The managing director of We Trade It has his hands full running the only online B2B trading community created specifically to help UK SMEs and start-ups.
Role and company:
Managing director, We Trade It Ltd
Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):
09/12 – 08/13: £359,000
Growth forecast for the next three years:
2013-14: £608,000 turnover
2014-15: £871,000 turnover
2015-17: £1.2m turnover
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:
Wetradeit.com is the only online B2B trading community created specifically to help UK SMEs and start-ups buy and sell everything needed to run a successful business. With a single annual membership fee, no hidden transaction or listing charges and each member having their own dedicated wetradeit account manager to help find new customers.
What's the big vision for your business?
Simply put, within five years we want to be a major and influential factor in boosting the UK economy. There are over 4.4m SMEs in the UK and our strategy is to attract one per cent (45,000) of these to join our site by the end of 2018. This will help our members perform 140 trades each day at an average of £92 per trade, resulting in our site facilitating £4.5 million worth of trading between member businesses.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:
Since we launched in September 2012 our focus has been to support UK-based SMEs and start-ups to trade with each other. This will remain our focus until the end of 2013, when we will then begin to market the community worldwide and work to attract companies across the world who wish to do business with our UK-based members. Eventually we hope to be an important factor in helping David Cameron achieve his recently published target to double UK exports to over £1 trillion by 2020.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:
Not accepting the help of others more experienced than me. Business is like sport and just like the sporting world, if you want to be the best in your chosen field you need to have an experienced and successful coach or mentor. These individuals have been in your shoes, they’ve made the mistakes and learned from them, they’ve faced the same hurdles and overcome them. A good mentor can save you time, money and heartache whilst helping you really appreciate what you currently have achieved.
What makes you mad in business today?
Dishonesty and laziness. If you’re dishonest is business chances are you’ll never be successful and if you’re lazy in business you’ll definitely never be successful.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?
Technology. A key USP for wetradeit.com is the access members have to our forums and networking via the site. The advances and changes in online communicating and social media will make it easier for our members to source advice and do business anywhere in the world.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow?
Yes, if you have a good solid business plan. To celebrate the launch of wetradeit.com we are currently offering member business a share of £50,000 investment in their business without having to lose any equity.
How would others describe your leadership style?
Firm, fair and focused.
Your biggest personal extravagance?
Sundays. I work hard every day except Sunday, this is the time I spend with my family; they are the reason I started the company and my main source of inspiration and motivation.
You've got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK's independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:
I would abolish corporation tax on all small profit companies to help generate growth and employment. Under my change, currently a company with a profit not exceeding £300,000 would be £60,000 a year better off, which could be re-invested in new products, services and additional jobs.