Niall McDermott, Founder and Director of Date Idea App, tells us about his exciting new business and the benefits of getting his business started up through the Go For It programme.
Brief description of your business idea and how it came about
The Date Idea app is inherently a city based entertainments listing app that primarily targets adult couples looking for something fun or different to do for their next date night. As a product, it is a free smartphone app for the local general public to download and use at their convenience with significantly improved accuracy in compared to existing competitors. With built-in features such as search bar, calendar, venue maps, filters and shortlists – the Date Idea app is an extremely easy to use and functional product that simply shows what’s on in Belfast in a clear unbiased chronological order. As a business Date Idea is a marketing tool for Venue Operators and Event Promoters to advertise their events to a high spending sector of their target market. I always had an interest in business and seen a gap in a market to develop an improved product offering.
Aims and objectives when applying for the support (what you hoped to gain, what you were struggling with, perceptions etc)
Although I had some education in business modules, actually starting my own business was a new experience and I wanted to understand the various legal and financial requirements as well as develop a detailed business plan and a set of financial projections. I knew very little about what support schemes were available or which ones I could potentially benefit from.
How you have benefitted from participating on the programme
With guidance, I have developed a full business plan and a set of financial projections, had very beneficial consultant meetings with accountants, applied for funding schemes and successfully obtained a place on a number of accelerator programmes.
What would you tell someone else who was in your position prior to taking part in the programme?
Be prepared to take some tough love but it’s all positive criticism as it makes you see where your business can be improved. Also be prepared to put in the hours and lots of work to succeed as it will take a lot longer to realistically reach your original goals and targets.