Just Started – Michael Beer: Industry Alerts

In today’s digital world, competition is fierce for online real estate. Enter Industry Alerts, a competitor intelligence tool designed to help customers get ahead.

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We are a team of writers, experimenters and researchers providing you with the best advice with zero bias or partiality. This article was authored by:

Name of founder: Michael Beer
Age of founder:
30
Location:
Birmingham
Date launched:
October 2021
Number of employees:
4

What does your business do?

Industry Alerts is a competitor intelligence tool, which helps business owners and entrepreneurs stay one step ahead of the competition with intelligent daily email alerts.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

The idea came from working with a client whose business was struggling due to a new competitor that had successfully disrupted an established industry. The client wanted to learn the strategies beyond their competitor's rapid growth and ensure that they weren't taken by surprise again.

How did you know there was a market for it?

Competitive intelligence is a relatively new industry and is forecasted to grow over 10% a year over the next 5 years, as more businesses look to compete in the digital market. We also conducted our own market research which found that over 60% of business owners we spoke to believe that competitor intelligence tools will enable them to increase their income.

What were you doing before launching your business?

For the last 5 years, I have been working as a freelance digital marketing consultant and have had the pleasure of working closely with over 100 businesses across a wide range of industries.

Have you always dreamed of starting a business?

Having grown up in a family where being self-employed is the norm, rather than the exception, I have dreamed of running my own business from an early age. I entered the job market at the tail end of the 2008 recession, and struggled to find a job that I was passionate about. It was an easy decision to create my own.

How did you finance your business?

My business is entirely self-funded thanks to our lean business structure and the income I have been able to generate as a marketing consultant.

Explain your business model and how you make money.

Industry Alerts is a subscription service. Simply subscribe, submit the URLs of the competitors you would like to monitor, and we will start monitoring your competitors and break down their online activities into daily email alerts (and weekly reports).

What are the main challenges you have faced? And how did you overcome them?

The main challenge has been the fear that comes with taking the leap of faith to dedicate myself to a new passion project. It is only due to the support I have received from my partner, that I have been able to overcome this fear and dedicate the time required to launch Industry Alerts.

What has your experience been of starting a business during a pandemic?

Without the pandemic, which increased the demand on marketing consultants like myself and resulted in me increasingly working from home, I doubt I would have been able to launch Industry Alerts. The boost in income, fewer workplace distractions and the reduction in time spent commuting, enabled me to get things rolling and set the foundations so that I was able to take the leap of faith when required.

Describe your first breakthrough.

The first breakthrough came when we were completely overwhelmed by requests to become beta testers for our software. The level of demand to test our tool beat all expectations and has enabled us to launch a tool that was developed based on community support and feedback.

How has Brexit impacted your business? Do you think it will in the future?

Brexit has had no noticeable impact on our business to date, with the only likely impact being more complicated rules with selling our services to businesses outside the UK.

What advice would you give to other aspiring business owners?

Focus on obtaining beta testers from your target market, and develop a tool that meets their requests and demands. We have saved a lot of time by not developing tools that we thought were cool, but after community feedback, we realised these features were a low priority for our early adopters.

What is one resolution you have for your business this year?

Under-promise and over-deliver! I am passionate about offering high-quality support to our customers and believe that we should focus on exceeding their expectations.

How do you see your business developing in the next three years?

The vision for Industry Alerts goes beyond what we offer to date, with many additional features already in development. I am most excited about our competitive landscape research project which we are launching later this year, and will enable us to establish ourselves as thought leaders in competitive intelligence amongst our target audience.

If you're a business owner with a startup that's less than six months old, apply now to feature as one of our Just Started business profiles.

Helena is from Yorkshire and joined Startups in 2021 from a background in B2B communications. She has previously written for a popular fintech startup covering everything from money-saving tips to cultural reviews.

She is particularly interested in project management software and the films of Peter Jackson.

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