A chat over coffee
The idea for 365cups was sparked during a light-hearted conversation between two friends about how great it would be to order coffee from a smartphone.
Co-founders Simone Eyles and Mars Stankiewicz had landed on a life changing business idea. “I’m just a graphic designer…I’ve no real business background as such. Mars and I were housemates in university. It was just an idea – ‘wouldn’t it be cool to order coffee on your phone?’” says Eyles.
“We didn’t know if anyone would use it, let alone pay for it, but we believed in it and were dead serious we were going to take over the world. We met up at nine o’clock every night after our jobs and lives and family."
Satisfying countrywide cravings
Developing and funding the project themselves, their coffee ordering app was launched in January 2011. 365cups quickly expanded to become a complete, smart-ordering platform for businesses ranging from regional cafes and rural co-operatives to national franchises and metro property groups.
The business model operates on a monthly flat fee charged to vendors that, critically, can use either a branded or non-branded franchise service. The Android and iOS app can be used anywhere in the world, and accepts all currencies. While the journey thus far reads like a small business fairy-tale, the day-to-day realities tell a different story. “It’s not all rosy and easy, sometimes there’s really horrible things you have to deal with,” says Eyles.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride, Simone’s been driving, sometimes I’ve been driving, sometimes we’re just sitting with our hands in the air,” adds Stankiewicz.
Wagga Wagga to the world
The pair’s business success has an air of ‘right time, right place’ about it. While their bet on customer needs was spot on, the nature of today’s connected world means businesses like 365cups have a fair chance, no matter where the location. “People we know and meet, the places we go, it doesn’t matter if you’re in Wagga or Sydney or Melbourne. There are no rules anymore. You can be anywhere you want to be and if you have an idea you can make it happen,” says Eyles.
Lesson learnt: Big picture thinking
Today 365cups provides customers with the infrastructure, service, technology and support to incorporate smart ordering into their businesses and meet the needs of their tech-savvy customers. If it can be bought, it can be ordered using the 365cups system.In 2014, 365cups processed its 365,000th order generating close to $3 million in revenue for their clients. They also entered the US market and won a major contract with a national retailer. Modest to the last, the co-founders count their business blessings, while keeping one eye on the accolades. ‘We’ve been very lucky and won a whole bunch of awards’, declares Eyles.