Interviews

The best small companies with a turnover of up to £10m in the UK

10 min read

23 November 2018

Deputy Editor, Real Business

Ahead of the Amazon Growing Business Awards, we've been unveiling those in the running for the 18 available accolades. This time we turn our eye to the small companies with a turnover of up to £10m.

On 28 November, the Amazon Growing Business Awards will be held for the 20th time, and among the accolades up for grabs is Small Company of the Year (Turnover up to £10m).

Below, explaining in 100 words why they are deserving of the Small Company of the Year (Turnover up to £10m) title, are the eight contenders.

The best small companies with a turnover of up to £10m in the UK: 2018 finalists

Broadsword Event House

Immersive live event experiences

“The investment that we make in people lies at the very heart of our success and growth. The way we communicate our ‘why’ within a culture of high expectation gives our team purpose and focus, and results in outstanding world-class events and extremely happy and loyal clients.”

CafePod Coffee Co.

Producers of strong, exciting coffee for adventurous coffee drinkers

“CafePod is run with a competitive spirit and single-minded ambition like no other. Challenging the status quo is in our DNA; we are determined to take on the big boys and disrupt the sector. We never stop innovating and pushing the boundaries in our aim to become the UK’s number one coffee superbrand.”

Davison Canners

The gourmet growers, catering for bakery, dessert and dairy

“Davison Canners Ltd merits an award for considerable achievements over this past 2 years, showing phenomenal and continued sustainable business growth in various areas including turnover, profitability, staffing, product portfolio, market share, geographic coverage and customer base.”

Fourex

World money exchange

“Our growth in expansion and turnover is one thing: our growth as both individuals and a team in the wake of our loss is another thing entirely. Whilst we see our work as an expression of the future, we remain true to the ethics established by our founders – diligence, open-mindedness, courtesy and interdependence.”

Imaginera

Bespoke reinsurance software consultancy

“Imaginera has shown that by focusing on core qualities of team collaboration, strong client engagement and innovation we can support large, multinational companies and we beat significantly larger competitors to do so. We have a highly motivated team whose skills and experience are growing faster than they would in most other local companies.”

LovetheSales.com

The world’s biggest online sale and clearance outlet

“We have raised a very small sum of money from investors in comparison to other startups of similar or less success, and have turned that into a business that is now profitable and been around over 3 years. We have also built an audience of millions of users a year with virtually no marketing spend.”

Marshfield Bakery

Family-founded bakery distributing handmade goods throughout the UK and Europe

“The Marshfield journey demonstrates a highly successful and sustainable transition from a struggling, small, family founded business. It has travelled through a period where exciting growth strategies were realised by a strategically recruited, well supported, very innovative, highly creative and inclusively managed team.”

TrustedHousesitters

Helping pet lovers travel

“Self-funded from the beginning, refusing to take money from VC’s or accelerators and boasting growing revenues by 70% YoY, we’ve shown rapid organic growth. Every penny has been reinvested back into the business, allowing us to offer the best value proposition and peace of mind for owners and sitters globally.”

The best small companies with a turnover of up to £10m in the UK: 2017 finalists

Click for Games

We believe our commitment to our customers and products, department management, stock efficiency, social media strengthening, forward planning and high staff retention have all added and supported the continued growth of our company.

CommuterClub

CommuterClub inhabits a unique area between two contrasting industries. With the behemoth of public transport on one side, and the rapid evolution of Fintech strategies on the other, CommuterClub has carved out the perfect position to take advantage of a massive market gap.

Monopolistic pricing in the transport industry has created a near insatiable demand for flexible ticketing plans from a market of commuters which is as huge as it is recurring. Moreover, all involved stakeholders benefit from participation.

Commuters save £1,000’s annually, and CommuterClub enjoys attractive, low-risk returns due for the duration of the annual ticket subscription.

Crunch

Crunch enables and empowers almost 10,000 freelancers, contractors and small businesses to enjoy the freedom of being their own boss.

With our software, we digitally streamline their accounting responsibilities, as well as offer unlimited advice from expert accountants. Our financial performance is strong, underpinned by excellent customer service (evidenced by low churn rates).

Our clients can access specialist financial services (we’ve helped secure over £50m of mortgages to date), and through Crunch Chorus we act as a voice to thousands of micro-businesses across the UK. Our internal academy is also developing the next generation of accountancy talent.

Digitavia

Digitavia has managed to grow to 68 staff and over £12m in sales in five short years. We are flying the flag for British innovation by delivering our meeting room solutions globally for some of the biggest brand in the worldwide.

All of this without external investment and in challenging market conditions.

With 75 per cent of business being delivered outside of the UK we have proved the British SMEs can compete and prosper in the global market and attract customers such as Ebay, Google, PayPal, Symantec, Snap Chat, Barclay and win business against large USA competitors.

Flight Club Darts

We’ve reinvented darts for the 21st century, developing unique, patented technology and creating a social experience like no other. We call it “Social Darts”.

In just under two years, we’ve opened two venues, had over 250,000 guests throw 24m darts and won five awards which has resulted in a turnover increase from £4.6m in 2016 to £8.7m in 2017.

We pride ourselves on our team and their commitment to service is evident in reviews which average 4.9/5 across Facebook, Trip Advisor and Google. In 2018, we’re taking Social Darts global with the opening of Flight Club Chicago.

Laundryheap

Starting bootstrapped when everyone around is taking millions to chase unicorn valuations was a key decision for success. We follow the LEAN model strictly and make sure that all efforts are reflective of financial sustainability and unit economics that work out for customers and business alike.

Other factors include a quick turn-around of a standard 24 hours, exceptional focus on user experience and utilising the best in technology to achieve operational excellence.

Last but not least, enabling dedicated employees to achieve their personal success, enabled us to achieve overall company success. All goals, personal and corporate, need to be aligned.

TrustedHousesitters

TrustedHousesitters has taken no external capital to date and has organically grown rapidly due to offering the best value proposition and peace of mind for owners and sitters.

We have members in over 130 countries and are growing revenues by 80 per cent YoY. TrustedHousesitters is disrupting traditional markets by solving a common problem and changing the way we seek pet care and travel experiences on a global scale.

We are on a world stage with the biggest brands in the travel and pet sectors listening to our story. We’re told, and we believe, we have unicorn potential due to addressable market.

Webexpenses

Webexpenses has grown from a small UK business into a global organisation in just three years, providing software to 800 organisations worldwide.

With software flexible for use globally, a highly profitable SaaS business model, and a client base that has quadrupled in size over the last few years, we’re set for continued growth.

We have a clear strategy around our business growth, our people, and our customer service and our product. We launched an innovative new solution webonboarding and will continue to pioneer the use of cloud technology to bring greater efficiencies for organisations all over the world.