Opinion

Published

Small business challenges discussed by leaders of Mumsnet, Cereal Killer Cafe and Xero

3 Mins

Real Business spoke to Gary Keery, one half of Cereal Killer Cafe’s founding twin brothers shortly after the Brick Lane-based breakfast business opened at the start of December. 

They found a gap in the market – when hungover – by deciding they could sate the needs of Londoners desiring cereal at all hours of the day, and went on to open a venue which has generated six times the number of predicted customers daily.

Small business accountancy software firm Xero recently conducted research that found male-led companies are less efficient than firms run by women. It also highlighted that IT efficiencies are wasting valuable time and money as the average business loses around £35,000 in the first year, which supports a report we wrote in December that found poor technology is costing the average worker 11.3 hours a day.

Xero UK MD Gary Turner sat alongside the Keery brothers, Mumset founder Justine Roberts and Wired editor David Rowan to observe the challenges, who all offered their opinions and lessons from first-hand experiences.

In terms of how tech is mobilising small businesses, Turner said: “The small business community were least likely to move to the cloud and the biggest reasons cited was lack of awareness and understanding of what, why and how they would use that.”

Rowan supported Turner’s comment and said: “If you’re busy running a business, you don’t have time to keep informed. It’s an irony because it’s the small teams of highly motivated entrepreneurs who have a major advantage against the big incumbent businesses.”

Meanwhile, Roberts admitted changing anything can be “quite painful” because Mumsnet was built on an old platform, but added that “every single adoption of new technology we’ve made has been worth it in the long run, even if you have a transition change of two or three months, it’s worth it for the efficiencies.”

In terms of understanding the consumer, Alan Keery, said: “We stood on the streets of Shoreditch and just asked a couple of hundred people, would you buy what we’re selling – that was the best advice we could get, speaking to customers to see if they would come.”

Check out the full discussion in the video below.

Share this story

Media interviews: How to avoid a Green Party-style debacle
From roofing apprentice to British Chambers of Commerce president
Send this to a friend