The ATI2 recently hosted The Innovation Exchange, a conference that allowed local business owners to meet and talk about their ventures. It was an event filled to the brim with exciting opportunities, bright ideas, and interesting conversations.
As we were surrounded by innovators and business leaders we thought it was best to take the opportunity to have a conversation with them. In our previous blog post, we spoke to Dave Miller, CEO of Cleaner Seas Project, today we chat with Jeremy Sneller the Managing Director of TouchByte Ltd, a face recognition software with many functions and applications.
Here are Jeremy’s thoughts and advice!
- How will you be navigating through the cost of living crisis?
We are looking at everything at the moment, in terms of the company and personally. We are having to look at where we are working and how we can be flexible. Not everyone is going to have to come into the office every day and spend on fuel, there is scope to work from home with our business. Because of the technology we create we can also help businesses keep their costs down too. As an example, if you’re a business that uses key cards a lot, you’re spending money on plastic cards that are bad for the environment but also a cost. Our technology allows for the same function to be done but via face-scanning technology.
What advice would you give to other business owners or possible start-ups in this climate?
Jeremy: I would suggest you have to have a clear idea of exactly what it is you’re trying to create or deliver. Right now, the cost of starting up is quite high so you need to make sure there is a market for it, if customers are willing to pay money, and so on. Market research is vital, be sure you have a clear idea before you even start. Also making sure you have people around you who can help you stay on track. Mentally it is a real rollercoaster setting up a business, one minute you’re punching the air and the next you’re thinking what on earth am I doing?
How can a business retain its staff and what should business be doing better for employees?
Jeremy: Retaining staff is massively key. You invest in these people in the early days and to lose such valuable staff can be devastating. So, make sure that your staff are happy at work and are happy in the environment they’re working in. You have to balance productivity and the right environment. We have done share options in our business, so if someone is key to the business we like to offer them shares, meaning that further down the line they can feel invested in the (hopefully) blossoming company.
What is something in the business world that you are excited by right now?
Jeremy: For us, facial recognition is a technology that is beginning to become more mainstream. We now use it too unlock our phones as an example. Now we’re exploring the possibilities of unlocking other things with our face too, such as doors, etc. The opportunity for us is huge as people become more aware of it. Also, in terms of the environment, there are huge ways in which we can improve. Large companies that employ say, 5000 staff members will have every single one of them with a piece of plastic around their neck, we can eliminate that plastic use across the globe.
What is one piece of advice you stand by?
Jeremy: I went on a coaching course once and we had to write a note to ourselves to open 3 months down the line. I wrote on that note “keep going” and it’s advice I stand by today. There will be times you will think why am I doing this? But I can assure you that it is worth it to keep going.