Almost Essential is a useful directory of tried and tested services, making your life in London easier.

Almost Essential was founded by Michelle de Biolley, a directory of tried and tested London-based services and products and gifts. Here Michelle gives us the inside scoop on the best that London has to offer.

I have selected, tried and tested all the services you need to live in London from the useful, plumber and electrician, to education, tutors and university advisers to the more superfluous ones like party organisers or getting Lionel Richie to play at your party. All can be contacted directly from Almost Essential by phone or email. I have also selected a wide list of gifts ranging from my favourite candles to the more expensive, like a luxurious wooden backgammon, all of which can be bought on the website. I have recently launched a lifestyle management service; if you need my dedicated help, you just need to buy a package of hours online.

What was the inspiration behind the website?

The inspiration was to help my users to gain time when looking for a service; you don't need to ring around around anymore, Almost Essential is there to answer all your questions

When did you launch the site?

The site was launched in March 2014.

What are your greatest challenges?

Spreading the good word about all the useful information featured on the website and the ability to connect directly to the recommended service suppliers and to buy my recommended curated list of gifts directly from the website.

Please recommend a website and / or app that helps you promote your site or that you simply couldn't live without.

All the services featured on my website I could simply not live without, they are all there for a good reason.

Do you have a favourite business podcast?

I don't really have any I follow, can you recommend a good one? :)

What is the best piece of digital advice you've been given in regards to your showcasing/running your business online?

People need to understand who I am and why they should trust my advice. I hope I have explained it well in the about page.

What is your motto?

Sharing is caring.

Have you put your company forward for an award before? If so, please let us know which one.

This is the first time I have been asked to participate in an awards programme; it is therefore very exciting for me, bearing in mind all the effort I have put into the website as to how to put my message across and how to make it as user friendly as possible. [We say, good luck, Michelle.]

October 2018