Name, title & company name?
Harry Molyneux, CEO and Founder of Buildupp.
In five words or less, tell us what your business does?
Buildupp is a B2B marketplace for construction industry products and services.
When did you know that you wanted to set up your own business and what made you finally take the plunge?
This isn’t actually my first journey into self-employment. I’m an architect by trade and some time ago I set up a practice with two friends. One of our biggest challenges was building a team and finding the right people to support the projects we wanted to take on. What we needed was almost a Trip Advisor type platform for the construction industry. An online network that allowed people to secure the right team and tools to complete building projects. I mulled over the idea for a while and when I qualified as an architect I realised that not having access to that network of people would inhibit my ability to do my job. It was at that point that I decided creating Buildupp would be more worthwhile for the industry than working full time as an architect.
What’s the best thing about your job?
I feel in total control of every aspect of the business. I love taking action and everything I do is extremely proactive.
And the worst?
Being on my own is tough. As much as I have a great support network, having the vast majority stake in the company however, means that the success or failure relies solely on me.
Why did you choose KPMG Small Business Accounting?
As I’m in the technology business, I needed an accounting firm that was going to take a progressive approach to our accounting. I felt that KPMG was an accounting firms that embraced technology, but also understood the global construction industry. I envision high growth for my platform so need the right infrastructure in place to absorb the speed and scale of the business’s eventual growth.
How have KPMG Small Business Accounting and your dedicated KPMG accountant helped you?
My time is really valuable at the moment and in these early phases, as I’m learning, I need quite a bit of hand holding. My dedicated accountant has made things really straight forward, not to mention the fact that the accounting technology that underpins the service is so easy to use.
Who do you most admire in business?
My dad has been an invaluable resource to me in the setup phase of this business. His commercial acumen and advice have been key to me starting up the right way and remaining objective. I also draw a lot of inspiration from Elon Musk who I believe is a pioneer for manoeuvring his businesses from web-technologies to things that have a tangible impact in real the world.
What are two industry specific challenges your business is facing?
I see my business as spanning across both the construction and technology space. I’ve found it challenging to navigate the traditional business mind-set present in construction, particularly given that I’m trying to create something which is quite a culture shift. In the technology industry there is a lot of activity, and so many new ventures being launched all the time. Trying to rise above the noise and get your ideas heard and bought into has been a constant battle.
If you could give one piece of advice to small business owners, what would it be?
It’s important not to get bogged down in the detail of things. I’d advise any small business owner to just get their product or service out there and start testing the market. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them quickly.
What’s next for your business?
We have a beta-product now and the basic functioning works, so the next year or so will be about building a community. The strategy is to gradually target and work with small groups as opposed to going out to the market as a whole. Right now we’re focused on the smaller operators like subcontractors, young architectural practices and people who work on building extension projects and small commercial spaces.
If you hadn’t set up your company, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
I’d probably grow my small property development company to do Architecture & property development full time.
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