Tell us a bit more about your startup.
TreatNOW is designed to help busy professionals and international travelers get fast access to really good health and beauty appointments from their mobile device. It’s currently a native mobile website; soon to be an app. We plan to be in 20 languages next year.
What’s the elevator pitch for your startup?
TreatNOW is the new way to book and pay for last minute health and beauty appointments with recommended people quickly and easily.
What’s your biggest ‘hindsight’ moment?
I wish I’d spent more on a good accountant or business advisor to help with the cash flow forecast for my original business plan. I wasted too much time with 3 wrong ones and missed out on a large investment opportunity. I now know some great people so you don’t have to suffer. Try Charlotte at www.consciousaction.co.uk, she’s amazing. I’ve also just joined the government Growth Accelerator and I’m working with Andrea from Re:Fresch, we clicked straightaway and I’m really excited to be working with her.
Where did the idea for your startup originally come from?
I was Commercial Director for a large TV Post Production Company. My team and I had been pulling 60 hour weeks plus on a big contract for a documentary series. We were all exhausted and I had a really sore shoulder. I was sitting at my desk and I suddenly had a 2 hour client lunch meeting cancel. “Right, I thought, I really need to see an osteopath or get a sports massage. But I haven’t got time to phone around, or fill out online forms, or read tedious reviews – if only there was a way to find out who’s good and available right NOW?” I suddenly had an epiphany, realised I knew how I could make that work and TreatNOW was born. I knew straightaway this was going to be my life.
How long have you been working on this idea?
Just over 2 years, I registered the company online at Companies House for £15 in July 2013. I stayed employed for a year, researching and building a network in any spare time I had. I left full time employment in July 2014 and we launched in beta in August 2015.
What will 2016 bring?
Investment from the right people will see TreatNOW take off like a rocket! I’m impatient and I’m looking forward to watching it grow. It’s time.
One piece of advice for someone starting a business?
Start a business plan. You won’t know all the answers, but it will make you examine your idea from all angles. You need to know what you don’t know yet! You also need to make sure you really believe in your idea, as you are going to be living and breathing it round the clock.
Convince someone to use your product/service in under 50 words.
If you’ve ever had a sudden gap in your diary and wanted to do something useful with it – like get a haircut, a massage, a wet shave or see an osteopath – TreatNOW is for you. If you are a busy person with high standards, TreatNOW is for you. It’s professionals for professionals. It’s about working with good people not trainees or cut price horrors.
What’s your favourite startup in the tech space right now (not including your own)?
Can I have 2?
Blooming Founders: bloomingfounders.com
Lu Li has set up an amazing community in less than two years. She offers practical support and events to female founders.
And Street Stream: streetstream.co.uk
Set up by James Middleton, it’s a great idea. It’s like Uber for bike couriers, with a great interface and nice design.
Who are you looking forward to talking to at this year’s Apps World?
There are so many incredible people, it’s hard to narrow it down. I’d like to thank Kathryn Parsons of Decoded in person, for setting me on the path to TreatNOW. I’m also looking forward to seeing the Alconost translation team – we’ve stayed in touch since last year. And, I’d love to meet Martha Lane Fox – now Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho, of course. Apart from the fact she’s someone I profoundly admire, I’ve spent most of my career in Soho and I love that she’s Baroness of it!
Most of all, I’m looking forward to meeting my new investors and soon-to-be business partners.