The Pitch judges

Propel’s technology lead joins The Pitch judging panel

The cloud-based SaaS revolution is levelling the playing field between startups and bigger businesses. A rapidly scaling business can now leverage marketing, finance and communication tools that are incredibly powerful.

Propel by Deloitte helps fast-growing businesses use these tools more effectively, providing the advice and financial expertise they need to grow. We’re really excited to have them on The Pitch’s team as lead sponsor and Technology Expert Partner (read more content here).

We spoke to Propel’s Technology Lead, Gemma Taylor, about how apps and technology can help scale your business.

Understanding what apps will boost your business

It’s about finding apps that fit your needs, rather than seeing something shiny and thinking I’m going to use that, says Gemma. 

This process starts with setting out clear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These measurable values help you understand how your business is doing and react to challenges and opportunities – whether it’s identifying sales opportunities with existing clients or firefighting.

“If a startup runs out of cash, it’s the end of the road. Being able to log into a dashboard and look at how you’re performing in real-time is incredibly useful. That goes hand in hand with your accounting records being up-to-date,” Gemma explains.

She argues that it’s impossible to build a scalable business without the right nuts and bolts like these in place. In Propel’s case, the APIs are the bolts that pull in the data and the nuts are the apps that analyse everything.

Top of the recommendation list is a cloud-based accounting app like Kashflow or Xero. These programmes plug directly into your bank account, making it easy to do things like cashflow reports and budgets.

“We work with a lot of businesses that manage stock too,” says Gemma. “There are lots of apps out there that can help you manage stock in really great ways. But they all suit slightly different businesses. We found Unleashed is really good because it takes care of everything from manufacturing to delivery.”

What should startups include in their pitch?

Gemma joins Creative England’s Mehjabeen Patrick and Trunki’s Rob Law on The Pitch 2018 judging panel. 

A great pitch needs to start with passion, she says: “You want to feel that straight away. You want to get excited about it. It’s someone that can persuade you that you really need that product or service.”

Propel by Deloitte is designed to help ambitious startups and small businesses grow. From accounting essentials to investment funding and advisory services, the Propel team is committed to helping your business fulfil its potential. Fill out this simple form if you want to talk to them about what you’re trying to achieve and how they might be able to help.

ChrisGoodfellow

ChrisGoodfellow

Chris is founder and CEO of Box 2 Media, the company that runs The Pitch. He's a journalist and editor by trade, and his work has been featured by everyone from The Guardian and The Financial Times to Vice magazine.

Join us on Thursday 21st November 2019 for The Pitch Final as 15 of the UK’s best startups pitch their businesses! Network with our judges, entrepreneurs, investors and journalists - get your tickets now!

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