Interview with Allan Large the founder of FIZ – Behind the Biz

It’s time for another Behind the Biz interview! This is my weekly interview series where I share a new interview each week with founders of fantastic companies, start-ups and more.

In today’s interview I’m chatting with Allan Large, the founder of FIZ.

FIZ is a totally new concept. It brings TV and radio together to allow users to listen to their favourite TV shows through their audio streaming app. This really caught my attention because when I’m at the gym I’ll often have Netflix or YouTube playing but keep my phone upside down or in my pocket. I like to listen to my favourite shows but carry on with working out, cleaning or walking into the city.

Please tell us about FIZ.

Fiz throws the entertainment door wide open by providing an audio streaming service that enables listeners to enjoy the very best audio content from any television channel, via a downloadable, dedicated app.

Where did the inspiration for Fiz come from?

The inspiration for FIZ has been rattling around my brain for 2 to 3 years. I really enjoy watching the news channels, BBC news or Sky News and when I was out and about in my car I often thought to myself how cool it would be to listen to those channels on the radio. You can listen to radio 4 for example but it’s not quite the same is it? So although the germ of a great idea was nagging away inside my head I wasn’t well placed to do anything about it. And yet good ideas refuse to go away. The more I thought about it the more I thought how brilliant it would be if I could listen to some of my favourite programs in the car for example: Only Fools & Horses, Friends, The Simpsons….. listening choices that could change the face of “radio“.

How did you decide upon the name of your brand?

I started thinking about a name for the brand about six months ago, it was a much more difficult process than I ever imagined it might be. I have been involved in marketing for well over 30 years but this was one of the most difficult things I’ve had to deal with. To find a short, catchy name with the scope to stick in people’s consciousness was very very difficult. It’s fair to say the name isn’t relevant to what the app actually does but then 99% of app names aren’t so that wasn’t really an issue. The top priority was a name that captured the imagination.

What did you do before starting Fiz?

Up until recently I was deputy managing director of The Raw Chocolate Company in West Sussex. I had been involved with the company for about 10 years. I joined the company when they were struggling to turnover £60k or £70k a year. Working with the team and applying my commercial experience, I managed to get the company to a tad under £2 million turnover and making great strides in the export market. I have been involved in business development and marketing for most of my career so I have great foundations in place for getting FIZ off the ground.

Did you always plan to be self-employed?

I have been self-employed for most of my professional career. It was only in recent years when I was working with the chocolate company that my involvement was such that it made sense for me to become a director, mainly because I became the main driving force behind the operation.

What has been the highlight of your business journey to date?

I think my involvement with the chocolate company represents the highlight of my business journey to date mainly because of the measure of success and joy that the product brought to so many people. I see a parallel with FIZ because I know if I can make this happen so many people will benefit from being able to listen to their favourite programs or channels.

What role does social media play for your business and do you have a favourite social platform? 

Social media is integral to FIZ’s success, as an awareness tool to spread the word and to generate interest in forthcoming shows future developments.
Personally Facebook is my favourite forum because of the diversity of graphic and video content.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

In terms of what advice I would give to aspiring entrepreneurs, you have to remember that I’m still a long way from making my own project happen. In the past I have helped companies in my capacity as a business development consultant and I know how difficult it is to get a an idea or a product of the ground. Actually ‘difficult’ doesn’t even come close to describe how tough it is to make it happen, it is virtually impossible to these days to find anyone who would invest in an idea or product and in fact this has become a pet subject for me that I would like to pursue should I become in any way successful with my project. What I mean is that I would like to do more to help aspiring entrepreneurs because there are so many false leads and dead ends that you come across when you are trying to get something off the ground. I could write a book about it.

Where do you hope to take your business in 2018?

During the course of 2018 I would love to be able to get the FIZ app up and running and start to get a couple of forward thinking TV companies on board giving the app some momentum.
Check out Allan’s Crowdfunder and share it with your friends.
I want to say a big thank you to Allan for taking the time to be involved with Behind the Biz. I really enjoyed finding out about FIZ and I think it’s something that I would love to use. I hope the Crowdfunder is successful and I can’t wait to see the future of FIZ.

If you fancy getting involved with Behind The Biz please leave a comment below, send me an email or drop me a message over on Twitter