Hi, I'm one of the founders of Resource Guru - a web app that helps companies schedule their resources - http://resourceguruapp.com. I'm also the owner of stag and hen party website StagsandHens.com. Random - I know! I'd love to chat to anyone interested in investing in Resource Guru. I'm also happy to discuss our startup experiences with anyone thinking about doing something similar.
"Eventually I realised that, no matter how hard or late I worked, my salary stayed pretty much the same. The only way to really get paid properly for your hard work is to either become a manager and join the board or get out and start your own thing. I knew I didn't want to become a 9-to-5 manager chained to a desk, so I got out." - Great work Andrew, best of luck with it all!
If anybody reading this needs some advice on starting a web-based business, I'd be happy to give them some advice. Just drop me a line through http://www.stagsandhens.com/" rel="nofollow">StagsandHens.com
I'm running http://www.stagsandhens.com/" rel="nofollow">www.StagsandHens.com which is a business I set up in 2004 to help people organise stag and hen parties. I spend quite a bit of time developing and maintaining the site, as well as answering customer emails.
I was a digital Project Manager/Producer for around 8 years, mostly working in marketing agencies. I was responsible for managing website builds, email campaigns and all things digital. I've worked in some of the top agencies like Razorfish and Good Technology and for some big clients like Guinness, Microsoft and Smirnoff.
Eventually I realised that, no matter how hard or late I worked, my salary stayed pretty much the same. The only way to really get paid properly for your hard work is to either become a manager and join the board or get out and start your own thing. I knew I didn't want to become a 9-to-5 manager chained to a desk, so I got out.
I've always wanted to run my own business. I come from a very entrepreneurial family - both my father and my grandfather ran their own businesses.
Around 1996, I realised that the Internet was going to be a big deal and would provide me with my opportunity.
Anyone can create a website. You don't need loads of money - just some time and dedication.
I was a permanent employee with bills to pay so, like anybody else, I couldn't just stop work and spend more time on my business. I was working on it weekends and nights but it just wasn't enough time.
Luckily, as a digital Project Manager, I worked out that I could go free-lance and earn a whole year's salary in about 7 months! This would leave me about 5 months to spend on my business (excluding holidays).
So, I took the leap and quit. It was a nerve-wracking thing to do but I needn't have worried; the free-lance contracts were easy to find and I never looked back.
Best: One of the best things about working for yourself is the sense of freedom you have - the freedom to make your own decisions, the freedom to plan your own time and the freedom to take risks and make mistakes without worrying what other people think.
Although, it is just a "sense" of freedom. I actually work harder now than I ever worked as an employee. But it's still great!
Working from home, one thing I do miss a bit is the office banter. But I'm always talking to people on the phone or on Skype and I have met lots of new and interesting people. As you can imagine, there are quite a few characters in the stag and hen business! I certainly don't miss the office politics.
I'm not sure if this is true but apparently the guy who started Kentucky Fried Chicken knocked on hundreds of doors before he finally found the money to grow his business. Along the way, he was told by numerous people that it would never work. Now look where his business is!
I had quite a few people telling me the same thing when I started http://www.StagsandHens.com" rel="nofollow">StagsandHens - and most of them were friends! For me, the important advice is to pursue your idea with tenacity and grit if you really believe in it.
It's important to listen to what other people say but you don't always have to follow their advice. Sometimes you will know better and, in the end, you should be guided by your own beliefs. Don't give up!