eventsbuddy: Daryl Jay

Free interactive website enabling users to set up personalised email and SMS alerts

Name: Daryl Jay
Age: 38
Company: eventsbuddy
Staff numbers: 2
Company description: Free interactive website enabling users to set up personalised email and SMS alerts
Tell us what your business does:

eventsbuddy.com is an interactive website enabling our users to set up and manage personalised email and SMS alerts against any topic of personal interest – and all for free!

Where did the idea for your business come from?

I changed mobile phone providers and once my new phone was set up I received a welcome text followed by some handy hints about the new handset. I was impressed with the directness and accessibility, however my thoughts soon turned to “wouldn’t it be good if you could choose to receive things that you were actually interested in?” No time needed to search news feeds or traditional media. To simply have the things you want to hear about come directly to you.

How did you know there was a market for it?

After investigating the market, it became pretty clear nothing similar existed, providing me with the control I wanted. A simple ‘configure and forget – NEVER Miss out again’ service. I was always too busy to go looking for events and activities, and quite often missed out either due to not hearing about something at all, or finding out too late to act. I performed some market research and discovered I was not alone in my experiences.

What were you doing before starting up?

I provided professional business solutions throughout the UK. Things like financial applications, CRM, inventory control and time management tools direct to many well-known UK and international brands. This provided a great foundation and understanding of business, sales and marketing.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

Yes, my Dad always ran his own companies. Although I had the option to join the family business, I always wanted to strike out and forge my own path. Half the battle was finding a good idea.

How did you raise the money?

We are self-financed by two working directors. Although I am pleased to say we have been approached by venture capitalists should we ever wish to raise additional funds.

What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?

The main challenge in the early days was staffing. I first elected to sub-contract with varying success. This led to the bold decision of sourcing the perfect business partner with all the right credentials. Although this involved diluting my own share capital, I can honestly say it was the best decision I could have made. I would advise anyone starting a venture to go in with their eyes wide open and choose the right people to work with. Not just on technical ability, but also vision and drive.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

Promoters can list events, deals and news online for free, or choose to use our tools to create engaging promotions which we send direct to interested opt-in people on a price-per-message basis. Promoters can also choose to ‘sponsor’ a topic on an annual basis.

What was your first big breakthrough?

Initial take up from public users has been fantastic! But our proudest breakthrough has been supporting and providing a service for a large UK Charity to promote fundraising events. We believe if you can give something back – you should.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

I know it sounds cliché but go in with your eyes wide open. Do your due diligence – believe in what you’re doing and don’t procrastinate. There are not many hours in the day so use them wisely. But most importantly, ENJOY it! You’ll develop skills, overcome obstacles and come out better/stronger.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

Our aim is to be a very well-known and respected service throughout the UK and beyond. To provide a trusted and useful personal service bringing relevant news, deals and information to busy people.

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