‘Fifty pound start-up’ entrepreneur surprises student web designer with 25% of business

Chris Hillary set up Fitness Mixes in one week and with a budget of just £50; a student web designer helped him on his project for a crate of beer but his work may be more lucrative in the long term.

Kent-based entrepreneur Chris Hillary, who last week started a business in a week and with a budget of £50, has given one-quarter of his company to a web designer who helped him along the way.

As reported in Growth Business, entrepreneur Hillary set himself the target of starting a business from scratch between Monday 4 May and Saturday 9 May. The result was www.fitnessmixes.com, which launched last week. The website creates bespoke music mixes tailored to individuals’ training needs when exercising.

During the process Hillary connected with Portsmouth University digital media student James Leighfield, who agreed to give his time to develop the company’s website.

When the project was complete Hillary told Leighfield he was bringing him into the business by offering him a 25% stake in Fitness Mixes.

The gesture was a reward for “having faith in the project”, according to Hillary.

“A lot of people I spoke to were very dismissive about the concept and some spent up to an hour discussing why they thought it wouldn’t work, which is time they could have spent working on it!” he said.

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“But James seemed to get it straight away and really understood the project. When I went to see him on Saturday so give him his beers as payment I decided to surprise him with the offer.”

Understandably, Leighfield was “pretty chuffed” when he heard the news, according to Hillary. And with start-up costs of only £50, the entrepreneur confidently predicts it “shouldn’t be too long” before the businesses starts returning a profit.

The undertaking of setting up a business with such little time and resource was “a lot harder” than even Hillary expected. The main obstacle arose on the Wednesday when it became clear the business would not be able to use any music currently under copyright.

To overcome this the plan is to reach out to unsigned artists and form partnerships to use their music for the app.

“The licensing issue was a huge challenge and did put a bit of a dampener on things,” said Hillary. “Obviously you have your original plan and when that doesn’t work out it is a blow. But we had a plan B in place and that’s what we’re implanting now.”

Going forward Hillary says he is going to talk with Leighfield over Skype to discuss future marketing and operational issues. Additionally Hillary, who survived on around three hours of sleep per night, is hoping to get some rest where he can.

Further reading: Are entrepreneurs cool?

Praseeda Nair

Kellen Rempel

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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