LimeApp is a deals website specializing in online products and services.
Today we had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. ‘Marcus Trainor‘; Marketing Director at the France (Paris)-based start-up “LimeApp.com” about his Company.
“LimeApp.com” is a deals website specializing in online products and services.
Below is the full interview that we have conducted with Mr. ‘Trainor’ regarding his Company “LimeApp.com”;
1. What is it exactly that you do and what “LimeApp” is all about?
LimeApp is a deals website specializing in online products and services. We offer negotiated prices on an assortment of things, such as online storage, utilities for Facebook, design courses, WordPress themes.
If it’s on the web and you can name it, we’re either selling it, or trying to. We operate in English & French, and aim to encapsulate both language communities.
2. When has “LimeApp” been founded? And what stage is “LimeApp” currently at?
LimeApp was founded in April of 2012, so we’re only very young. Already we’ve acquired a nice large handful of partners to work with, and are continuously forming new partnerships and meeting new people.
We’re currently in the growth stage, trying to let more people know about us, whilst also trying to improve the quality of the products we feature on our website.
3. What is “LimeApp”’s business model and how does it work?
Our business model is based of the daily deals concept, sites such as Groupon for example, however we solely offer discounts on online products and services.
Anything that can either be used directly over the web, or can be downloaded. No shipping.
We form alliances with partners, and display their products on our website at lowered prices to try to further their reach, introducing them to communities that otherwise might not know that they exist.
4. How did your team meet? And who in your team does what?
Our founders, Arthur and Sebastien met whilst they were studying at business school together in France, and have ran companies together in the past.
I met them during my interview that I was 15 minutes late for (someone jumped in front of a metro) and was sure that I wasn’t going to get the job, but alas here I am today, still here!
Arthur does all of the administration stuff and a lot of the social media on the French pages, whilst Seb handles most of the commercial aspect with French partners.
I oversee the commercial direction for our English speaking partners and also do the English writing on our site and social media outlets.
We also have others such as Guillaume, and Aaron who do a lot of commercial tasks, and our web geniuses who develop the site, so we’re a pretty well rounded team.
5. What, exactly, makes you different from existing options, what will make your product and/or service stand out in the marketplace? In other words what’s unique about you and what’s new about what you make?
We’re different because we’re different, if that makes any sense. As much as we put a lot of emphasis on success, I believe the very definition of success in this country differs from countries such as, let’s say the US.
You can’t afford to put money as the number one reason for everything. In France, it’s extremely rude to talk about money, and you’ve probably heard the rumors about French people taking two hour lunch breaks? It’s true! Monetary success is nothing without general wellbeing in your everyday life.
If you’re working so much but are losing track of the people in your life that are the reason for working in the first place, there’s really no point.
6. What is your growth like? And what milestones has “LimeApp” achieved so far?
Our growth is steady. It’s sometimes difficult to get an accurate gauge of progress in this market, because as we are offering products from many different companies, the success of one deal can differ immensely to the next one.
It’s all a big learning curve for us as we try to best evaluate what kind of products work for us, and which ones don’t.
7. Who are your competitors? And what is “LimeApp”’s competitive advantage over them?
Our competitors are AppSumo & MightyDeals, but realistically we are not in direct competition.
We try to focus on doing our thing, not copying what someone else is doing. Appsumo for example is very active in marketing towards entrepreneurs, and have a lot of course material on ‘How to…..’.
Our advantage is that, we’re French. We have a whole host of contacts that would be unobtainable elsewhere and whilst most American companies start in the US and then expand globally, we’re kind of doing that process but backwards.
8. What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?
We’ve faced a few obstacles, we’ve had a few staffing problems, mostly due to the fact that there’s a lot of French tape in France to hurdle when you want to employ people from abroad which really needs to be changed to encourage more startups to be created here.
Launching a new website is always an obstacle, as you have to balance quality of what you’re trying to do, and also bringing in a constant stream of traffic to validate what you’re doing.
9. What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
It’s difficult to know what others don’t understand, but I think that in general people who work in the technology industry get a lot of criticism for not really doing anything.
They don’t understand the countless hours spent on the phone with people, the swarms of emails you must reply to on a daily basis, and especially in a small company, the juggling of multiple tasks.
Sometimes you get the odd angry email or two from someone thinking they’re being neglected, and I think it’s hard for them to realize that as well as your main job title, you’re also helping your teammates to achieve things for the company as a whole.
10. Why are you going to succeed?
We are going to succeed because we believe we will succeed. You should never underestimate the power of faith.
If you come to work everyday with the notion of being successful, acting successful, even conducting yourself in a successful manner, you can achieve great things compared to when you’re worried or stressed.
Don’t get me wrong, you’re allowed to be stressed, but if something is making you stress, fix it instead of harping on it.
11. If “LimeApp” succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
We really think that mobile application industry has a lot of avenues to travel down in terms of expansion, but for now we’re really focused on what’s working currently, and on ways in which we can continue improving in the areas we’re currently involved in.
As there is new technology created every day, we can really follow the market and expand with those new technologies coming out, we need to be flexible.
12. Why did you choose this idea and concept to build “LimeApp” based on?
There was a need for this type of business, especially here in France. Daily deal sites have had a lot of popularity elsewhere, and our founders had a look at the industry, and decided that they could do it better.
The concept of providing discounts is an old one, but the idea of doing it with only online products is different, and has many different challenges.
Eventually we want to be a resource for obtaining the best of the internet, at LimeApp prices of course.
13. What have you learned so far from launching your idea?
That nothing comes easy. Even if you have the best idea in the world, you need time to develop it, and the ability to open peoples eyes to your idea.
We’ve learned that to be successful, you need to think success and really foster an environment where people want to achieve.
If people are happy coming to work, and excited by the prospect of making things happen, you can have a really great atmosphere.
14. Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
Six months from now I think our biggest problem will be office space, we’re already up to our heads in correspondence, we’re going to have to hire new people to keep up with it all.
We are contacted daily by companies that want to work with us, by customer questions and requests, and by media wanting to know who exactly LimeApp is.
I heard a rumor that we’re going to relocated in the near future to make room for everyone but we’ll have to see.
15. What’s the benefit for the customer/user?
The benefit for our customer, is the prices! Well they also get to test some of the coolest products on the web, but it’s the prices that they’ll keep coming back for.
We believe that consumers want to be able to make informed decisions on their purchases, whether they’re paying the full price or otherwise, and presenting the information to them where they can see what they are getting, and THEN seeing how cheap it is.
16. How did customers/users find out about you?
Most of our customers find out about us through word of mouth, or from our social media channels.
We’ve done a few interviews, had a few articles written about us, which really helps.
We are currently doing everything we can to increase traffic, with traffic comes exposure, with exposure comes customers, and everyone loves customers.
We also find people looking for certain products on various web forums and the like.
17. Who are your current customers/users? Who are your target customers/users?
Our current customer base comes from all around the world. We have customers from every continent bar Antartica (not yet) and we have very active campaigns to target users from other regions, mainly Asia & South America.
There are many small pockets in the world that don’t really receive targeting, due to the misconception that North America holds all the keys, and whilst it does have a major part in the tech world, with the world developing rapidly in a technological sense it’s important to realize that there are many internet users and entrepreneurs in other corners of the globe.
18. Where do new customers/users come from and what makes new customers/users try you?
Our new customers come from all our social media outlets, our activity on various tech forums, word of mouth, and from some of the interviews we’ve done over the past few months both in France and abroad.
We’re really thankful to those supporting us, and have a lot of fun designing fun contests/finding interesting or funny picture to share with our little communities.
19. What do your customers/users say about your product and/or service?
We’ve had some really great feedback from both customers and partners about our website.
It’s really great to be able to see directly the consequences of your actions by getting direct feedback.
One of the advantages about being a small company, is that you’re always aware of everything going on with everyone else, so if someone gets feedback about something, they can easily let the person who did it know that they did a great job.
20. How are you going to scale?
We’re aiming to be multinational, but as we’re based in France, the heart of Europe, we really are already multinational, make that multinational and intercontinental!
With scaling, we really just need to take it step by step without getting ahead of ourselves.
We like to focus on the now, and take growth as it comes, rather than focus on something that may or may not happen in the future.
21. What’s the biggest missing feature? The one thing customers/users keep asking for?
We get a lot of requests for certain products or services to be sold. We make every effort to try to get that certain product if people are asking for it, but certain industries are a little bit more difficult to crack.
We also get asked constantly for Spanish language (it’s coming) on our website, and it’s something that really does make a lot of sense due to the amount of Spanish language users we’ve had lately.
22. Are you going to internationalize? And if yes how are you planning to expand your start-up’s operations accordingly?
We already consider ourselves an international company. We have an international team, our partners are international companies, and our customers cover the globe.
We understand the importance of developing a home base, and we have a significant interest in the French tech industry, however when your home base limits your output, you need to be able to adapt to a world market and really push yourself to do well in those markets.
23. How big do you think you can get? Why? And how you are planning to achieve your goals?
With this business model, with a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, the sky is the limit. I know that people say that all the time, but in this case it’s true.
With the amount of people turning to the internet to do their shopping, there is a continuous supply of new customers looking for cheap stuff!
24. Are you looking to hire a new workforce? And if yes, what job vacancies do you currently offer and where can potential applicants contact you at?
We’re not actively recruiting currently, but are always looking for bright minds with something to offer us.
If you want to apply you can send an email to email@example.com (note the French spelling), but please be advised that as we are a small team, we are very picky about who we take, as one person has the ability to change the mood in a small company.
At the end of the day we want to come to work and leave at the end of the day with a smile on our face.
25. Are you looking for partnership opportunities or funding from Venture Capitals (VC) or other funding sources? Or your business is self-sustainable? And if the first option applies where can potential partners / investors contact you at?
We’re always looking for new partnership opportunities, and are also happy to hear from investors’ in general, as it helps validate what we do here.
We are currently getting investment from one of the best web entrepreneurs in France, Marc Menase, who has been indispensable both financially and as a mentor.
With a low overhead it’s quite easy for us to become self sustainable, but as we look to push our brand further there’s obviously no harm in having more money if it comes on the right terms.
We have the email firstname.lastname@example.org for any business related inquiries, and are happy to hear from everyone, and always love to hear feedback.
26. What advice do you have for fresh entrepreneurs?
The best advice for fresh entrepreneurs for me personally is kind of like Nike, you need to just do it. If you’re a hard worker, are able to accept your own failure, and are willing to live like others don’t to cement your future, then put a plan together and get moving.
27. Finally, do you have any other comments that you would like to add?
Firstly i’d like to thank Start-ups.co for having us here, it’s always nice to have others on your team, and in business it’s important to create relationships with other new businesses.
I’d also like to let your readers know that we have some big things planned over the next few months and to keep on eye out on some very very cool stuff.