Fastgardener founder saw crowdfunding as best route to grow Uber for gardening? app
We make commission from services booked via our platform. 3) What makes you different and why should people take notice? There’s no quicker or easier way to book a gardener than with us. To ensure users have complete peace of mind, we only take payment 24 hours after the work has been complete so that customers have a chance to inspect the work and confirm they’re satisfied with our service. Were also growing very fast, so by Spring 2018 well have gardeners covering every major city in the UK, and well be the only company with this reach. We also have a couple of exciting technology projects underway that will make garden maintenance and garden design easier and more accessible to everyone than ever before. (4) What was key in terms of getting started If, like us, you’re a working parent in a dual-income household, you’re always short of time but you want to keep your house and garden in order. When we struggled to get a reliable gardener ourselves, we saw a problem, identified a gap in the market and landed a solution quickly. Fastgardener was making money within days of going live. We quickly validated our assumption that our solution had a demand and weve continued applying a validated learning approach ever since. 5) How did you go about raising finance for the business Like many startups, we boot-strapped the funding initially but, now that that were ready to scale up, weve been crowdfunding on Seedrs, where weve managed to smash our funding target. Were currently 130 per cent overfunded and are hoping to reach 150 per cent so that we can deliver our next stretch goal. 6) What’s been the key to your social media success? Which platforms do you use Facebook and Twitter are currently our main channels although LinkedIn has been fantastic for crowdfunding and we also use Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. We use our platforms to show case our work and we aim to create interesting content that our followers engage with. Gardening is a topic many people are passionate about and want to discuss, so it’s great to be a part of the conversation. 7) What setbacks have you had along the way? Let’s face it, weather-wise this summer hasn’t been great! Rainy days mean rearranging bookings. I think the whole country would join me in hoping for a drier, warmer summer in 2018. 8) What’s so good about the sharing economy?
When it’s done right, the sharing economy allows people to get more work at times that are convenient for them. We make it easy to get more cash in our gardeners? bank accounts. Platforms like ours also make it easier than ever for people who want to work for themselves to get set up. Weve done the marketing and pricing, so its effortless for our gardeners to get more gardening jobs. They know upfront what theyll be paid and they don’t waste time on marketing or providing quotes. Our gardeners love this. 9) What one tip would you give to others starting out? Read the book The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, and understand and apply its methods to your business. This will save you time, money and frustration. £10) Which influential figure would you most like to partner with in business and why? Mark Zuckerberg really believes in the potential of technology to make the world a better place. He’s pioneering some game-changing applications of virtual and augmented reality which I believe will catalyse significant disruption in a number of markets. Im betting on gardening being one of those. Watch this space for fastgardener’s foray into this realm. The founder of Blok Knives got business inspiration from YouTube videos