Role and company:Founder and CEO of TablePouncer.com
Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):£250K turnover on current month revenues.
Growth forecast for the next three years:£5m turnover within three years.
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:TablePouncer is the UK’s only last-minute dining deals website. Consumers can book same day tables at top restaurants with discounts of up to 50 per cent off your total bill. Restaurants fill tables that would otherwise remain empty.
What’s the big vision for your business?To expand the brand nationally, then internationally, then globally.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:We are currently UK-based but are in the early stages of planning a US soft launch.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:Selling out too soon from my Australian ringtone company.
What makes you mad in business today?Nothing ever goes to plan or happens as quickly as you want.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?An improving economy will likely lead to people eating out more often, which in turn will lower the number of last-minute empty tables. The question is how quickly and how big an impact.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?Finance is unobtainable for start-ups from the financial institutions and I’ve only had fundraising success from angel investors. The government could increase the Seed EIS limits and offer additional, similar tax efficient incentives to encourage investment in early stage start-ups.
How would others describe your leadership style?My nickname is Greenage, which is meant to mean firm but fair.
Your biggest personal extravagance?I practise what I preach – eating out at top restaurants, normally using TablePouncer!
You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:
- Make further improvements to both Seed EIS and EIS so that investors are rewarded further for making investments in start-ups;
- Provide tax breaks for employees and their respective start-up employers;
- Put pressure on financial institutions to make funds more readily available to start-ups by underwriting and de-risking debt financing; and
- Teach entrepreneurship in schools and update the curriculum so that it reflects the way that business is done in the modern day. A lot of business studies materials that I have seen is irrelevant to start-ups.
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