you need to define your BRAND IDENTITYSuzanne Noble,
“You could call me a serial entrepreneur. I started my first company with a couple of friends in the late 90s and we produced a series for Channel 4 called The Astrology Show. For a year after that, I was the astrologer/presenter’s ghostwriter and I wrote astrology columns for a number of publications including The Mirror. Following that, I had two children within 2 years and became interested in the nursery industry, creating and selling an over-the-shoulder baby sling, mainly via mail order. My husband at the time was working in PR, operating an Agency from our loft and when he became too busy, I joined him, selling the sling business to one of my customers. I didn’t know much about PR but I quickly picked it up and within 8 years we had a dozen staff and were turning over more than a £1m. We launched the DVD format in the UK, Harry Potter on DVD and were one of the first companies to work with
By then I’d caught the Internet bug and was completely fascinated by the web and everything to do with it. Our company had its own website in the mid-90’s and I worked with a developer on a CRM specifically tailored to communicate with the many journalists on our database. I even learned a bit of Dreamweaver so I could do minor fixes on the site when someone needed a word or an image changing!
Although we disbanded the business in 2008, I carried on working in PR, taking my biggest client, the award winning children’s TV series LazyTown, with me.
We found some great guys in Shoreditch called Inktrap and we struck a deal for them to build an iOS app and website, the first one they had ever done. It was a leap of faith for us but they were enthusiastic about the product. Thanks to the help of an Innovate Voucher from the government, we built a sophisticated web scraping tool that curated content from various ticketing sources, as well as Facebook, that we then edited to showcase a range of events on the App, all a tenner and under or free. Being somewhat naïve about the technology sector, I foolishly believed that if I got enough users, I could find a way to monetize the App. That
We started hunting around for investment and finally managed to scrape together just under £75k from friends, family and a few Angel investors that we had met at various events over the years. That money enabled us to transition the business to a marketplace on web and mobile, with various event promoters adding their own events. We spent as little as we could from the investment so we had a bit left over for marketing but the development took nearly a year. There was a period of time where we were actually running the old App alongside our new website which was a very challenging and stressful period of time.
By that point, my son had joined Tikiri and myself. He was responsible for
Then there was the fact that what had started out as a destination for passionate bargain hunters, such as myself, had turned into a ticketing site. That wasn’t my plan! Lesson number two – if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it’s no fun! With a little bit of cash left, we then decided that we had to do something radical. We knew that
We hired a designer to refresh our logo and then set up creating a site that would aggregate all the daily deals across the UK in four main categories – health/beauty, travel, activities/events and shopping. We redesigned the entire site so that it had a clear brand identity. We decided that as a small business there was simply no point in trying to compete against companies that had millions so we would work with them instead. We now pull in content from Culture24 (events at galleries/museums), Groupon, Wowcher, and Escape Privee and will soon have
We have a database of tens of thousands to whom we can market to and we’re now finally in a position to be a revenue generating and self-sustaining business. The new site launched last week so it’s early days and we’re still making tweaks to it but we now feel we’re in a great position to make
It has all taken a very long time, much longer than we thought it would but we’re both very excited about the future. I know it’s a cliché, but in our case it’s definitely true, “If at
We’d like to thank Suzanne for telling us her story! Learn about here.