After a brief hiatus, the Libro blog is back with the next in our series of Saturday freelancer interviews. It’s been a difficult time for businesses and society over the past week, but one way we can pick ourselves up and drive the recovery forward is to get on with business as usual, ensuring we’re making money to put back into our local economies.
So, my next subject is Andrew Donnelly, who set up a mobile apps and websites development company that’s been running for just a year. Andrew’s followed yet another path as he started his business, continuing to work as a contractor to bring in the money (so a bit like soft-launchers like me, who are still employed part-time, but a little bit more independent). Andrew’s another 4N member and he talks about the value of networking – but in his case, being in the right place at the right time and embracing the opportunities offered by new technologies have kickstarted his new career.
What’s your business called? When did you set it up?
My business is called iphonemobileapp and has been set up for 1 year now. We specialise in the development of Apps and Websites to run on mobile devices.
What made you decide to set up your own business?
Having always been interested in mobile development, it was becoming frustrating working on mobile IT only in short bursts when the work came in, rather than full-time.
What made you decide to go into this particular business area?
It’s always been a big area of interest of mine; even before iPhones were launched I was interested in development on phones. When the iPhone came out, it was the perfect opportunity for me.
Had you run your own business before?
I had contracted for 7 years previously.
How did you do it? Did you launch full-time, start off with a part-time or full-time job to keep you going … ?
In between freelance work, I have taken contracts to keep the money coming in to pay the bills. When I have downtime, I’m still working, but on my skills, aiming to improve them more and more.
What do you wish someone had told you before you started?
That I could do it. Like everyone taking that big leap, it can be really scary at first. One year down the line, my confidence is high and the timing seems right for what I have done.
What would you go back and tell your newly entrepreneurial self?
Plan, Plan, Plan and more Plans; it’s all well and good having an idea, but as time went on, putting a business plan together helped me stay focused and gave me goals to achieve.
What do you wish you’d done differently?
Networked a lot more in the early days. Having just discovered networking, it’s a breath of fresh air to me and my business. Not so much in sales, but in terms of contacts and opportunities.
What are you glad you did?
Worked hard – it’s not a 9-5 job, it’s a 24/7 365 days a year thing. You have just got to keep at it.
What’s your top business tip?
Trust your gut feeling a lot more than you do. It’s generally 99% right.
How has it gone since you started? Have you grown, diversified or stayed the same?
Still the same size, but now I have access to a lot of contacts to help me out.
Where do you see yourself and your business in a year’s time?
Hopefully on a much more solid footing, with a good client base. (Find out what he’s doing a year on!)
If you’re interested in knowing more, Andrew’s website is down at the moment for contractual reasons, but his phone number is 07795 511 083 and you can Tweet him.
Thank you for being my first app developer interviewee, Andrew! Click here for more freelancer chat.