In Episode Four we explore one of the success stories at London's 'Silicon Roundabout'. Shutl (shutl.co.uk) are an online technology company working with retailers to offer their online customers faster and more convenient delivery options. Founder Tom Allason is a serial entrepreneur, having founded E-Courier in 2004, so we will consider how he has evolved his business offering with the Shutl model.
In this episode we will look at maximising publicity for an SME with a lower marketing budget and ask how you begin to create brand awareness on a national and international scale. To assist in this debate, James is joined by Jez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand and X, to explore the logistics, pressures and issues facing this company.
Tom Allason's began his professional career as a shipbroker in 2002, before leaving in 2004 to found eCourier.co.uk. This business, also an online courier, grew rapidly to employ 250 people and reached number six on Deloitte's list of UK's fastest growing tech businesses. In '08 TNT acquired a majority stake in eCourier and Tom left to start up Shutl. Tom is also a trustee at FoundationStone making seed donations to startup charities.
Shutl - Vital Statistics
Shutl is a web service enabling fast and convenient delivery of online shopping via aggregating of external couriers. Through this model Shutl can offer customers the choice to receive their orders within 90 minutes of purchase or a one-hour window of their choice, same day or any-day and they are already working with clients such as Argos, Maplin and Oasis to offer the service.
Company Name: Shutl
Turnover: £3M (projected with 2012)
James' Checklist For Businesses £2.5M-£10M Turnover
- Is the induction process sufficient to ensure maximised productivity for new staff? Is staff training sufficient, or could it be improved?
- How effective is the business' website? What improvements could be made to ensure it is the best selling tool it can be?
- Is the cash-flow streamlined or excessive? Is it full of 'nice to have' or 'need to have' items? Does the business successfully manage receipts/expenditure?
- How recognisable is the brand and how solid are the brand values of the business?
- Does the company optimise its usage of social media? Is it a crucial part of the marketing strategy?