “Sounds good!” — but what if my expectation was to take the couple of small trees down for $50 total and his was $50 per tree? Again, a quick electronic exchange with terms that captures both parties agreement would be much, much less likely to result in a misunderstanding. That would have been better, too.
Third, the starting date was flexible and got moved because of weather, scheduling and mulch availability (more on that in a second), but I did have showings scheduled and an open house. It would have been better for both of us to have captured the various communications on the date moves into the overall agreement. Everything worked out timing wise, but I could easily have seen that causing an issue. The flexibility they needed and the timing I required could have been addressed in the agreement beforehand (when there is less emotion). If their original agreement had included some simple verbiage around timing — “landscaping is an outdoor activity and scheduling is therefore subject to change” — and been pointed that out to me, that would lessen the chance for disagreement. Better.
Fourth, they agreed to purchase the mulch for me at a set price. It’s late in the season, so their normal source was out of mulch. Their secondary source cost more. While they were able to negotiate a better price, they would have been better protected if the agreement addressed sourcing. I would have been ok with a clause like that during estimating. I would not have been so happy to hear that I needed to pay more for mulch after the fact — it would have felt like a ripoff. Again, better to have thought it out up front and gotten it in writing (templates are great for ensuring that these kinds of items get addressed).
Finally, payment became kind of a hassle in that I had to write a couple of checks. The first one covered one set of work and the second for the completion. The second one in particular caused them to have to come back to my house to get it since I had been away (remember the scheduling changes?). If they had been able to accept an electronic payment from me, that would have saved them a trip to my house and then a trip to the bank. Knowing their busy schedules (and assuming the cash flow needs of any small business), I’m betting they would have loved to simply get the money in their account automatically. So…better, too.
So there are five ways that by all measures was a successful conclusion to an agreement could have been better: a more professional look, a living document with modifications and agreements captured, inevitable schedule changes addressed early, possible term changes addressed beforehand through templates and electronic payments.
Brian Montgomery, Marketing