Written by: Ben Dyer, CEO of Powered Now
Powered Now is aiming to revolutionize the construction industry. That sounds like a big vision, and it is.
Back in 2011 my fellow founder Chris Barling and I were looking at what to do in our next business. We had been working together in eCommerce software for some years, and we wanted a new challenge. It seemed to us that the field trade industry (plumbers, electricians, builders, landscapers etc.) had huge potential.
On the one hand it was probably the least computerized sector in the world; the participants (we found out by extensive interviewing) absolutely hated paperwork yet they were generally doing it all manually.
On the other hand, the rise of mobile computing meant that new connected devices were easier to use, cheaper and had better functionality and connectivity than ever before. Something clicked for us, after all field trade businesses are by definition mobile.
Coupled with this, we discovered that the common caricature of tradesmen is just that, a caricature. Our research told us that the reality of their situation is much more complicated. Tradesmen are naturally far better with their hands than with administration, but the ones running their own companies are no different from anyone else running their own company – smart, motivated and hard working.
The idea is born!
So the idea of Powered Now was born, to use the mobile revolution to help these guys. Since then we have been assembling a world-class team to turn that vision into reality.
So far we have developed a product which allows trade businesses to plan their work-day, capture customer details and get their requirements for jobs, produce estimates and quotations, raise invoices and take card payments, all directly from an iPhone or iPad.
In the summer of 2014 we raised over £585,000 on Crowdcube (the biggest equity crowd sourcing platform in the world) to further develop and market the product.
We have won a number of awards including the Microsoft Bizspark best mobile app, Crowdcube Start Up of the Year and two years running we have been on the Startups 100 list of innovative young businesses.
To date over 15,000 businesses have registered to use our app, both within the UK and worldwide, and many have become paying subscribers. Over time more and more people are taking the decision to make Powered Now central to their business.
At the end of the day, however, what actually matters is delivering benefits to our customers. In fact, it’s the only important thing as if you don’t, you won’t have a business for long. So probably the single thing that we are most proud of is that when we surveyed our customers, they produced a great list of benefits that their businesses were already gaining by using Powered Now.
Where do we go from here? There’s much more development to do with our product and the potential market is vast, with nearly a million trade businesses in the UK. However, we already have a decent chunk of our paying subscribers in the US, so the potential definitely isn’t just at home.
Overall, it’s been fun even if it has been incredibly hard work. We know from previous experience that building a business from scratch isn’t easy, and we all make mistakes. However, not many people get the sort of opportunity that we are currently looking at, and we regard it as a privilege.
Last Updated on August 16, 2020Activate Social Media: