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How refusing to be an Instagram husband triggered my new business

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I confess, when “Instagram husbands” recently became a “thing” I felt nothing but empathy for the growing tribe of frustrated partners spending too much of their time as “human selfie sticks”. 

These poor guys who are stuck relentlessly photographing the carefully composed “natural” exploits of their loved ones for the world of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see. It was to avoid this Instagram husband trap that I co-created our app, Pollpic. Here’s how.

It started with a “chelfie”

Any good entrepreneur will recognise a demand and create a supply. I’d spotted a pattern in my wife’s shopping habits, where she would bombard me with an endless series of “chelfies” (changing room selfies – I wasn’t aware they were a thing, either).  

Yes, I appreciated she needed a second opinion, reassurance, a confidence boost. But I also realised that I couldn’t be alone in getting slightly frustrated with being an on-tap personal stylist and also realised how often friends and colleagues resorted to social media to gauge opinion, recommendations, and preferences. Look no further than your Facebook feed – restaurants, sports, fashion. Yet none of this could be collected or owned in a single space.

Creating a platform

I have a background in startups and development. My idea for Pollpic was a go-to app for users to gauge opinion through a simple swipe of a picture. But, I needed a partner with a more visual background. Teaming up with an old friend Alvan Whittaker – who came from the fashion business having nearly gone professional as a footballer – gave the idea application beyond the consumer platform. We got to work creating an app that creates create image-based polls that can be shared through Facebook, Twitter or What’sApp.

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Finding the right investment

We knew from from day one that investment was a vital aspect of our businesses progression. Our business model doesn’t allow us to monetise straight away. With the front end being loaded with development and marketing cost, investment is key for our business to grow.

Initially we researched the normal avenues such as VCs and crowdfunding but found that sourcing an angel investor was the best direction for our business. A partnership approach is key – we needed someone who would not only understand our type of business but also to understand our vision. Our investors are as passionate about Pollpic as we are – the perfect start that our business needed.

The investment journey

One of the key aspects is to start the investment process as early as possible as it can take some time. Even when you’ve secured the finance, never close the door to further investment opportunities. Chances are that there is always something lurking in the dark that you have missed and it’s so important to have a safety net.

Keep learning

When starting a new venture, we always look at our strengths. As with any startup, the reality is that we have to be able to juggle many balls and wear a lot of hats. Whether you’re creative or business minded, there’s always something more to learn. So it’s important to build the right team around you and not feel that you have to do it all on your own. Get the best person for the job that reflects where your business is and aim for the sky.

While Instagram was the inspiration for Ranjet Chohan’s business, the social media platform has actually enabled these small businesses to recruit, boost sales and build brands.

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