60 second start-up: Furnish.co.uk

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Furnish.co.uk pulls together the gorgeous boutique home furnishing retailers and designers onto one site, so you can shop for your home, get inspired by delicious interiors and network with other interiors addicts.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

I wish I had come up with the Nigerian email scam. What a great way to make money out of greedy, dumb people.

It's essentially a marketplace/affiliate model. We take a commission on sales made as a result of using Furnish and also operate a cost-per-lead model to allow for purchases to be made off-line.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

M*d*c*, among others.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

Our competitors push/prioritise the same home and garden retailers that already saturate the web, whereas we focus on the fabulous less well-known retailers and designers. We won't allow anything onto the site that isn't fantastic - we're a treasure trove, not a dumping ground.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

A combination of angel investment and self-funding.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?


30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

It was my wife's idea in 2005. We'd spent three years rebuilding and renovating our home - finding cool furniture and furnishings was near-impossible. The market was fragmented and online was dominated by a few brands, most of which weren't to our taste. There was pain and no-one had effectively solved it yet.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Listened to advice from our angel investors.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Spent unnecessary money at a very early stage.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A jammy dodger (because we're jammy).

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

The Nigerian email scam. What a great way to make a lot of money out of greedy, dumb people.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

Still here, still doing the same thing, but with a vastly enhanced site, a brand synonymous with fine home furnishings, a lot of happy customers and a lot of happy suppliers.

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If you're interested in a start-up business bank account, contact NatWest to realise your ambitions.

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