How did you come up with the idea for the business?
My Co-founder, Candice, worked as a charter broker and expressed her frustration
with the itinerary creation process, so during the lull of COVID, we decided to
develop a solution for this. As these things go, it started off being very basic and
then we quickly got excited about all that we could do with it.
We then built a prototype, showed it to a selection of companies and the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive, that we went ahead and set up a business around it. It all happened so naturally to be honest – it was one of those “why has no one thought of this before?”
Why does the industry need the solution you're providing?
It is an industry that caters to the wealthiest people on the planet, who spend an exorbitant amount of money for their charter holidays and yet, charter professionals lacked specialised tools to provide the highest level of service expected of their clients. Creating itineraries used to take hours, if not days, so much so that many brokers shied away from creating them, often delegating this to assistants or captains.
The bigger companies have full design teams working on these or outsource it to agencies. With Charter Itinerary, anyone can create the most advanced and complex itineraries in just a few minutes. Whilst we started with itineraries, the platform already does a lot more than this - now also allowing brokers to send yacht proposals to their clients, summarising all key information into a dynamic and consolidated format.
What have you enjoyed most about starting your own company?
This is a bit of a loaded question as I enjoy almost everything about it, including the
hardest of challenges. That said, what stands out the most is the speed at which we
can turn new ideas into reality, and the feedback we get from our users. We are
building a tool that is aimed at professionals and so to stand true to this, we must
develop what our users want, and they love it! We honestly could not ask for more
appreciation from our users – thank you!
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
What we struggled with the most was defining pricing – this was my role and it was
really difficult to establish a pricing model and price points that would cater for every size of company. Finding a balance between affordable pricing and the business generating sufficient revenues to allow us to finance further development was a real challenge.
Any bits of advice for entrepreneurs getting started in this space?
As cliché as it is – just start. You will never have it all figured out and any plan you have will change as soon as you have active, paying customers. Know where you want to go, but be very flexible in how you get there.
What's the plan for the future of the business? Where do you see the company in 3-5 years?
The itinerary creation tool was a starting point. We have already developed
the yacht proposal feature and will soon launch other tools, all of which are designed to assist charter professionals in the preparation of a yacht charter. These are the obvious ones, but we have a much bigger plan, which for the moment, is in stealth mode.