Banker-turned-entrepreneur and business mentor, Jenny Campbell shares her business journey with GrowthBusiness
Name: Jenny Campbell
Location: London, UK
Date launched: 2008
Number of employees: 92
What does your business do?
YourCash is a pan-European business that provides 5,000 ATM cash machines for retail and corporate markets in the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland.
Where did the idea for your business come from and how did you know there was a market for it?
I first joined YourCash as Director of Operations in 2006. At this point it was still Hanco ATM Systems Ltd – a RBS subsidiary ATM company acquired in 2004 – and whilst the business had grown enormously fast under the care of the founding entrepreneur, underneath I found a business built on sand. It had a turnover of £40 million yet it was making a £7 million loss annually. Weighed down by poor operation systems and a land grab mentality, the company was failing. However, I felt the company had potential. I became MD of Hanco in 2008 and embraced the opportunity to turn this unprofitable estate into a flourishing corporate entity.
From the outset I believed Hanco, even in the precarious state it was in, had something to offer. We live in a society driven by budgets and value for money and even today cash is preferred payment method for the UK public, particularly for those budgeting. With the banking crisis in 2008, having access to tangible cash was of increasing concern to the general public. I believed investing in a company that could provide this would be hugely beneficial during a time when banks were reducing the number of remote bank branches available to the public.
In 2009, RBS wanted to sell. Not wanting to leave what I’d started and having total conviction in the future potential of Hanco, I took the opportunity to buy the business from the bank and instigated a management buyout. Two years and a name change later (Hanco became YourCash in 2010), the company was flying. Our change programme shifted the business focus from a sales mentality to one dedicated to service to its customers and the public. In 2013 I took another big step by leading a secondary buyout, allowing the management team to take absolute control of its future.
YourCash is now a fully independent company. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point, but I had faith in the business and that leads us to where we are today.
How did you raise funding, and why?
In order to instigate the first management buyout I had to take considerable personal risks. I mortgaged my house in order to fund it. With a young family at home that was largely dependent on my income, this was a huge gamble but I had absolute faith in the potential of the company.
The support I had, both within the company and at home, to make sure that this gamble came to fruition made this scary step possible.
Describe your business model in brief.
There are numerous benefits of an ATM in a retail business. Increased footfall, impulse buying and basket spend are some of them but most important is an ATM’s ability to create a ‘community hub.’
YourCash’s business model is based around core benefits of ATM services both from retail provider and consumer. We provide both through the wall (TTW) and internal lobby style ATMs (merchant replenishment). Whilst both have their benefits, our business mostly champions the merchant replenishment option as this is a cost effective solution for the customer and a huge benefit to the retailer who can benefit from business banking by loading the ATM with their cash, rather than banking it.
Retail is not the only area that we supply. There is also high demand for merchant replenished ATMs in petrol stations, department stores, coffee shops, discount retailers, garden centres and farm shops – essentially anywhere that has high footfall and sufficient cash to stock the ATM, on a daily basis.
We now handle over 78 million ATM transactions annually and process over £3 billion in cash across the UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland. The company has a turnover of almost £30m.
What was your first big milestone and when did you cross it?
Going through the first buyout when literally everything I had was on the line was the biggest mountain I have had to climb. I learnt so much in the eighteen months it took us to achieve the takeover. There were many ups and downs, some harder than others, but it all meant that the biggest milestone in my career – the day I was able to communicate to all my staff that we had achieved the buyout – was all the more special. The incredible, uplifting cheer from my staff filled me with pride and will stay with me forever. The months of hard work had well and truly paid off for everyone.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, go and follow your dreams! Make sure your actions are always oriented towards your final goal but remember no person is an island. You need to build close alliances with people you respect and trust and seek their advice and support.
Inevitably there will be many bumps along the road but if what you are doing you feel is worth it, the hard work will pay off!
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
Earlier this year we expanded in to Ireland and we plan over the next five years to move into more countries across Europe.
I also want to see YourCash at the forefront of new technologies, spearheading innovative developments in the ATM industry and finding ways to extend its capabilities.
By bringing my team together to problem solve any challenges and figure out how they can optimize the merchants’ and the consumers’ experience with their ATMs, country expansion and spearheading innovative developments are both achievable.
What is your philosophy towards business and life, in a nutshell?
My motto is: ‘Be the best you can be.’
Whilst my work at YourCash is hugely important to me, I think it is equally important to achieve a work/life balance, allowing you to be the best you can be in all areas of your life.
I have a strong family unit and I work hard to ensure that I take the time to be with my family and switch off.
I also mentor young people, particularly those who may have had a difficult start in life. Helping young people to set and achieve their goals and ‘be the best they can be’, as well as, supporting organisations as Young Enterprise and Tomorrow’s People is incredibly rewarding and inspires me in the work I do as well.
Hear more from Jenny Campbell at Battle of the Backers on 22 June at The Savoy. Register for free now.