Founder to Founder: A chat with ‘The Pricing People’
We’re lucky to work with an amazing variety of businesses across the UK. Every customer has a story – and it’s our mission to learn more about each and every one.
We’ve started a series called Founder to Founder, where our CEO Anil Stocker interviews the business owners we help.
We recently had the chance to meet with James Ussher-Smith from The Pricing People, a company that’s leveraging technology to create efficiency in the retail sector.
They help improve processes like price label printing, stock counting and click-and-collect for major companies like Mothercare, Pets at Home, Superdry & The Body Shop.
James started The Pricing People in 2010, and over the years built up a steady roster of notable clients. Business was good, but James was finding it difficult to break out of the £500-600k turnover bracket.
About two years ago, a game-changing opportunity came up with a large retailer. The Pricing People bid for an £800k contract – a dream which unexpectedly (and quickly) became a reality!
James said: ‘This was a transformational deal for our businesses. We had to figure out a way to scale a project that was bigger than our whole turnover had been the previous year. But we passionately believed we could do it.’
In order to get started, The Pricing People needed £500,000 to buy equipment – a big expense which they were unable to cover on their own.
James said: ‘You finally get this big contract, but your customer isn’t willing to pay upfront, or even in 30 days. You have to set everything up, roll it out and wait 60 days to get paid – that’s quite a gap.’
The Pricing People found it very difficult to secure funding. James explained: ‘We’d been trying for months, but banks just weren’t interested in working out any sort of flexible deal.’
James saw a post about MarketInvoice on LinkedIn, and got in touch with our team to see if invoice finance was a viable option.
He said: ‘You guys were so flexible. We thought it can’t be this easy – but genuinely, it was. The tech is great, the platform is straightforward…it just works’.
‘We almost had to say no to a major retailer, which would have been a nail in the coffin for us. MarketInvoice helped us make enough margin to take our business to the next level.’
James shared a real-life example of their technology in action. He said: ‘We’re trying to help digitise the process and help the retailer be more clever with the customer.’
‘We worked with a pet retailer that was selling hundreds of types of fish, but relied on paper and staff memory to know which fish could be sold together to live in the same tank. We created an app that not only helped automate that process, but could also engage the customer and enhance the purchase process’.
The Pricing People has grown substantially, projecting an annual turnover of £4m this year. They’re currently working on acquiring a company, and have plans for international growth in the near future.
We’re excited to see what The Pricing People come up with next. A big thanks to James for taking time out of his busy schedule to share his story with us!