Total Freelance Limited: Aaron Regan
The tech entrepreneur talks about finding a niche in the market by connecting businesses with talented freelancers, and ignoring the "haters"...
Name: Aaron Regan
Company Name: Total Freelance Limited
Location: West Midlands
Date Launched: 17/11/15
No. of employees: 3
Tell us what your business does:
Total Freelance Limited connects quality UK-based freelancers, contractors and independent professionals with businesses, entrepreneurs and not-for-profit organisations.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
I found it very difficult to find a quality UK-based freelance graphic designer.
How did you know there was a market for it?
We researched the existing online freelance marketplaces and job boards and realised they were:
1) Too internationally focused
2) Too permanent-jobs focused
So, we decided to speak with UK freelancers and businesses to see if a marketplace focused on the UK would be of interest, and it was!
What were you doing before starting up?
Micky and I were engineers in the rail industry and Jack worked as a senior technology analyst in mergers and acquisitions.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
Yes – I always liked the thought of building something that adds value to other people’s lives.
How did you raise the money?
We have raised £20,000 in bank funding and through a grant. We have also contributed to the business from our own pockets.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
The business connects freelancers and those seeking their services, while other sites take a chunk of commission from completed jobs we charge a small monthly fee to users. We have found that those willing to pay offer better quality.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Raising money was a challenge, we initially had an in-house developer who left because the project was too much to take on with a job on the side.
We wrote a business plan, went to the bank and secured funding with little experience doing so. The money we secured was more than enough to fund development of the platform.
What was your first big breakthrough?
When we created our basic website and listed our value proposition and received over 1,000 email addresses from interested freelancers, businesses and charities. It’s a great feeling when you create something that people want to be a part of.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Focus, focus, focus and look after your health. Staying healthy mentally and physically keeps you focused on your aims and objectives. Believe me, it’s a great feeling when you get there, just believe in yourself and ignore toxic people i.e. haters!
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
In five years’ time, I want to be providing multiple services for freelancers, businesses and charities within the UK. A constant focus on improving something everyday will help me get there.