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Five minutes with Mick Crosthwaite

In Planning growth, Raising finance, Rapidly scaling - 1 month ago - 4 min

Five minutes with Mick Crosthwaite

Our quarterly Ready.Fund.Grow series of events bring together experts from our Growth Finance team and ambitious leaders like you, who want to grow, share and connect with like-minded industry experts and funders.

This September our panel of SaaS (software as a service) focused investors Octopus Investments, Perscitus LLP and Clydesdale Bank alongside the founder of Peppermint Technology gave a fantastic insight into the different funding options available to small business leaders and highlighted some of the key considerations.

Our company speaker, Executive Chairman, Mick Crosthwaite shared the inspiring growth journey of successful SaaS business HAS Technology Group. Here’s what Mick had to say:

1. Can you tell us a bit more about your organisation?
UK councils spend 38p in every pound on adult social care each year. Before HAS Technology Group was created, it was very difficult to keep track of these visits. We help bring transparency to adult social care, which helps make local authorities more productive and cut costs. Today, we work with more than 75 local authorities, logging 3 million visits each week.

2. What has your funding journey been to date, and how have you secured investment?
We have external investment from Octopus Investments who own 10% of HAS Technology Group. They invested in 2015.

3. And what about you? How did you initially get involved with HAS and what is your current role?
I am Executive Chairman at HAS Technology Group. Octopus Investments was a shareholder in my previous business which we grew over a ten year period before delivering a successful exit and money multiple for all investors in 2016.

We help bring transparency to adult social care

4. How has the business developed since inception? Have you adapted the business model since inception as the company has grown?The business started in 1999, with a brilliantly simple idea for tracking carers visiting people’s homes. We gave each carer their own 0800 phone number to call, which time stamped the beginning and end of each visit. Over the years, the technology has evolved significantly but related to the same business challenges – we help bring transparency to organisations managing their remote worker, to assist them in becoming more productive and cut cost.

5. What has been the biggest challenge to the growth of the business and how have you tackled it?
The biggest challenge faced by the business in the early days was convincing local authorities that they needed homecare monitoring. At the time, they were paying their care providers based on the commissioned care value and it was only through intensive lobbying and building relationships with key stakeholders in both central and local Government that a need for our services was born on the back of driving efficiency in the sector. By using our solutions, local authorities pay providers for actual care delivered rather than the value of care packages commissioned saving them millions of pounds per year.

6. “If I could tell businesses in the technology sector one thing, it would be…”
Double check your assumptions on CAC (Customer Acquisition Costs) my rule of thumb when I look at business plans is that CAC is likely to be wrong by a factor of 10. So many budgets and business plans are just wildly optimistic on the ease of winning new customers and onboarding them to turn that sales contract into revenue and cash. What are your sales lead times, how many meetings do you need to get a sale closed, how many sales people do you have to hire to get one good sales person that regularly hits target? If your business plan is expecting to hire 4 good sales people that hit their targets, does it budget for the other 10 sales people that didn’t cut the mustard?

9. With hindsight what, if anything, would you do differently?
– Buy shares in Starbucks when I first heard about them at an investor conference in 1993
– Double check my assumptions on Customer Acquisition Costs and Sales Lead times!!

8. Which other organisations do you admire the most and why?
– Apple: for their sustained ability to generate profits and value in their business
– TESLA: for their technology and innovation

10. What’s one interesting fact about your business that we may not know?
HAS Technology Group processes in excess of £600m of Social Care invoices per year

11. What do you see as the biggest opportunity for HAS in the next five years?
In the UK Social Care sector the biggest opportunities will come from the use of technology to keep people in their own homes and prevent costly hospital admissions and from the massive volumes of information gathered through our various services. We are currently piloting new solutions in both these areas. Growing our overseas operations. The home healthcare market in the US is ten times the size of the UK market.

If you would like to speak to somebody in the team about your growth journey, get in touch with a member of the team directly team today on 08081 722350 or drop us an email: g.enquiries@uk.gt.com.