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 Levi Aron from Yumtable.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Australia has given birth to the foodie nation. This is due to multiple factors including the rise of popular TV shows such as MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules, our growing multi-cultural society, ever-increasing availability of different palates, new restaurants ,and the craving to go out and enjoy new dining experiences.
The Yumtable concept came from the desire to fulfil our appetite for choice and provide a super-convenient way to search, discover, book and dine at a wide variety of restaurant options and untapped savings, bringing dining-out into the 21st century. We’ve become a time poor society expecting convenience at the swipe of a finger. Yumtable provides the simplest solution and easiest way to place restaurant bookings across Australia, instantly confirmed 24/7, and all from the device in your pocket.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
There are many ways to grow quickly, however if you are not careful these can end up adding up quickly causing your business overheads and marketing expenses to escalate faster than the growth you had planned, draining much-needed funds from the most important areas of your business. There are two main areas that I focus on to help grow at a constant pace.
1. Run as lean as you possibly can. Test the concept, grow a bit more, test the concept again, make sure that you have not taken a slight diversion that has lead you to an area that is costing more and producing less results, even in the short term.
2. Surround yourself with experienced entrepreneurs. If you don’t know any then go to meet ups, start networking, it will take time, and time is money, but this is ‘money’ that will be well spent. Soundboard your ideas and progress updates with these mentors and entrepreneurs, don’t be shy and hold back worried that they are going to run off with your idea. Remember it’s not the idea — it’s the execution. They don’t necessarily have to be in the same industry, after all they are all business people and being entrepreneurs they have most likely experienced more hairy situations then you have so far.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
Fierce competition. Like many businesses in Australia these days we are facing the onslaught of competitors turning up not just from our own backyard or interstate but from overseas. These overseas businesses are generally well funded, years of experience and enter with a strategy to divide and conquer.
During these times it is essential that you stay true to your core, hyper-focus on your objectives and do not get distracted by trying to match everything your competitors are doing. Rather focus on what you do best and the real reason why you entered the marketplace with your startup in the first place – this is your strength, this is your passion, this is what will help you keep head and shoulders above the rest.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
There are a variety of ‘competitors’ in our industry. A couple are direct competitors, whilst there are other players in the industry but not necessarily direct competitors. The advantage to being new is that we are lean and agile which allows us to push the boundaries and bring excitement and new energies to a niche that has become slightly complacent. One area in particular that we strive to be different is in innovation, harnessing data and bringing new technologies to an age-old industry driving quicker results and continuously breaking past milestones.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Apart from Yumtable and Gmail? The answer for me is Salesforce. At times it can have its limitations, however it is my lifeblood. Data is king.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
The 3 Ds — Define, Develop, Delegate.
- Define your market, hyper focus on your target demographic
- Develop your concept, test, re-test and test again
- Delegate – you can’t do everything, delegate so you can concentrate, you need to be on the business not in the business
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