Eight Questions for the 'Final 8' - David Grimes
In each of the eight days running up to the 2011 Shell LiveWIRE Young
Entrepreneur of the Year Award, we will be profiling each of the eight
finalists to give you some background on their entrepreneurial journey
so far. Up seventh is David Grimes of myParcelDelivery.com.
To learn more about myParcelDelivery.com visit David's Alumni page.
For full details on each of the eight finalists for the 2011 Shell
LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, please visit the 'Final 8' page.
Can you give us some background on how your
business got started?
from running our first company, Xenon-54 (which supplies corporate branded
merchandise to corporate firms and advertising agencies throughout the UK) that
we saw the gap in the market for myParcelDelivery.com. We became increasingly
frustrated with the long commutate to a post office, and the subsequent long
queues we had to endure upon arriving, just to send some samples out to our
customers. As we only sent a few parcels per week, courier services were too
expensive, and it was at this point we had the sudden realisation that there
must have been thousands of others in the same position as we were. It was from
this moment that myParcelDelivery.com was born, and we now aggregate the volume
of thousands of customers across the UK to get the best rates with the couriers
and then pass on these discounts to our customers.
What has been the biggest barrier you have
overcome to get this far?
The biggest obstacle we have had
has been having the necessary budgets to market the business to create the mass
brand awareness it needs. As an Internet-based business, our potential target
market is theoretically global and so, to reach this many people is a major
challenge, not to mention immensely costly! Therefore, in our first year, we
have had to be extremely strategic with our marketing spend (as funds were
limited) and so it was frustrating that we could not market ourselves to the
mass markets. It is imperative that people know about your services so that
they can use you.
People will always have a need to
send parcels, especially with the growth in on-line retail and eBay. Therefore,
there is no doubt that the more people who know about myParcelDelivery.com, the
more the company will grow.
Even though we have seen
incredible growth in the last year, we know that with a larger marketing
budget, we could grow the company at an even greater rate. This was one of the
primary reasons we secured investment recently, as we now have the necessary
budgets to really market myParcelDelivery.com aggressively and promote our
How has Shell LiveWIRE helped you on your
Our business requires a great deal of
resource to operate. We have in-house IT developers, customer service,
accounts, sales and marketing departments – all of which come at a great cost.
However, they are essential to the success and continued growth of
Our current focus is to strengthen our
IT team, as the software that powers the website is vital to its operation. Therefore,
the Grand Ideas Award win of £1,000 has helped us inject further resource into
our IT team in order to help create our myParcelDelivery.com app for
iPhone/iPad users. We have a skills gap in MAC development so we have been able
to inject added resource into this field.
Also, winning the Grand Ideas Award
really bolstered our team spirit, and has had a big impact in giving our
business greater credibility in the marketplace. We have had some great PR
exposure as a result and have already generated a lot of new business as a
result of being within the Shell LiveWIRE community.
Winning the Shell LiveWIRE Young
Entrepreneur of the Year Award would surpass all the other award wins we have
had to date and set us on a very exciting journey.
What has been the best bit of advice you’ve
received on your entrepreneurial journey?
There a few:
- Don’t ever cross
anyone on your way up, as you will always meet them on your way down
- Cost is a
disease, cash flow is king
- Fail to
prepare, prepare to fail
Which entrepreneurs do you look to for
- My father
- Warren Buffett
- Steve Jobs
- Bill Gates
- Jeff Bezos
What are you most looking forward to at Shell
LiveWIRE LIVE! 2011?
winning the 2011 Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award!
- The judging
process – we love the opportunity to talk about our business
- The networking
and resulting business we can do as a result.
What will it mean to you and the business
if you win?
We entered the Shell LiveWIRE awards as winning
the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year would not only mean the world
to the directors, but also to the whole team here. Our team literally jumped
off their chairs when we announced our last award win. It is a great
recognition for all their hard work and really helps boost morale.
Moreover, to be recognised by an independent body
of experts for having created and developed a company that is worthy of the
Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award would be absolutely
The last year has been one of the hardest in our
business careers. We have been faced with some of the biggest challenges, and
overcoming these has been very difficult. We have learnt a lot of new lessons,
and have developed a great deal as leaders and as businessmen. The ‘icing on
the cake’ for us is to be recognised for the ‘blood, sweat and tears’ you put
into your business by a judging panel who believe in both you and your
Winning something like this has a major impact on
the growth and success of a business. Winning this award means everything to
What do you think can be done to help
entrepreneurs in the future?
- Better and
easier access to finance
- More mentoring
schemes from real entrepreneurs
- More government
support – i.e. tax breaks, credits, grants, subsidies, etc.
You can watch the 60-second elevator pitch video submitted by
David as part of the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award process in the
top right-hand corner of your screen.