Christopher Adedayo is an Engineer at Amazon and Co-Founder of 360 Appointments, an App That Allows Easy Booking and Cancelling of Appointments.
Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Christopher Oluwatobi Adebayo and I’m from Essex. I went to Brighton University, where I studied Engineering, after which I started a career as a Junior Designer.
What was the inspiration behind 360 Appointments?
The inspiration came from having an entrepreneurial mind-set; my friends and I graduated and knew that we didn’t want to work for anyone as we wanted to have own business.
I had a start-up company called ‘Mama-Leah’s Kitchen’, a University food business based in Coventry which I did for a couple of years. I remember the first event for Mama’s Leah’s Kitchen where we had to travel to Brighton and on the way my friend’s car broke down. He had just started a barbering app and we started discussing the business which myself and our other friends decided to be a part of at that point. As we couldn’t sustain nor keep up with the catering business we decided to dedicate our focus on the app. We researched and tested the idea out, for which no one else was doing at the time. The biggest mistake we made though, was that we took too long between the time we had the idea to the time we actually created the product, and it was simply because of not knowing. Even though I was working on product design, I had never created an app, nor did I know any app developers. Trying to find my feet in the business was hard and I spent twice as long of the time that I needed to, on research.
This year has been great though, although we have had some competition. Yet at the same time, no one is doing the exact same thing that we are doing. At the moment, we’ve finished testing again and hopefully the new version will be in the app store.
Do you currently work on 360 Appointments full time?
No, I work nights as an engineer for Amazon. I only work 4 days a week so that Thursdays to Saturdays are my days just to work on the app. I have to understand how to balance my business and job. I started a To-Do list which my brother got me onto and having this list makes it easier to break down time and tasks, especially as I hate procrastination which is so easy to fall into.
How did you go about obtaining initial funding to launch your app?
When starting the app, it was a team effort (we are a team of 3), so we prioritized and put our savings together.
How do you obtain brand exposure?
It’s a bit early to answer that question because we haven’t fully launched yet as we are still testing. 360 Appointments does not promote to the customers but rather businesses. If the businesses use us and tell their clients to download the app and book an appointment, that’s our brand exposure. It all boils down to trust as such recommendation comes from your hairdresser or your barber, it’s not a newspaper advert or a twitter feed. Word of mouth is the best kind of brand exposure you need.
What kind of advice would you offer to start-ups?
Everyone would have said this a million times but make sure you crawl before you walk and before you run. People like to jump into things way too quickly. You don’t need to put a penny into anything, you really just have to understand the business.
So what have you learnt so far about starting a business with friends?
Being friends is one thing but being business partners is another thing; you need to differentiate between the two. Ensure to give each other roles and make sure everyone plays to their strengths.
What more do you think needs to be done to connect the Nigerian community in diaspora?
We need to support our own more. I think that’s where it starts off, if we support our own, we would grow and be more connected.
Where would like to see yourself and 360 Appointments in 5 years?
Personally, to be technical it would be to own a large number of businesses 30,000. For 360 Appointments, it would be to be more than just an app and business but also a network.