Here’s how 3 start-ups plan to stay ahead of the curve in 2019
As we enter 2019, one of the biggest challenges facing most of the businesses we work with – unsurprisingly – is Brexit. We spoke to three W Enterprise start-up clients – Floom, Waldo and Cera Care – about their plans for 2019, including what they’re most excited about, key growth areas, as well as their Brexit contingency plans. Read on to hear what they had to say.
Lana Elie, founder and CEO of digital florist marketplace Floom.
Because we’re such a small team, we really pride ourselves on our agility, so planning for 2019 has been pretty top-level. We’re asking ourselves a number of key questions – from ‘what are the big things we want to achieve this year?’ to ‘what will make us look back a year from now and feel like we’ve grown as a business?’ And that can be anything from launching in several new cities to 500% growth in revenue. It’s important to build strategies, but also to scrap them and build new ones when it feels like they’re not working or not right.
When it comes to Brexit, we know there could be difficulty with getting flowers across the border from Holland, where the majority of flowers in this country come from. Having said that, Holland is also a huge supplier to floral markets in the US, where they do have to deal with border control, so it’s not something entirely new. It could also mean growers here in the UK experience increased demand, which will in turn help them expand and strengthen their farms. So, while it’ll create frustrations, no matter what happens, I’m confident we’ll get through.
Ashleigh Hinde, founder and CEO of eyecare start-up Waldo.
The last year has been an extremely positive one for us. We’ve experienced significant sales growth and gained widespread brand recognition, not just in the UK where we launched but in new markets such as the US and the EU (with more to come in 2019 we hope!). Looking ahead to 2019, we’re working on our infrastructure and planning appropriately for expansion, which will be key to making that next step a successful one!
In 2019, we’re excited about shaking up the contact lens market on an even bigger scale, in particular in the USA. We’re constantly developing our service and product to ensure our offering is the best it can possibly be for our subscribers, so any advancements in this regard are always hugely exciting for us – whether it’s a faster delivery service, a new geographical market we can operate in or a new type of lens (for example our Waldo Vitamin range which features a vitamin-infused saline solution – a first in the UK).
That said, this year will definitely be more difficult for us as a start-up, as Brexit will inevitably cause more strain on internal resources. Companies like ours need to be constantly looking at how the change will affect talent acquisition, currency fluctuations and supply chain in order to overcome this uncertainty.
Dr Ben Maruthappu, co-founder and CEO of homecare start-up Cera Care
Entrepreneurs planning for the year ahead need to think big, bold and fast. Entrepreneurs in the UK could be more ambitious, which is why the UK has sometimes lagged behind other countries when it comes to building companies. It’s time for this to change, especially as Brexit looms and expectations and competition get fiercer.
Currently, 8% of carers in the UK are from the EU. We are ensuring that our ability to deliver care services won’t be significantly affected by Brexit and are planning ahead to ensure we have enough carers when the time comes. We have already announced our ambition of creating 5,000 jobs over the next five years to tackle the shortage in carers, which will only be exacerbated by Brexit.
Our model of homecare – which matches carers and elderly patients on demand – is really starting to take off, and our concept to grow through buying offline businesses and turning them online is starting to be validated. This means we can really double down on what works in 2019 and focus on scaling a successful, innovative business, while hopefully taking this model abroad for the first time.