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 cofounder and CEO Steve Hibberd from Tiger Pistol.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Small business operators have as much, perhaps even more to gain from Facebook than big businesses, but most lack the time and head space to navigate what can be a complex array of options to drive success. Tiger Pistol is an online product that automatically creates and schedules a customised plan of Facebook marketing activities for a small business, all based on data on what’s been successful for other relevant businesses. A business simply signs up, answers some basic questions, and then in just a few minutes a day or even once a week, edits or approves the activities in their custom plan. Every 14 days their Facebook page is assessed, and a new plan of activities implemented.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Tiger Pistol is a globally available offering and we are seeing interest from all over the world (we have customers from more than 100 countries), however we have chosen to focus initially at home in Australia. We are seeing significant growth from small businesses talking to each other. Facebook marketing is seen as extremely valuable but also extremely complex to do well, so when people find a simple and powerful solution they seem to tell their friends.
We have paying customers so have a level of revenue and have also received funding from individuals as well as Australian tech fund, Rampersand. The growth of our business is driven by our customers, not only their use of our solution, but also listening to their ever-changing needs and wants.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Like most technology start ups, the challenge is to grow fast enough and big enough on a limited budget. We’re getting a nice flow of businesses onto the platform and there seems to be a good demonstration of scalable product/market fit.
How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?
Most companies offering social marketing technology focus on large businesses whereas we are 100 per cent focused on helping small business operators, who have unique requirements. Our world first technology that assesses the activities that other companies have used successfully and develops a tailored plan is something no other company can provide, so we stand out well. We are also the only the second small business software company in the world to be made a Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) of Facebook, which also gives us great credibility and differentiation.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Uber – what’s better than getting to your destination, hassle free, every time? I would love it if Lyft was in Australia, an Uber operated by real people in their own cars that is only in the US right now.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Hire people who are brilliant at what they do, and then step away and let them do it.
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