That’s the reason why he started No1 Currency. He explains: “We opened up in Edinburgh to have a base and because there was a market up here that wasn’t tapped. When we set up, we looked at doing things in a cost-effective way and delivering to the market a better value product. I think the British public has been taken to the cleaners for far too long with a lot of things: it costs us a fortune to do everything. We just tried to keep it simple.”
In the interest of keeping it simple, McElney started putting No1 Currency outlets in other people’s businesses, from travel agents to letting agents. “It was very much on a trial basis,” he says, “but then over time it started to take off and we developed our own bespoke systems and technology for the licensee market.”
No1 Currency now has 282 branches up and down the country. It has expanded without the need for too much PR and marketing activity. McElney notes: “It’s not been necessary. We’ve done localised advertising with our partners and we’ve been working with them to promote the business but what we’ve found is people find out about us through word of mouth. People see it as good value.”
The business has grown more than 100 per cent year-on-year for the past four years. Net profit stands at about £2.3m.
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