Trusty’s is a new local search engine/review database for blue collar service workers, aiming to help small businesses establish reputations while giving consumers an easy way to find the services they’re looking for. While there are a number of sites out there that allow users to rate their experiences with local services (including countless niche communities), most of them are purely user-generated, and don’t give businesses any control over their profiles.
Rather than leave all content creation to consumers, Trusty’s is taking a different approach. Each company is invited to create their own profile, where they can list their contact information, credentials, and other information that is effectively forms an online resume. Users can visit these profiles and leave ratings and comments that business aren’t able to edit without contacting Trusty’s (as they would in the case of profanity or obviously misleading reviews).
The site also sports an impressive search engine that extends beyond basic keyword matching. Each service provider is broken into a general catagories, and can include specialties (which are essentially search-friendly tags). This segmentation makes it easier to browse the site’s growing database, which currently has over 2000 service providers.
One potential issue with the site is that users are unable to create profiles for companies not yet in the database, which could frustrate users eager to report an especially bad or good experience (they can however send an Email to a company and recommend that it join). Founder Kit Cody says that the site isn’t necessarily trying to become a comprehensive database of all service providers, but is instead trying to become a directory for the best ones looking to build up a positive reputation in the local community.
Trusty’s will face off against quite a few competitors, including leading sites like Angieslist and smaller startups like Workstir, which launched in November. As with other sites in this space, it will face the classic chicken-and-the-egg problem: until it has some reviews, it will have a hard to attracting new users to write reviews.