Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we’re talking with James Crawford, cofounder and managing director of Lifehacker favourite Beanhunter.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Beanhunter helps people find and share great coffee. Using our free iPhone app, Android app or website, people are able to find the best coffee shops near them and easily see what others are recommending, all around the world.
Many cities best cafes are tucked away down little streets around the globe and are hard to find. The coffee-loving community has a place to share their favourite cafes and coffee experiences with the rest of the world.
We have hundreds of thousands of monthly users, and the app is very popular in major cities including Melbourne, Sydney, London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Beanhunter was initially financed by the founders. We run a pretty lean operation and generate revenue through site sponsorship and have started implementing some revenue share models with companies like CoffeeJobs.com. We are constantly exploring ways to fund our growth so we can keep up with the demand.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Our users are extremely passionate and love helping us to improve Beanhunter. We have a huge list of features that we plan to roll out and unfortunately don’t have enough hours in the day. It is a great problem to have!
How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?
Because we focus on a niche, rather than being a generic discovery platform and spreading our platform across multiple categories, we are able to focus on making finding coffee a great experience for our users. This is a huge advantage for us and means that our feature list is very targeted towards a specific user.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
It would easily have to be Dropbox. Our team uses it on a daily basis to share documents and file with each other. It is especially useful as one of our team members is based in Noosa!
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Find and surround yourself with mentors, advisers and those that have done it before you. Learn from and study what they did to help grow your business. In return, be a mentor or adviser for other entrepreneurs and their companies.
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