Role and company:Founder of Unclesmoney
Company turnover (and most recent ebitda/most relevant profitability metric):£1.4m turnover, £480,000.00 pre tax profits.
Growth forecast for the next three years:We’re currently looking at having our new HQ in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, creating six new jobs, along with several new stores in and around Birmingham (each creating a further three new jobs at each store). Disregarding the growth from opening new stores we’d expect growth this year to be somewhere in the region of 37 per cent up on last year’s figures.
In under 50 words, what makes your business distinctive in its marketplace:Pawnbroking has seen a huge expansion over the past few years, mainly in the form of large high street chains. We’re a family business, that’s what gives Unclesmoney.co.uk its distinction. We’re approachable and understanding of people’s circumstances. Unclesmoney never want a customer to lose their pledged items and always find a way for the customer to repay their debt and have their items returned. Unclesmoney have one of the best redemption rates in the UK, averaging 92 per cent where the industry average is 75 per cent.
What’s the big vision for your business?Expansion, expansion, expansion. Initially in and around Birmingham, then our target will be London.
Current level of international business, and future aspirations:I would aspire to launch our business in India. Ironically, it would be good to do pawnbroking in the country that gave pawnbroking to the world, China. We’re in talks to set up in both countries right now.
Biggest career setback and what you learned from it:Being held up in an armed robbery many years ago… We learned that you can never have too much security.
What makes you mad in business today?Complacency.
What will be the biggest change in your market in the next three years?Probably the biggest changes will be in Consumer Credit Reforms, which I welcome. If it’s good for the customer and gives them additional protection then it’s good for the industry as a whole.
Can businesses in your sector/industry access the finance they need to grow? If not, what can be done to improve things?No; no business has access to the finance they need to grow.
How would others describe your leadership style?Easy, fun but firm.
Your biggest personal extravagance?My Bentley Continental.
You’ve got two minutes with the prime minister. Tell him how best to set the UK’s independent, entrepreneurial businesses free to prosper:Cut tax for all SMEs to zero per cent, and only tax the top 500 companies; and make sure they actually pay tax. Imagine how many additional jobs this would create!
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