Incentivesmart has doubled its turnover twice in the last couple of years - from £1 million in 2018 to £4 million in 2020. As a scaling technology company, it didn’t want that growth trajectory to drop. So when the coronavirus hit, founder and CEO Richard White decided to apply for a loan from Starling Bank through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) to ensure that his company could continue to develop.
“Our bank balance has been healthy but every day feels like a year during this crisis and things can change so quickly,” he says. “The growth we’ve experienced is both a blessing and a curse. We’re expected to continue on that growth trajectory and the CBILS money will help that. It’s not so much a survival loan, it’s more about making sure that we continue to thrive and employ new team members.”
Four people have joined in the last three months, interviewed just before lockdown and offered jobs and introduced to the company through video calls.
Incentives for clients and employees
Incentivesmart is a platform for companies to reward and engage both resellers and employees. For example, the kitchen appliance manufacturer company Miele uses Incentivesmart to increase sales through independent kitchen retailers. Kitchen designers and dealers are connected to the Miele newsletters so that they remain up to date with the products and culture of the company. And if they include a Miele product in their design or sell a product independently, they receive points to spend on a range of rewards through Incentivesmart. Miele can also reward their own employees with points if they hit sales or contribute ideas.
“Users can choose the reward that’s relevant to them,” he says. “There is a wide range of rewards ranging from digital gift cards to cinema tickets, Sonos speakers to iPads. At the top end, there’s a complete concierge service. For example, someone can say that they want to go on holiday for three weeks and stay in this hotel and we can organise all of that for them.” Clients can also add their own rewards. For example, Miele adds its ovens or coffee machines as reward options.
From startup to scaleup
Incentivesmart, founded in 2008, is now made up of 14 people. “My ethos as a business owner is that I’m always trying to hire people who are better than me or complement my skills. If you’re the best person in the room, you’re in the wrong room,” says Richard, 41. “We have a really great family environment.”