Before taking up the helm at Tryzens, Terry Hunter’s background had been in turnarounds – finding struggling businesses and providing a fresh injection.
It was that skill set that led to him being brought in as managing director at at time when e-commerce was coming out of the worst of the dot.com boom and ripe for innovation.
The company back then was called 20:20 and was unrecognisable from the business services organisation that exists today.
A potted history of the business is complicated. The e-commerce agency of 20:20 was owned by Swedish listed business Cybercom before being sold to Digital Media Group, part of Jaywing, in 2008. It then became Tryzens earlier in 2013.
Inheriting a company with a revenue of £1 million ten years ago, Hunter predicts that customers, such as Timberland, Waitrose and Tesco, utilising its e-commerce services will drive that up to £17 million this year.
It was during this rapid period of growth that Hunter decided to attempt another buy-out. When the business changed hands in 2008 for £6 million he had tried it then, but failed in his quest to get the requisite capital.
However, with 45 per cent year-on-year growth secured, he was able to attract the interest of Scottish Equity Partners who backed the deal. Hunter now has the launchpad he needs to take the business into new and exciting territories.
‘I’ve never had a pot of cash to build the business with. Had I invested we could have gone quicker but I was tied down to securing “profitable growth”,’ he reveals.
The Tryzens team of 200 has already spread to Europe and, with Hunter journeying to Kuwait shortly, has its eyes fixed on becoming the market leader in ‘immature’ markets such as Dubai where there is a need for specific knowledge.
His mantra is simple: secure recurring revenues. Alongside developing new systems and services in line with clients needs in the fast-changing e-commerce space, Hunter always returns to the need to be self-generating.
Now that Hunter has the independence he needs to drive his company forward, the business builder has shared some tips on how to find a backer, what needs to be done to get deal ready, and what can be expected from a buy-out process.