Midlands based entrepreneur, John Whitbread, wants to give back to businesses across the UK by offering a free, life-long membership to 10,000 businesses when they sign-up to The
The app, which allows businesses to connect with consumers without having to rely on social media alone or the interference of predictive algorithms, has been a hit through what was most certainly an unprecedented year, and what better way to celebrate the 1st anniversary of its launch?
Usually, the app costs just 99p per month, but every penny understandably counts for businesses who might be struggling to survive the pandemic.
It has been designed to overcome the frustrations which can arise when searching for a product or service on-line; frustrations caused by the fact that the technology behind the scenes is trying to second-guess exactly what the user is seeking.
Traditional search platforms have algorithms working behind the scenes to decide which selected options you’ll see rather than delivering everything which matches your request.
Their predictions, and the criteria by which the results are sorted on your behalf, can often mean that the options you get aren’t actually the best for you. Of course, you will also be presented with the businesses which have paid the most to get themselves in front of you, which again, doesn’t always best suit what the consumer is looking for.
John knew there was a huge need to support local businesses and to focus on what was important - fairness, affordability and bringing back a sense of community.
His biggest passion is to ensure that the Spotted App offers equal opportunities to both the businesses and consumers who use it. Which is why, alongside the ‘Project 10K’, he has added extra features to the app to support consumers in their bid to find the best local suppliers.
For example, consumers can now browse the directory and call businesses directly from the app, as well as send a message. Not only that, but they can now also upload a job that they would like a quote for, this will notify all relevant local businesses – allowing them to come to the consumer, rather than having to do the groundwork themselves.
To get to this point hasn’t been an easy ride, John has seen plenty of ups and downs – from selling his house to make this venture work and support his dream, to being invited onto Dragons Den, and of course – an unpredicted global pandemic. But the very reason he launched this app, has also been what has kept him going –and that is the local community.
Discussing his vision, John told us: “Of course, when you hear of free advertising, it sounds too good to be true! But there is no catch to this, no commission, no cost – a real opportunity not to be missed.
"We want to help local communities and local businesses through what has been a really hard year. The Spotted App is a fair directory, treating all businesses the same and giving them all equal opportunities – to not only survive, but thrive too.”