Your Business With James Caan 2017 - 79
any small business owners put
an awful lot of effort into starting
up, developing a market for their
product or service and establishing
their company. But once you're up and
running, graduating from a start-up to
an SME - and perhaps to something
much larger - can be a demanding
process. Here are some of the key
ways you can grow your business.
SECURE EXTRA FUNDING
More capital is crucial to growth, and
while you can look to reinvest existing
profits, you'll still need extra funding to
make that next step. You can start by
looking at traditional banks. If your
business is in a healthy position and
you can show you're low risk, they will
be interested in lending to you.
Alternatively, you can look at private
investors or venture capital firms. They
will typically ask for some form of
equity in return for investment, but you
may have the option to buy back stakes
as your business becomes profitable.
Such companies can also provide
If you're unable to secure finance
from other sources and have been
trading for less than 24 months, you
may be able to apply for a governmentbacked Start Up Loan. You can borrow
between £500 and £25,000 at a fixed
interest rate of 6% per annum. This
option also offers you mentoring and
support along the way.
MAXIMISE CURRENT REVENUE
Before looking at new customers, ask
yourself whether you're maximising
revenue from your existing base.
Your current customers know you
and your brand, so there's a good
opportunity to up-sell or cross-sell.
The saying 80% of your revenue comes
from 20% of your customers may be
a cliché, but it exists for a reason.
Effective customer relationship
management (CRM) software allows
HOW I GREW MY COMPANY
EDWARD RELF, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF LAUNDRAPP
to increase brand exposure and volume
in 2015 with an aim to
of new customers. We've now seen our
revolutionise the laundry
app downloaded more than 250,000
and dry-cleaning industry.
times. Today, referrals are one of our
The company's USP is
primary channels to attract new
to give customers the power to do all
customers, which means our quality
their washing on-the-go simply by
of service is paramount.
outsourcing their laundry or dry
cleaning from their smartphone.
WORDS: NILESH PANDEY | PHOTOGRAPHY: SHUTTERSTOCK
Like all great ideas, we came up with
The success of the first version of
Laundrapp allowed us to scale by
raising more substantial capital via
the concept over cod and chips! We
private investment groups. Another
knew there was an opportunity to bring
way we have been able to scale
smart digital technology to the laundry
quickly and internationally is through
industry, similar to what Uber and Airbnb
our Powered by Laundrapp platform.
have done in their respective industries.
This allows entrepreneurs and laundry
However, we needed to do our research
franchises in other countries to use
and that's when we landed on the
our technology - the consumer,
driver and admin apps - but white
We initially sought seed funding
label it and use with their brand.
and raised this via early-stage angel
Currently, we're live in Australia and
investment, getting £1.5m of private
New Zealand - and soon Brazil. Our aim
funding from high net worth investors.
is to be live in 15 international markets in
We focused entirely on digital marketing
the next 24 months and be the default
channels to acquire our first customers,
digital laundry technology in every major
but then expanded our marketing mix
market within the next few years.
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