Hereforaday.com: Mark Baker
Company name: Hereforaday Ltd. Website: Hereforaday.com Founder: Mark Baker Age: 36 Based: Exeter, Devon Staff Numbers: 5 Date started: November 2010
Tell us what your business doesHereforaday.com promotes one product at an amazing discount for 24 hours or until it’s sold out.
Where did the idea for your business come from? From the US – there are websites over there doing very well. Also with the economic situation, people are looking to save money and we can help.
How did you know there was a market for it? What’s your USP (unique selling point)? How will you differentiate yourself from the competition?The success of some of the US and Australian sites indicated that there would be a market for the concept and people always like to save money. Our USP is only selling one product every day, only available for 24 hours. We are the UK’s first daily deal site concentrating on products for home and family.
What were you doing before starting up?Previously, I owned and ran a funeral services company which was sold to a PLC. After this, I was involved with a website that sold childrens’ wear, where I gained lots of e-commerce knowledge to add to my existing business and management experience.
Hav-e you always wanted to run your own business? What appealed most about being your own boss?I’ve always worked for myself and have never wanted to work for anybody else.
What planning did you do before you started up – did you do market research, put together a business plan etc.? What advice did you seek?We spent about five months planning and researching the business, which involved lots of market research of sites in the US and where to source suppliers. We put together a business plan and forecast which we amend on a regular basis as the business grows and develops. We know a lot of people involved with e-commerce and so sought their advice and having run previous businesses we have learnt a lot along the way which is invaluable.
How did you raise the money?We are entirely self-funded at the moment.
How did you find suppliers?Lots of research online and going to trade fairs. We have recruited a very experienced buyer to the team, which has been a great asset to the business to add to other good buying contacts.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them? Lots of suppliers don’t want to deal with new companies buying limited stock quantities. We have been determined about pursuing our favourite partners. We have a passion about the business and we convey this to companies that we contact. Also, we’ve learnt to always keep an eye on cashflow.
Where is your business based? If at home, what have you done to manage home and work life?Our business is based on a business park in Exeter. I have worked from home in the past and didn’t personally enjoy it. It was never going to work for Hereforaday.com
How have you promoted your business? What has proved successful and what won’t you do again?We do lots of things to promote the business, pay per click advertising, SEO, competitions, PR & social media. Word of mouth is the most important promotional tool and we are delighted that at least one third of our traffic is from referring websites recommending our offers and talking about us.
How much do you charge? How did you decide this?It can vary greatly depending on the product. We assess every item individually and set the sale price based on value for money.
What about staff – how many do you have? Is it burdensome?There are five of us at the moment. Recruiting can be time consuming but we do this ourselves to reduce costs.
What has your growth been like? What is your turnover? Are you profitable? When do you expect to be profitable? Are you where your business plan said you’d be?We are growing fast – January turnover is on target to exceed December turnover by 100%, which is ahead of the business plan predictions. We expect to be profitable within the first 12 months.
What’s the impact on your home life been like?I’m not there as much as I work late nights and early mornings.
What would you say the greatest difficulty has been in starting up?Pulling all the essential elements together at the same time.
What was your first big breakthrough?No one thing, just lots of effort in all of our marketing areas.
What would you do differently? ie what have you learnt?Give yourself more preparation time, and always watch the money.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?Stop thinking about it and do it! But make sure it’s a passion, it will take all that you have to give.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time? Do you have an exit plan?At Hereforaday.com we want to have huge warehouses full of amazing offers and lots of very happy customers, although if you get the right offer you never know…