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 Philip Weinman from Locomote.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
Locomote is an all-encompassing travel technology solution, simplifying and improving corporate travel processes for companies across Australia. Designed with the user in mind, Locomote makes booking and tailored travel programmes efficient and smarter.
Corporate travel differs greatly from leisure travel. We pinpointed the inefficiencies of corporate travel management first hand, and built a platform that improved the traditional booking processes and gave control of reporting and information back to the business.
Corporate travel is a pain point for most companies, but we’ve made it easier, faster and have helped businesses save up to 35 per cent on travel administration costs. Locomote allows travel requests, duty of care, authorisations, and more, to be logged from any browser or mobile device, anywhere in the world.
In the last 18 months we’ve secured big corporate customers in Australia — including ANZ, Allen & Overy and Medibank — who use Locomote for their entire workforce.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Locomote started as a web development agency and we’ve worked hard to develop into a high growth, scalable technology startup.
Locomote has been built from the inside out — when we started, we set about building a really strong internal team. We’ve always had a very strong focus on empowering our team members to make decisions, learn from mistakes and grow into leadership roles. As a result, our team is driven, committed passionate and truly believes in what we’ve built.
We’re focused on giving our customers total control and visibility of their travel management through an easy-to-use platform and we’re establishing key partnerships to keep delivering smart solutions for company travel.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
It has been important for us to keep our feet firmly on the ground and to really place our focus on the end game. The travel industry is a very traditional, staid and at times wasteful industry to operate in. It’s been important for us to take a helicopter view of the industry as a whole and work at educating people to understand the benefits of Locomote for their company, but also for corporate travel in general.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
Without question our main point of difference is the passion with which we approach the business. Our entire staff believe in the vision of Locomote and where we want to take the company moving forward.
We have the security of financial backing, which means that we can offer our employees the security they need to feel comfortable in growing and developing with the company.
Overall, we’re giving control back to consumers so they have complete visibility over their travel management without complex processes. Locomote is much more than a booking engine, it’s a full integrated solution.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
My iPhone is my lifeline and it’s never far from my hand. From email to reading news apps or looking at various travel apps, it’s by far the most useful piece of technology I use. I find I am always ‘on’ and accessible to our team 24 hours a day.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
My mantra has always been that there is no such thing that it can’t be done. They are words that we live by at Locomote. Tell us that it can’t be done and we’ll work overtime to prove that it can — there is always a way.
Another crucial piece of business advice I’ve tried to employ is that you should always treat the people that you work with well. Treat them well and you’ll build a company with a foundation built on trust and loyalty. I believe that we’ve managed to do that at Locomote.
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