WhosOff.com, the Canterbury-based online staff leave planner that boasts many companies in the USA among its newly-signed up 700 paying customers worldwide - totalling some 22,000 members - has started a year-long push into Europe by sponsoring a lorry from Dover freight firm Heritage International Transport.
The promotion follows the switch by WhosOff.com on December 15th 2009 from a free to paid only service. The refrigerated vehicle has been emblazed with the WhosOff.com trademarked logo and will be seen all over Europe - and the UK - during the next 12 months.
WhosOff co-founder Reg Groombridge says, "Sponsoring a lorry is something of an innovative way to promote a new service. It's raising more than a few eyebrows because road transport firms have traditionally promoted themselves on their vehicles. It could catch on as a revenue generator for the firms; we are confident it is good for WhosOff.com and Heritage."
Founded three years ago by software development and new media firm X:drive, of Canterbury, WhoseOff.com had gained 65,000 members - and logged nearly 750,000 holiday and paid time off requests - by the time the service ended as a free version on December 14, 2009.
A new customer is Cyclescheme Ltd, which heads The Sunday Times Fast Track 100 companies and is a popular provider of cycle to work schemes for UK employers of all sizes.
Groombridge says, "On December 15th we went paid-only and have had a fantastic conversion rate, to 700 companies and their 22,000 staff in 42 countries.
"With WhosOff judged by CEOWorld Magazine as one of the top six web dates and calendar web applications in the world, we decided to plough more resources into developing it further. The paid-for business model allows us to do that and plan ahead to more than double our user base during 2010."
Groombridge adds that WhosOff shows that popular web services don't always need to raise venture capital or other major funding.
"It's still possible to launch web-based services at low cost and build up their user base to a healthy level. And it's not just Silicon Valley type companies that take on the world and succeed - WhosOff is proof of that."
Customers include Cyclescheme and another company in the top 10 of The Sunday Times Fast Track 100, a Dragons' Den panel member's company and a major global blue chip soft drinks manufacturer. Typical customers have between five and 500 employees.
Customers are found in Hong Kong, India, Australia, the Cayman Islands and many other countries. The UK has the biggest customer base, followed by the USA, then Ireland and Canada in fourth place.
More about WhosOff Quick view:
*Displays holidays, or leave, in an easy to follow format for all staff. It's like looking at the planner on the wall behind the secretary's desk - but is available online from anywhere.
*Members can add their own leave types *Quick and Easy to use. *Time saving - frees up secretaries and line managers to get on with more important things.
*Helps with a job that all businesses struggle with on a daily basis *Allows firms to manage staff absences at anytime, anywhere.
*A recent innovation allows members to create calendar feeds from WhosOff by person, department or company for use with Outlook, Google and ICal calendars, allowing them to be kept informed without going online.
*Low cost - e.g. a firm with 100 staff pays only £63.50 + VAT per month in total which equals £0.64p per person per month. More at www.whosoff.com and twitter.com/whosoff
For further information contact: Reg Groombridge, WhosOff, email email@example.com, tel +44 (0)1227 764806
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