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They say in the wake of every crisis comes innovation, and this past year has been no exception.
Since the pandemic took its hold on global economies, business for food delivery apps has more than doubled, and the market as a whole is projected to expand to over £5 billion in 2021, at an annual growth rate of 5.6%. The D2C market underwent a seismic overhaul in under 12 months, and this begs the question…as the world returns to normal, what’s next for delivery?
We sat down with co-founders of Zoom 1hr Kevin Williams and Dave Hamlet to find out how the startup plans to become the UK’s number one, hyperlocal, last mile delivery service.
What were you doing prior to founding Zoom 1hr and what made you want to pursue the entrepreneurship route?
I was working in the construction sector, specifically launching and managing responsive maintenance contracts for large councils, housing associations or private sector companies. Ths involved three similar elements to running a food delivery service; a service user, a team in the office overseeing operations and someone attending to a property within a specific time frame. Who’d have thought last mile delivery could be so similar to responsive maintenance!
I have always had an eye for business, and wanted to take the leap to my own business for some time. Until Zoom came along, I simply hadn’t had the right opportunity yet.
What was the first order of business in getting the idea off the ground?
Gaining the trust of the local takeaway owners was the first major challenge. We initially started taking their menus and listing them on a local website for free. When we returned to offer online ordering, a few were sceptical, but we soon proved to them that we meant business, and started generating orders in no time.
Being a local company, recruiting customers was easier than expected. We began working with exclusive partners to drive customers orders through our apps and the rest is history.
How does Zoom 1hr maintain a competitive advantage in a market that is increasingly competitive?
You’re right in saying it’s ultra competitive now. Covid has driven a lot of people to use delivery services, which has obviously generated more consumer choice than ever in history. Being able to differentiate from the business means we continue to thrive despite strong competition. We offer a larger delivery radius, with a wider range of products for delivery, including clothing and retail. We are better value for our partners, and have no hidden fees for our consumers.
What has growth looked like for the business?
310% year on year growth! It’s been quite a roller coaster trying to keep up with demand. In addition to rapidly onboarding hundreds of stores in our existing areas, we launched a last mile delivery service for the Coop in a matter of weeks, allowing us to expand into new areas with no existing infrastructure. In hindsight, we probably did too much too soon, but it put us in a perfect position to be able to support even more local businesses with last mile delivery.
What do you anticipate to be the greatest challenge moving forward?
Taking advantage of all the opportunities that will present themselves. We are fielding a huge amount of inquiries, many of which could add significant volume and value to our business. It would be easy to get carried away and say ‘yes’ to everything that comes our way, but controlling our growth is extremely important whilst we are still bootstrapped. That’s what this crowdfunding is designed to help us navigate.
What’s next on your roadmap in terms of product development, partnerships, new features etc?
Our team has been busy creating a product roadmap for our app, enabling us to execute some new functionalities that will compliment our position in the market and develop new last mile partnerships that align with our current geography and capabilities. It’s certainly a busy time at Zoom HQ, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!
What’s one thing you’d never regret delivering to yourself in 1 hour?
Kevin: This took some thought, but it would definitely be a new pair of trainers – anything Adidas or a El Jefe Special from Press De Cuba on the Zoom App!
Dave: A “Maccies” and “Same day trainers”!
What’s been the greatest learning so far in starting a company?
Kevin: Firstly, be thankful for your competition, they are recruiting your future customers. Secondly, search for people who are better than you, a business is a team effort. Last of all, always end every relationship on a positive note.
Dave: Trust your gut and always remember no one knows your business better than we do.
When you’re not working on Zoom 1hr, what are you doing?
Kevin: Trying to spend as much time with my wife and three sons as possible. It’s a real juggling act to strike a good work life balance. It’s been Zoom, Zoom, Zoom for so long, and I owe them so much time and intend to make the most of every moment with them as the Zoom team grows. Plus a round of golf here and there.
Dave: Kev and I don’t stop unless we are asleep! That said I enjoy racing motocross, snowboarding and am heavily into my fitness.
To find out more about Zoom 1hr, and for the opportunity to invest, check out the campaign now.