Success stories tend to be cases of rags to riches, not in this case.
Mopp is an online platform which allows you to book trusted cleaners for as little as £10 an hour on a one-off or ongoing basis. It’s a venture capital backed company, and a leader in its industry, covering most major UK cities. In March 2014 they launched the Mopp app, the first of its kind in the UK.
It’s [Mopp] beautifully designed, easy to use, affordable and most importantly prides its self on the quality of the service it provides. I spoke to co-founder Tom Brooks and asked him a few questions and for some tips. The following is my conversation with Tom.
1) What does Mopp do, how did you come up with the idea?
The idea came from a real life need – we tried to book a cleaner for our flat, but couldn’t find anything online that looked reliable, or could be booked without entering a contract. We realised that there was a gap in the market for an easy to use, time-saving service, and we registered the company the next day.
2) How does it work?
We made booking as simple as possible – just enter your postcode on our homepage, book the hours you want and when you want them, and then we send you a great cleaner. You can a book a one-off, weekly, or fortnightly clean, but there are no commitments and no hidden fees. All our cleaners are reference checked by us, background checked by a third party company, and we receive feedback from customers after every clean so that we can maintain a service of consistently high quality.
3) How did you go about funding the business?
Pete and I both worked in the city for about 5 years before launching Mopp, so we were able to secure funding from ex-clients to begin with, as well as from friends and family. Also, we’d made a few attempts at launching startups in the past, getting to the last 30 on an accelerator scheme in the US, so we had made a lot of contacts that proved to be very useful.
4) I can see that you’ve been featured in newspapers such as The Telegraph, The Guardian and the Metro, how do you go about marketing?
We’re very lucky in that we have a story that people are interested in and can relate to, which has helped us a lot in getting press. Also the fact that we’re doing something new and have quite successful has drawn press, so journalists have always been very open to writing about us once they find out about Mopp.
5) What do you believe Mopp owes its success to?
Our cleaners – there are so many important factors to running a successful business, but the cleaners are the core of our business. It’s why we have high quality control, and then make sure we take care of them. We want to guarantee the best cleaners for our customers, and for that you have to look after your staff.
6) Describe yourself in three words.
Friendly, driven, ambitious
7) What advice would you give to newly started business’?
Building the company with Pete has been an incredible experience, so I’d say do it with someone you really get on with, and trust completely. You’ll experience low points which will test any friendship, but the high points make it all worth it. Choose the right investors who have a similar vision – Investors who have started and run successful businesses themselves will add more value in the seed raising stage. And of course, Work very hard and execute fast.
Tom’s answers and my experiences have led me to the following points:
- Network, network, network! I can’t stress this enough, making the right contacts can and will make all the difference in the future.
- If going into partnership, do so with somebody who you know well and trust. I can relate to this. I started Smart Smarter with childhood friend Adam Niazi, I knew he had the ambition, the drive and the passion to help make Start Smarter a success.
- Simplicity is key. Whether designing a product or offering a service, always make it as simple as possible for the end-user. It will truly make you stand out amongst hundreds of competitors, which you’ll have an edge over your competitors.
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