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 Karl Graf and Joe Russell, founders of app development partner DreamWalk .
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea
Apps have changed the world. Yet for many brands, they’re only now making the decision to leverage mobile within their business.
At DreamWalk, we work with brands and entrepreneurs to develop apps that disrupt industries and transform the way people engage with businesses. We’re a boutique agency providing the end-to-end suite of services including strategy, design, development, testing and maintenance.
Our down-to-earth approach, coupled with a strong focus on user engagement, unparalleled industry knowledge and extensive experience, have lead to collaborations with some of Australia’s best known companies and most ambitious startups.
We now have more no 1 apps on the App Store than any other Australian App Developer and have won numerous awards for our work.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Our core growth strategy is simple; consistently deliver high quality products and provide an exceptional client experience. Word-of-mouth works wonders for growing the business.
It’s common in this industry to grow quickly in response to a spike in sales and then have to downsize just as quickly during a quiet period. We’re committed to operating an ethical and sustainable business and therefore we prefer to bring in local contractors (who we have a strong working relationship with) during busy periods, and grow our core team only when our long term sales data tells us we should.
In terms of business development, we use a variety of different approaches. Currently we’re focusing on establishing relationships with marketing and advertising agencies so that we can work together on upcoming projects and refer clients to each other when appropriate
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
We’re different in a few ways.
Firstly, we’ve developed and launched our own products. Some have succeeded and some have failed. This allows us to provide strategic advice that is backed by real experience.
We also have experience in taking advantage of the latest cutting-edge technologies (e.g. Augmented Reality and Machine Learning), allowing us to build apps that stand out from the rest. Finally, our unique Proof Program, a first in this industry, offers the potential to have a rapid proof-of-concept to market in under a week!
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
At the moment, it’s being clear with our messaging.
People often ask what types of apps we build, and as any good marketer knows, saying ‘all types of apps’ is the worst thing you can do. As a bespoke software development agency, with an experienced team that has built simple utilities all the way through to large platforms that take advantage of Machine Learning and Augmented Reality, ‘all types of apps’ is accurate.
It’s not a good answer though.
So, we’re learning to distill our messaging down to a few core focus areas, so that we primarily attract the clients and projects who will get the most value from working with our incredible team.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
When we set out to become the Mobile App Development agency that provides the best client experience, we needed a tool that would help facilitate a stronger connection between our clients and our team.
Facebook Workplace has filled the void perfectly, allowing us to share regular video updates, photos, and documents and interact in a familiar, more personal way than regular email. The best part is that everyone already knows how to use it.
We love it, and our clients love it.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
I attended a leadership workshop many years ago and they shared a quote that has stuck with me; “People won’t always remember what you say, they won’t always remember what you do, but they’ll always remember the way you made them feel”
This is why workplace culture and client experience are so important for any agency – our business is all about people.
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