Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Finding a web developer

Finding a web developer was something that I had to learn the hard way. I had my idea, I had written my business plan (on my notes app on my phone) and I had bought the domain name MyCarGossip.

Finding a web developer

I typed "Find a web developer" into Google and up popped the website People Per Hour, where you can pay someone an hourly fee to work on your project. I put up a brief of my project and what I was looking for, I then had about 16 different web developers contacting me saying that they would like to work on my project. I looked at each of their profiles and their customer reviews and I picked the developer that I thought would be best. 

No communication

Unfortunately I didn't have the best experience, the web developer was very uncommunicative and it felt like a miracle every time he emailed me back (it sometimes took up to 2 weeks for a response) We only spoke on the phone once, every time I tried to call him I never got a response. So after about 6 months the website was still not ready so I decided to find a new web developer to continue working on the website as it was taking way too long to complete. I asked for all of the website details to be handed over and I ended up being given complete control over the back end coding system which I didn't understand at all and there were no instructions! 

We managed to find a new web developer via a referral, since that day I have been working with a brilliant company who really saved me from a bad situation. They did a great job of getting the full website details into their control and they spent a week finishing the website so it was ready to launch.  


My advice to anyone who is looking to outsource a web developer is:
  1. Use a company that has been recommended to you by someone you know
  2. If no one has any recommendations, you can use a website like People Per Hour but make sure you ask for referrals from their previous customers. Speak to their customers on the phone not just via email. 
  3. If you want a lot of communication with your web developer throughout your project,  make sure that they answer their emails and your phone calls even before you start working with them. 
  4. Make sure you both sign a Non-disclosure agreement, you don't want them giving away your secrets to anyone else. Confidentiality and trust is vital when you are outsourcing a developer for your start-up.
  5. Read the contract very carefully and get someone else to read it as well to make sure that you understand all of the terms and conditions before you start the project. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

About Charlotte Leuw and MyCarGossip

Hi my name is Charlotte Leuw and I am the founder of MyCarGossip, a London based start up company.
I didn't set out to join the Start-Up community, I accidentally fell into it after I had a bad experience with my car in 2012.

I had just graduated from Leeds University after studying Primary Education for 4 years only to not become a teacher. Whilst at University I took up a part time job in sales, renewing car warranties. I loved working at this tiny company in Leeds as all of the other sales people were women and I formed fantastic friendships with these ladies whilst I was studying for a degree that I really was not enjoying.

After graduating from University, I had an interview at Groupon, who were still establishing themselves in the UK. When they phoned me I had only heard of them because I saw a Facebook advert, advertising a Groupon deal on some beautiful stiletto heels. I passed the phone interview and the face to face interview and I was offered a job with them.

A year later I was driving home from the tube station and when I got home I realised that my tyre was flattening. It was 6.30pm and my local garage was closed for the evening, I really needed my car to get to the tube station the next morning so I took it to the nearest garage I could find. Unfortunately I didn't do any research on the garage and I turned up to a place that was not very "female friendly." I was told that my other tyre was below the legal minimum tread depth and had to be removed immediately else it could fall off whilst I was driving.

Being a young female driver with very little knowledge about cars, I obviously believed the mechanic and paid him double the original quoted price to change the other tyre. The next morning I called my local garage to ask why they hadn't told me that my tyre was under the legal tread depth a couple of weeks ago during my MOT and service. They told me that my tyre was fine and didn't need to be changed.

This information shocked me and it was at that point that I decided I would never be ripped off or taken advantage of again because of my lack of car knowledge. I began to write a blog to help female drivers understand their cars a bit better so they had more confidence when they needed to get their cars fixed.

MyCarGossip was formed initially as a blog, I noticed it was getting a lot of views and people were constantly commenting on my blog. I saw a gap in the market, I left my full time job at Groupon and found a part time sales job. I then began working on MyCarGossip part time and turned it into a website directory. is now a motoring website primarily for female drivers. It is a one stop source for women in the UK to help them be comfortable with their motoring journey from learning to drive to selling their car. The problem that I am solving is to give confidence to women from 17+, to help them make an informed choice on all aspects of motoring.