Tell us what your business does?
TableBookings is software for restaurants to take bookings online in realtime, build their customer database and take online payments.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Online Restaurant bookings have been possible in the US for about 10 years already. I am an IT guy but also an ex-restaurateur and know the challenges of that industry very well. With the move to instant booking and confirmation from everything from Flights to advanced parking, I saw a gap in the market for a simple system for restaurants to be able to use.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
I have been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember and have started and ran several different businesses with varying degrees of success and failure. I really get a kick out of creating new things and the possibilities that are opening up with the Internet now are really exciting.
What planning did you do before you started up?
Not a lot, startups really need to be nimble get in front of customers early and test everything over and over. I am a big fan of the Lean startup methods (I wish I knew more about them 3 years ago)
Which entrepreneurs do you admire?
I have a really long list and really try to learn from wherever I can, the ones I’ve learned most from recently would be Seth Godin, Jeff Bezos, Tony Hsieh.
What challenges have you faced & how have you overcome them?
Every day brings a new challenge. I’m a pretty positive person most of the time and a lucky to have a great wife and 2 small kids which gives me a lot of perspective.
How have you promoted your business?
This year I’ve spend most of my time building relationships with customers and contacts in the restaurant industry here. I am now starting to use social media to start to extend that reach.
Are you optimistic about 2014?
I am, I have big plans for 2014 but know it will be a bumpy ride.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Nurture your ideas until they get to a point that you must do something about them, then go for it. There is almost no business I can think of where you can’t start selling before you build your product, learn how to do that fast.