Role and Company:Founder of printed.com
Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):printed.com’s estimated sales for 2013 are £6.5m.
Growth Forecast for the next three years:The business has grown 100 per cent for the past two consecutive years and we are aiming to do the same again for the next three.
In fewer than 50 words what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:We challenge the way businesses and the general public traditionally order printed material by offering a simple and convenient online service. Our industry-unique Reward Programme, which includes an exclusive partnership with British Airways Executive Club, gives our customers the choice of a number of luxury rewards in return for their print spend.
What’s the big vision for your business?The big vision is for printed.com to be the number one destination for printed products across the UK. Our aim is to expand our range beyond traditional printed material, to non-printed such as t-shirts.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:We are currently UK-based but we have recently acquired rival print company, Goodprint, which we hope will help us sustain our rapid growth by expanding internationally in 2014.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:My second job was at Teletext and after going for a promotion which I didn’t get, I was disappointed to say the least. I was told to be patient, which I was, and a year later I got the job. It was a great lesson in not giving up and one I have kept with me throughout the rest of my career. It is what drove me to start up Tangent, the parent company of printed.com, with my family.
What makes you mad in business today?It is pretty simple really; people who look for a reason not to do something.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?As digital printing technology continues to grow, it will allow more conventional Litho products to be produced digitally and therefore online. This will open a huge market and a plethora of opportunities and will force business to look at the services they offer and how they offer them.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?Yes I believe they can. There are plenty of opportunities in private equity as well as banking avenues that can be explored.
How would others describe your leadership style?Hopefully they would recognise that I have a vested interest in how I can create an environment in which people want to work in and attracts the best talent. In our office we have classic sweets and chocolate dispensers, as well as a fully constructed, but may I add not stocked(!), bar. I believe in making small finishing touches to our office space as a way of both enthusing my workforce to believe in a shared goal and encouraging new clients to put their faith in the company and work with us. I have a motto that I try and stick to, which is: “Happy people work harder and better than unhappy people.”
Your biggest personal extravagance?That would have to be travel, but I make sure I collect my Avios points wherever I can so the damage isn’t too bad!
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 break it down into two simple points:
- Make it easy to access financial guidance for those who want it;
- Finance for small businesses still needs more help.
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