This Entrepreneurial Story is about Andy Peck who Founded ‘TrustedHousesitters.com’ located in Brighton, England
About – Andy Peck comes from a background in marketing and prior to launching TrustedHousesitters.com ran a publishing company. Rachel Martin comes from a background in PR, specifically travel PR. LinkedIn Connect
TrustedHousesitters.com is run from Brighton, England however we have a worldwide presence.
Tell us about your Business:
TrustedHousesitters.com connects homeowners who are going away and need someone to look after their house (and usually pets as well) with trustworthy individuals, couples and families who will house sit for them. In return for feeding the cat, watering the plants, walking the dog or whatever the homeowner asks of them, the sitter gets to stay for free. We currently have over 600 active house sits on the site and more than 4,000 house sitters who are willing to house sit anywhere in the world.
What motivated you to start your Business?
In 2011 I was working as a screenwriter and needed a retreat, somewhere peaceful where I could work on the final draft of a manuscript. I stumbled across an advert for a family in the North of Spain who needed a sitter to come look after their dog Dave and their home while they were away on vacation. I applied and was accepted for the house sit. It didn’t take long for me to realise that there were potentially thousands of other pet owners around the world who needed a way to connect with people who would house sit for them. The idea of TrustedHousesitters.com was soon born.
What is a day in your life like?
Running a startup means doing a bit of everything, whether that’s marketing, legal, accounting, customer service – my days are varied but essentially involve connecting with team members and those that handle specific parts of the business such as design, advertising and CRO and keeping up-to-date with any issues they may have.
One particular skill you got right and gave you best results.
Ask plenty of questions and don’t be afraid to play the devil’s advocate. Ideas need to be tested thoroughly before going into the development stage and playing the devil’s advocate helps to raise a lot of potential kinks in advance.
What have been your biggest challenges in running your Business so far?
Technical development, which up until recently has always been outsourced, has been costly and time-consuming to manage. Thankfully we now have inhouse resources which should make things considerably easier.
How did you overcome these challenges?
Prioritisation is essential. There are a million and one features we would like to have on the site but we’re continually up against time and money constraints. We’ve had to work through that list and make sure we’re starting with what’s most important.
What have you found the most effective way to get new clients?
Word of mouth drives a lot of new members to the site. TrustedHousesitters.com regularly gets featured in blogs and on TV and in newspapers around the world and these really help to drive new customers.
What advice would you give to other business owners?
Listen to feedback. Be prepared to take a (calculated) risk. Trust gut instinct.
How keeps you motivated through the difficult times?
Knowing we run a wonderfully altruistic business that genuinely helps enrich thousands of lives through affordable travel and helping give home and pet owners peace of mind when going away. The buzz of knowing we have a strong offering. And my partner Rachel who brilliantly helps manage the business with me.
A few months ago we picked up two awards at the Good Web Guide Awards: The People’s Choice Award and also Website of the Year award. It was great to see recognition in that sense for the work we’ve been doing over the past few years.
Whats your favorite quote?
“The risk-takers may not live forever – But the cautious do not live at all”
Who inspires you?
Branson. He does it his way and doesn’t feel the need to subscribe to someone else’s conformity.
Do you have a Business Philosophy?
it’s an old adage, but treat people (both internally and externally) how you’d like to be treated yourself.
StartupFreak Wishes Andy and Team All the Best!