Posted: Fri 10th Jul 2015
The first app from startup app development company Galago Media is Bubble Banter which allows users to create the ultimate social media meme. Company founder and Enterprise Nation member Gareth Wimble explains the story behind his brand.
What was your motivation to start your own business?
I assume every start-up will say that it had always been a dream of theirs, but I think when it really started to take shape for me was when the App Store took off. Suddenly you could access a potentially enormous worldwide market with seeming endless possibilities, if you managed to develop that app that appealed to the masses.
The other appeal was that it initially created a very level playing field and allowed anyone with some coding knowledge or an idea to enter the market and have a chance of succeeding. With the amount of marketing that needs to be spent now to distinguish the apps, this is perhaps a little less so, but there are still no initial huge barriers to entry.
Whilst you were starting up how did you balance home life with work?
I was lucky enough to be able to allocate a room as a makeshift office. Keeping it separate from the rest of your home is an important distinction to make. There is nothing to stop you working outside or at a coffee house (if hiring office space is not an option), but I think it was important for me to separate from my normal living area, as you then run the risk of getting caught up in home activities or your home constantly feeling like an office. Even then though, with the 'office' being so close, it is very easy to get caught up in work until the early hours of the morning and your work day can become completely out of sync with regular office hours.
What's your tip for effective sales and marketing?
Don't go for the hard sale by demanding potential customers buy your product; no one likes goods forced on them. Show them how the product you are selling is going to make things better, easier or more fun for them and you will have far more traction.
Which tools could you not live without in your business?
Given we outsource the development itself, the main tools we use are simply the Mac and iPhone to test the development. Our 'tools' are more the people we work with and we have been very lucky to find a great development team, marketing team and designer, so I think a strong team is our greatest tool.
What's been your biggest business success to date?
We are at the very start of the process so, honestly our biggest success has simply been taking the idea right through the process to a finished product. Little things like simply seeing it actually listed on the App Store were a great thrill. Having little knowledge of the process at the start of the project, it has been a steep, but very rewarding learning curve and keeping the motivation throughout has been a challenge in itself!
What are your ambitions for the next five years?
Short term: With our first application we wanted to create something that would simply provide users with some fun and stimulate some banter between friends and in the process of having it developed, provide us with some invaluable knowledge into how the app development process worked. We do believe the app itself has real potential and hopefully we can expand our user base quickly, by getting people of all ages involved and having fun using it. As with all apps acquisition is a very real possibility, though at this stage our first priorities are building our user base and increasing frequency of use. We would also like to integrate some charity work at some stage as we feel the app lends itself well to this.
Long term: Ultimately we have some other ideas that we would like to get developed, both simple and a bit more complex, but ideally we'd like to do some educational ones next.
How does being a member of Enterprise Nation help your business grow?
The courses, meet-ups and webinars are all great ways to get wisdom from people who have been there and done similar things and hearing both their successes and possibly more so, their mistakes, is very refreshing, as firstly it is good to know that you are not alone in making them and secondly where you can learn from those means avoiding making them yourself.
I also believe that fellow start-ups are the ones that are most likely to help you with your project. They have either been through the same process or are currently going though it, so they understand that it is tough and how much even the littlest push or bit of help means. Don't get me wrong, you will always find friends and family who will do all they can for you and are invaluable, but fellow start-ups, for people that don't know you, often show a great willingness to help, for no other reason than they have been there. They are also more likely to be able to put you in contact with the right people or at least steer you in the right direction.
If you'd like to join Gareth and become an Enterprise Nation member to access exclusive benefits, sign up now. We may even profile you and your business!
You can meet lots more Enterprise Nation members here.