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New business idea with a big app-eal
Businesses and shoppers in Ilkley have flocked to participate in the trial of a new online and mobile phone application enabling consu-mers to give feedback about companies and their services.
Entrepreneurs Martin Jones and Richard Bennett chose the town as a testing ground for their new venture – Yapback – because it is as an ideal example of a small community with its own thriving core of business.
Similar to travel review website TripAdvisor, Yapback encourages customers who visit local shops, supermarkets, hairdressers, prof-essional services and other bus-inesses, leaving reviews and feedback about the services or facilities on the phone app.
Following the week-long prom-otion and trial in Ilkley, which ended on Friday, Mr Jones says the bulk of the fledgling network is now based on businesses in the town, meaning extra publicity for them as the venture expands.
The eventual aim is to extend Yapback nationwide.
Mr Jones said: “Out of all of the businesses that have been claimed so far across the Yapback site, 80 per cent are in Ilkley.
“If those businesses use Yap-back, and encourage their custom-ers to leave them feedback on the site, Yapback will be full of infor-mation about Ilkley businesses, which will be great for the town’s profile.”
The entrepreneurs had limited funds to start up their initiative, and chose to follow ‘lean’ methods, conducting their own trial of the network as a way of measuring the success of their efforts and learning how to improve.
Now the Leeds-based firm will go back to the build phase of the network, adding in improvements suggested by Ilkley contacts.
Mr Jones thanked Menston-based handyman service Team Fix It and business networking organisation BNI Ilkley More, for their support.
Town businesses who did not take part in the trial are invited to e-mail email@example.com to sign up for the free service.