There’s no pawsing in a journey to Entrepreneurship
Deb Morrison, Founder and CEO of Pet Cloud built the perfect solution for online pet sitting after months of continuous networking and prototyping. Pet Cloud is an online community enabling pet parents to continue travelling while their pets are cared for through real time updates, insurance and RSPCA approval.
Prior to PetCloud Deb was working at Virgin Australia. Here she was the product owner and lead a development team to design the Virgin home page and booking panel. Deb naturally lends herself to entrepreneurship wearing a variety of hats through her career with backgrounds in graphic design, business analytics and IT recruitment.
This diverse background is what aided the commencement of Pet Cloud, permitting Deb to utilise her networks through skype calls and asking friends to support her start up. However, despite the connections no one had the “right timing”, leading to Deb using freelancer.com and selling her house to initiate the investment in her idea.
Thankfully a guy within her digital social circle offered to catch up for one of those breakfasts we always seem to offer but never get around to. This friend was also interested in jumping into entrepreneurship and a great discussion around the online pet space began. This connection uncovered the key point of difference to Pet Cloud as this man practically pushed Deb to RSPCA knowing they were seeking collaboration opportunities. After pitching the prototype to RSCPA Deb spent the next weeks meeting with developers to source a tech co-founder, this is vital to enable real time support once the site is live.
Again even after attending plenty of networks and events Deb was unable to find the right person. It took three rounds of advertising to find the man for the job and shortly after the RSPCA agreed to invest. Suddenly the prototype Deb had built in her garage was able to be worked on by a small team in their own office space. Finally Deb and her team had quality control and privacy to fully explore the pet market and set live.
Despite Deb strongly using her networks to found the business entrepreneurs do also need to be cautious of their idea being “stolen”. Sometimes she even felt like a stalker doing the rounds at dog parks to ensure her idea was viable and reaching the market. So despite the risk of letting her idea get out there Deb gained 5000 Facebook fans prior to Pet Cloud’s launch and now sits at an all organic reach of 11,500.
As a caring puppy mother the background checks, RSPCA courses and meet & greet elements of Pet Cloud ensure that young, independent females can feel secure leaving their pet behind. Previously Deb had left dogs in kennels were she wasn’t even able to see their sleeping area and left feeling uncomfortable. Despite Deb’s pampered pooch, the entrepreneurship dream was continuous hard work and her tips for young digital women include:
- Test your idea before you develop it. Get a prototype! Ask family and friends you trust to see how far they are willing to go to use this idea to solve an issue and how much they would pay.
- Be multi-skilled
- Save your money for a rainy day, you may get sick of the daily 9-5pm grind and find yourself wanting to invest in something new.
- Network and attend events as even if you don’t find a team there this may be the difference between having someone recommend another friend to add to your idea or invest.
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