The Business Owner: Peter Tuvey, Fleximize

Describing his company as ‘tech-focused, but relationship-driven’, Peter Tuvey talks to is4profit about running his alternative finance firm

The Business Owner: Peter Tuvey, Fleximize

Name: Peter Tuvey
Location: Ipswich
Proposition: An alternative business lender, offering flexible business loans to British small businesses
Size:  40+ employees

Describe your business model:

Fleximize is a direct business lender that combines innovative tech with traditional underwriting methods. We like to describe ourselves as ‘tech-focused, but relationship-driven’, demonstrating our commitment to customer service. We don’t apply the strict criteria of banks, meaning we will lend to companies that other lenders, including direct competitors, wouldn’t.

How is your business different from what’s already out there?

We listen to our customers to develop products that they’re asking for, and which aren’t already on the shelves. We also offer repayment holidays, unlike our competitors, and were the first lender in the UK to offer a revenue-based finance product, which aligns repayments to a business’s monthly revenues, letting them grow at their own pace.

How did you finance your business?

Our seed funding came from the company’s three co-founders, with additional funding from high-net worth individuals and investment funds.

What is the most important thing to keep track of in business and why?

Your profit margin, because you need to know that you’re making money, and how much you can afford to spend to fund your growth.

What is the biggest day-to-day challenge you face?

Raising additional investment to secure the growth that we know we can achieve. I think most business owners would say that fundraising is their biggest challenge.

What marketing techniques do you use to attract new customers?

We utilise a range of direct marketing and brand awareness techniques to attract new customers, from radio to pay-per-click advertising. We also have a knowledgeable broker management team that manages a portfolio of introducers from across the UK.

Do you think it’s important for small businesses to export, any tips?

The nature of our business means it can’t be ‘exported’, but I’d suggest that it’s only worth doing if it makes absolute sense for your business and is likely to deliver strong returns.  However, the current exchange rate, especially against the Euro, certainly makes it a great opportunity for UK businesses.

What’s the business app you couldn’t do without?

I’m always on Skype. I think it’s transformed communication, and will still be just as relevant in 20 years’ time.

Describe your company’s culture in three words:

Dynamic, fun, welcoming.

What would you like the government to do for small business?

More of the same. I think it’s already doing a very good job for small businesses.

Who’s your biggest small and medium enterprise hero?

I have a lot of time for Richard Reed, the founder of Innocent Drinks. His company has done a great job of introducing young (and old) people to healthy food and drink, and in an accessible way. I’m also on a bit of a health kick at the moment, so perhaps that inspired my answer!

Where do you want the business to be in three years?

I’d like to think that we’ll have a £250m portfolio of funded businesses and at least five new creative loan products for small businesses. We would also like to be trading in at least two additional countries.

What’s your top tip for keeping it lean and making profit?

Regularly monitor your outgoings, and always check your KPIs.

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