Inspiration is all around us and in this particular case, possibly quite literally for some of us! Field Lover is a UK based platform which in essence “matchmakes” people looking for land to rent (be that for weddings, festivals, hobbies, horticulture, whatever) with landowners who would like to earn some extra income from their unused fields. Field Lover - brilliant eh? One of those “why didn’t I think of that ideas...”!
We were delighted recently when one of its’ founding Directors, Adrian Griffith agreed to chat with us. As well as developing Field Lover, Adrian is also a Director with Oval Business Solutions, which provides software development and productivity services to a range of businesses including government departments and large multinationals, as well as UK-based SMEs.
Adrian gives Startacus the lowdown on Field Lover and also shares a few valuable tips for anyone looking to develop or pursue their own business idea...
So, Adrian, what are you working on right now?
As well as some major proposals which I'm hoping will materialise into some great projects for Oval Business Solutions, I'm constantly progressing and developing the Field Lover offering. The interest since we launched has been way beyond our expectations, and we really want the user experience to be the best it can be. That means adding useful content to the website, blogging on a regular basis, contacting potential field seekers and owners to make them aware of Field Lover, researching other marketing opportunities such as shows where we can showcase the site......and more!
Where did the idea for Field Lover come from?
Both my co-director, Katie Tann, and I are ardent outdoor enthusiasts. I'd recently got into kite landboarding and was hunting for places I could set up a club. Understandably – because you can go at a bit of a pace on one – a lot of the obvious public spaces don't allow it, which left me a bit stumped. Follow that up with a few more occasions when friends were ruing the lack of resources for finding spaces for various things, and the beginnings of Field Lover began to manifest.
If that sounds whimsical, then I should assure you that there's a very serious intention at the root of Field Lover. The land uses we have in mind include hobbies, but also weddings, horticulture, grazing, festivals.....pretty much anything that a landlord is happy with. We also recognise that everyone has different requirements; while some may only need a field for half a day, others may be looking for something much more long term – so we've ensured that anything is possible on the website.
How do you bring ideas to life?
By breaking them down into small, more manageable elements and tasks. I'll look at a project or idea and think “what's the next actionable task that I can complete now to get this thing moving?” - and then I do it. Procrastination is the enemy here; so long as you can keep progressing – no matter how slowly – you are making progress and your end goal is getting nearer.
When we first came up with the idea for Field Lover, we had to make sure we didn't just think about what we wanted out of a service, but whether it would be something landlords would be comfortable with too. We're not land owners ourselves, so that meant plenty of research to ensure we weren't barking up the wrong tree.
What key advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing a new business idea?
Trust your gut instinct, and don't be afraid to take risks. If you think that your idea is a good one, start by asking the people around you for critical feedback; be prepared to go back to the drawing board a couple of times (better now than later). Then make a start on those small tasks I mentioned before and be flexible; be prepared to tweak your ideas and vision as you go along, to give it the best chance of success.
Great advice there and as Adrian is following the self starter journey himself, it is certainly advice worth listening to!
Thanks Adrian from all at Startacus - continued success with all that you do!
Mi-IDEA Manchester Networking Event
27th Sep 2016
The teams from CISCO and Manchester Science Partnerships have teamed up to create Mi-IDEA, a post-accelerator designed to foster and nurture digital innovation in the North West of England.