George Williams the co-founder of SmartPlant the app and plant care business about what inspired him to start the business and defines the company.
What do you currently do?
We created an app called SmartPlant which helps anyone who owns a plant care for it with ease through plant and pest identifications, simple monthly plant care advice and a network of hundreds of plant experts.
We have also created a B2B service, allowing plant purchasers to scan plants they have bought at partner retailers to receive instant monthly plant care.
In turn we help retailers understand their customers and increase customer loyalty through relevant and useful in app product recommendations as well as providing a customer service tool for customers who have questions about their plant purchases.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
My own lack of knowledge and a clear disparity between the amount of plants being sold and the plant knowhow of your average homeowner.
Plant care phobia is real and people are often dissuaded from buying a plant because latin names and subsequent care information seem far too complicated. People want simple care and advice at the touch of a button and SmartPlant removes the need for prior knowledge when they are buying a plant, and allows you to track and identify what you have.
The recent houseplant trend provides a shining example of the desire for instant gratification and we make it possible for anyone to purchase and care for a plant.
What defines your way of doing business?
We focus on ensuring that the product is as good as it can be and is genuinely useful to the people using it, it has taken about 4 years to get to where it is now and we are confident that it is fit for purpose both for the industry and for our users. Our aim is to make sure that the information we are supplying on a regular basis is genuinely useful, simple and understandable.
Who do you admire?
My Dad tops the list I think. He works unbelievably hard, is loved by all of the people he works with and has done incredibly well.
Looking back, is there anything you would
There is no doubting that we have made mistakes along the way, having said that without the bumps we have had along the way we wouldn’t be where we are now. I prefer to look forward than backwards.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Resilience is important. There is a great analogy in the book “Touching the Void”, if you are stuck in a crevasse do you backtrack and climb out of the top up a steep cliff towards the light, or do you take a risk and keep going downwards into the darkness in the hope you find a way out.
There are always tough decisions to be made but as long as there is a glimmer of hope keep pushing. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.