Getlaunched.co.uk: Syed Ahmed
The former Apprentice contestant explains his new venture, getlaunched.co.uk
“We want to project people’s personalities along with their services.”
From his time on the Apprentice, Syed Ahmed has learned that first impressions are everything in business. For all the slack it’s cut by the market, your business could be a candidate standing before Sir Alan Sugar. You are judged in an instant. Syed’s new venture getlaunched.co.uk aims to help start up businesses make the best possible first impression: via videos on their website.
Syed explains: “Whereas before you’d have a face-to-face meeting to establish a relationship with new clients, now when you launch a company a customer’s first point of contact is your website. It’s important they get a great first impression of your business.”
The idea for getlaunched.co.uk was sparked by difficulties Syed encountered in setting up effective websites for his own start ups. The process of liaising with a network of web designers, with one developer in India, another in London and a third in Italy, left him frustrated. He couldn’t find a one-stop service to set up a site that would project the personality behind his business.
Then he met Robin Block, erstwhile television director and CEO of video communications firm Red Sky Vision, at a networking evening. They talked and discovered Robin’s tech skills could work well with Syed’s marketing panache. They decided to create a web video content provider to help start ups communicate their sales messages with flair: the idea for getlauched.co.uk was born.
For the first six to twelve months, the pair carried out intensive market research, looking at consumer behaviour regarding products and services. They found that web video was likely to bring a start up company’s marketing to the next level: apparently, out of 80% of viewers who watch an online video advert, 28% look for more information and 16% make a purchase.
Both Syed and Robin invested a lot personally in getlaunched.co.uk, with further funding provided by private investors.
The site had a soft launch with about five to ten companies ‘making noise’ through web videos featuring people from their own businesses and testimonials from key clients. Results were so promising that the company launched fully in November 2008.
So far, things are going well, and Syed says they have picked up about fifty leads since November. They are entirely focused on year one and the pair have projected a turnover in the region of £300,000 to £500,000 for this year. Robin and Syed are certain that the start-ups who feature on getlaunched.co.uk will be as successful as they see the site itself becoming.
“Video’s engaging, it’s dynamic, it’s efficient, it’s clear. And you can build trust,” Syed explains.
“We want businesses to make as much noise about themselves as possible so they can increase their turnover – and be a success.”