Stressly: Craig Williams

Self-employed in the maintenance and repair sector for the past 12 years, this entrepreneur decided to take the 'stress' out of home improvements

Name: Craig Williams
Company: Stressly
Location: Cheshire
Employees: 2
Date Launched: 11/04/16
Website: www.stressly.co.uk

Tell us what your business does:

We connect ‘stressed out’ consumers with professionals who can complete the task required.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

After a friend experienced difficulties in finding a plumber, and wasted hours ringing around, it gave me the idea to set up a website where the consumer could post their task online and professionals could bid for the job.  Saving time and money.

After looking for similar ideas online, I came across websites where you have to buy your bids first. This, I thought, could be made easier and cheaper for the professional.

How did you know there was a market for it?

I currently work in the maintenance of properties and know a lot of builders. I spent two months asking around that if they had the option to look at jobs online, would it interest them?

‘Yes’ was the answer all the time, especially when they have a spare few hours on their hands.

I also spoke to local people (consumers) and showed them the website. Their feedback was also very positive with many saying it would save them time from ringing around.

They also liked the fact they could check and submit ratings for the tradesmen.

What were you doing before starting up?

I was working for myself doing maintenance and repair work on properties for 12 years.

Have you always wanted to run your own business?

I have run my own business for 12 years and always wanted to stay in the maintenance/repair sector (it’s what I know) but I decided I could make a difference in how the whole structure of connecting the consumer and the professional works.

How did you raise the money?

Self-funded the business myself.

Describe your business model and how you make money:

Helping ‘stressed out’ consumers and giving young businesses opportunities.

This is what Stressly.co.uk is aiming for with our online platform – connecting talented, reliable and honest professionals with consumers. No more phoning around for quotes, the consumer puts on their task request and the interested professionals bid on the task, a win-win for both parties.

We also aim to achieve an online presence for professionals who have just passed their apprenticeships, or are taking that first leap into going it alone in their chosen profession, as well as well-established companies.

Consumers and professionals can also interact with each other giving advice and arranging times and payments. A feedback page is also available for not just the professional to comment on but the consumers also.

Our actual money is made by a monthly contribution from the professionals, the consumers pay nothing to advertise their tasks.

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

The big challenge at the beginning was three months of getting the website tested making sure everything was in order, numerous testing with friends and family was done.

Our main hurdle now is for more financial backing to get the business across the UK with our marketing.

What was your first big breakthrough?

This had to be getting the website correct and getting our first listing.

What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Go for it and listen to other people as their advice could be invaluable. Enjoy the moment, you will get down beat along the way, keep going and at least you can say you tried your best!

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

Stressly.co.uk to be the name everyone across the UK thinks of first when they want a task solving and they get an honest and reliable service.

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