Q&A with Jim Urell Co-founder of Property Button
Tell us about your business.
Blackrock-based Property Button was founded in April 2012 by Jim Urell and Paddy O’ Farrell. Described as a Hailo-model for the property sector, the initial service enabled property professionals to transfer utility services on behalf of their customers. Within a year, Property Button had over 200 customers. They were also seeing huge demand from the other 1000 estate agents and had plans underway to expand the product range and expand into the UK.
How has Local Enterprise Office Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown supported your business to date? Which support(s) has been most beneficial to you and your business?
Two years ago the business was the two founders in a tiny attic on Carysfort Avenue in Blackrock. During the interim period we have grown to 800+ customers and managing commercial transactions from 3500+ properties per month, implemented a world-class technology platform, rebranded successfully, recruited 18 staff, expanded our product range and we are about to launch in the UK. DLR-LEO supported the business with repayable employee grants that enabled us to employ quality professionals at crucial stages hence we could scale up
What is your best sales tip?
- Implement a consistent sales management process & IT system
- Agree the stages of a sale (lead – opportunity – agreement – signed….)
- Measure progress and activity and not the outcome
What was the best business advice you have received?
Protect your cash. Break your desired results down into tasks, list the task in your diary, focus all your effort on the tasks, the results will come. Protect your cash.
How did you raise the finance for your business?
We built everything ourselves and paid ourselves little or nothing for 18 months. We both agreed 18 months of penury with our wives and bank managers before we started.
What are the best digital tools you have used to grow your business?
Implement a CRM to manage your marketing and sales processes and as soon as you have a critical mass of customers (and hence revenue) implement a financial management system to manage your invoicing, revenue assurance and then costs so you can continue to concentrate on expanding your business.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs?
- Protect your cash
- Concentrate on a small number of things.
- Turn off email and your mobile for a few hours each day
Many thanks to Property Button for taking part in this interview!
For more information on Property Button you can visit their website at: www.propertybutton.ie.
If you would like to find out how your Local Enterprise Office can help you start or grow your own business, please visit our website on www.localenterprise.ie/DLR, call us on 01 204 7083 or simply stop by our office in Harbour Square, Dún Laoghaire.