Desert Island Apps: Fraser Smeaton, MorphCostumes
If you were stranded on a desert island (with a decent 4G signal, obviously) what are the three apps you’d need to keep your business going in your absence? That’s the question we pose to business owners and entrepreneurs to help you decide how best to run your business on the go.
Following in the footsteps of pop-star-turned-cheese-maker Alex James, and fashion blogger Poppy Dinsey our latest castaway is Fraser Smeaton who co-founded the multimillion-pound company MorphCostumes
Selling bright, playful bodysuits for fancy dress, the business has won countless fans who share their neon-coloured, superhero-themed adventures on the company’s Facebook page. When he appeared on our LBC Business Show, Fraser told us that the success of its Facebook page has been integral to the company’s growth, demonstrating to investors that it had an enthusiastic, engaged audience.
XpenseTracker: Expense Tracker (£2.99)
If you always seem to end up with a box full of receipts that could strike fear into the heart of any accountant, this app could change your life. As Fraser explains, it allows you to photograph and log receipts into various categories before emailing them off to the finance team in a handy, mess-free PDF. Not only is it easier to keep a handle on how much you’re spending, it also means fewer irate emails from your accountant.
Good for: Avoiding nasty surprises when it comes to doing the year-end accounts.
One of MorphCostumes’ most popular product categories is its Digital Dudz range. These are costumes you enhance with animations by slotting your smartphone into a special pocket – everything from Christmas jumpers with roaring fires to Hallowe’en outfits that seem to reveal your beating heart. The animations are provided by the DigitalDudz app, which MorphCostumes merged with in 2013. As the app is integral to so many of the top-selling costumes, it’s essential that Fraser can be sure that the app is working perfectly at all times, even if he’s stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific.
Good for: If your business has its own app, use it every day to ensure that everything is still running smoothly.
Social media plays a huge role in Fraser’s business. “Fancy dress is a very social product,” he explains. “You wear it when you’re out with your friends and as such we’ve built a lot of the success of our business on social networks.” With millions of Facebook fans and thousands of Instagram followers, it’s essential that the company can keep track of all comments and respond in good time. Fraser uses Sprout Social to bring the Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles together into one app, making them quicker and easier to manage.
Good for: Keeping track of customer feedback and encouraging engagement.
Don’t forget you can always ask an O2 Guru for help and advice in store, online or over the phone