We can all relate to being busy, juggling work, childcare and a social life leaves little time for the sometimes annoying but essential tasks; my particular bug bear is grocery shopping. Active working mum, Daneh Westropp is the founder of Pickle, an app created to assist us with jobs that we don’t have either the time or inclination to do.
I posed 10 questions to Daneh who was only too happy to enlighten me about the benefits of Pickle.
1. What inspired you to choose the name Pickle?
As a busy working mum, I was often finding myself overloaded with tasks. There are many moments in the day when we find ourselves ‘in a pickle’ and in need of an extra pair of hands. Whether it was looking for someone with more experience to complete a task I wasn’t able to do, or wanting a quick fix for a job I didn’t have the time, energy, or inclination to do, it became increasingly clear that we could all do with a little help to get us through the day. Pickle aims to help anyone in a pickle.
2. Please can you give me a brief overview of your business?
Pickle is the first and most flexible ‘find-a-fixer’ peer-to-peer app in the UK, offering a live bidding system to ensure that users get the best value for money. Anyone can use the app to post and do jobs.
Pickle is an app that enables users to get help with any task imaginable at a price set or negotiated by the user. From picking up a pint of milk, sewing on a button or finding someone to buy you a bunch of flowers to fixing the boiler, recruiting a cheesy DJ for your house party or completing a boring work presentation, it’s the app to get anyone out of a pickle.
Pickle connects anyone happy to pay for help with odd (or not-so-odd) jobs, with locals (skilled or simply willing) who are available to lend a hand, on-demand.
3. You worked as a freelance Artist and Designer prior to launching Pickle; can working as a freelancer act as a gateway to entrepreneurship?
Working as a freelancer can initially be daunting, but the benefits of choosing your own schedule and being your own boss are empowering. You’ve got to be really on the ball and use your time efficiently; skills that are essential for launching a new business. Being a freelancer and taking those first steps towards being an entrepreneur both take guts, so in that respect, if you can do one, it builds your confidence to take it to the next level.
4. Is peer-to-peer aka ‘the sharing economy’ the future of business?
It certainly has the potential to change people’s day-to-day lives. With taxi apps, delivery apps, task apps and accommodation apps, we’re able to change the way we purchase goods, move around cities and even go on holiday. Peer-to-Peer and sharing economy ventures tap into the 21st century desire to make the most of our time and resources and they give us the perfect opportunity to take more control of our lives. As well as being massively convenient, the sharing economy is creating a new community, giving local people the chance to share their skills and help their neighbours. Digital tools have made the advancements in this sector possible and I can only see the space getting bigger.
5. As ‘the first find a fixer peer –to-peer app in the UK,’ how do you plan to stave off inevitable competition?
The great thing about the tech space is that it’s driven by competition. With apps, it’s important to create a great product that offers a streamlined user experience. Do it right and people will come back – that’s the ultimate test. If not, as with any space, there’s always the opportunity for someone else to come in and do it better. The great thing about Pickle is the flexibility it gives customers – giving them a solution to the jobs they need doing – however big or small. We know we’ve got a great product that works, so if competition means more people become aware of the sector and find Pickle, we’re confident they’ll like it!
6. How large is your current team?
We have a team of four at Pickle HQ and we have outsourced our PR, design/marketing, legal and accounting. By doing this we are able to draw on a dedicated, experienced team for each and give them autonomy and trust from day one, allowing everyone at HQ to focus their time on customers and product.
7. How does social media impact your business?
Social media is vital to Pickle. It’s great to be able to have a voice for your brand and to be able to speak to your customers directly. We like to have a bit of fun on social media as well as discussing news from the technology and sharing economy sectors. As we get bigger, social media will allow us to speak to customers and fixers to ensure the app is responding effectively to everyone’s needs.
8. List three jobs (you detest) that Pickle can help with?
- Going to the post office! They are never open at convenient times and always packed at lunch. If I need a letter or parcel posted, or even need a courier, I will post the job on Pickle.
- Food shopping for a small amount of things. The likes of Ocado are great when you don’t have the time or energy to go to the supermarket for a big shop, and you want your food delivered in three days’ time, but there isn’t anyone that can deliver a few bits within an hour. Whether you are bogged down at work and need someone to bring you a Pret sandwich, or you’re cooking and are missing an ingredient or you have had a few too many glasses of wine and need someone to bring some comfort food, there will be someone on Pickle that can help.
- A really inventive way that Pickle has been used so far was when someone needed all their business card contacts input into a spreadsheet. Within a few minutes there was someone willing to do it for them. There are endless little jobs that we all put off, but there is no need from now on with the help of Pickle.
9. If you did not have your current business, what would be your alternative plan?
I would still be working in the design industry. It was through working and balancing family life though that the idea for Pickle was born so it’s in fact the alternative plan itself!
10. Where do you see Pickle in three to five years’ time?
Pickle will only get bigger and better. Most of our Pickle fixers are currently based in London but our integrated GPS means that you can use Pickle anywhere in the world. We hope that Pickle will become the go-to app for those in need of a helping hand, with people across the country telling their friends to ‘Pickle It’ if they need any job doing. Our sights are set on the US market in the longer term, following a successful UK launch.
For further information please visit: www.picklejobs.com