Meet Josh Guest. Founder of b2cloud (now Transpire), a leading mobile application technology business. This is his entrepreneurial story.
Where did you get the idea for your business?
Soon after I was made redundant from my cosy corporate job, I decided to start a blog, as well as a Meetup group to discuss technology trends, both of which I’m passionate about. The blog began to evolve, and I started receiving heaps of questions and enquiries about apps. This was due to the fact that, only a few months earlier, Apple had launched their App Store. So, I found an iOS developer, and together we developed our very first app. That’s how b2cloud began. From there, over the last 6 years, we’ve developed a range of leading mobile apps, which have been downloaded around the globe by millions of smartphone users.
How did you get your business started?
You need to accept that, in the early days of a new venture, you probably won’t have enough income to pay yourself a salary. With b2cloud, I found that I burnt through the redundancy package, which had afforded me the time to start the business, very quickly. So, I took on a range of consulting projects to generate some much-needed income whilst putting all of my expenses on credit cards. But within a couple of years, I’d paid the debt back and I’d started to draw a basic salary.
What lessons have you learned so far on your business journey?
- I’ve found with b2cloud that long term-relationships are paramount, so don’t ever burn a contact. Treat people with respect, and remember that you will always cross paths with them again.
- Remember to do the right thing.
- Listen to your gut. I love Malcolm Gladwell’s inspirational book, Blink, which talks about the power of instinct and gut feel. If it doesn’t feel right, it usually isn’t.
How important for you has it been to have a mentor?
Mentors have been essential to me in setting up and running b2cloud. They’re the people you can turn to for unbiased information and advice. My mentors have played different roles over the years and they’ve helped to keep me on track. You shouldn’t need to pay for mentors, either: a business coach is another important professional helper, which is different as it’s a paid relationship.
What are your top 3 tips for starting a business?
- Go all in, or not at all. If you don’t back yourself, nobody else will.
- Get an ‘A’ team. As soon as you hire a ‘B’ team member, you quickly set a lower tone for your future business.
- Timing is important for opportunities: the stars must align. They did for me with b2cloud.
The website that was most influential in your journey towards launching your business?
- Website: LinkedIn
- Reason: For me, LinkedIn has been – and continues to be – the single best way to grow and stay in contact with thousands of contacts. It’s also been invaluable for finding employees and uncovering business opportunities.