This week for our Start-up Story Abi spoke to Jamie from Who Knows Wins about how he started his company.
What did you want to do when you grew up?
It changed a lot, but probably a professional sportsman (though I was never quite up to it). I think business was always in the back of my mind when I was young and it seemed natural that I wanted to go into it when the other dreams had failed.
Does your business reflect you as a person?
Bits of it do and bits of it don’t. We’re pushing the social side. It’s going to be fun, friendly and probably everything that I’m not but what I wouldn’t mind being!
What inspired you to start your own business?
Looking at the way British culture is, the only way I could get the desired freedom from a vocation was through business and ultimately my own business. So really the freedom and versatility and having that control of your destiny.
How did you find your Niche?
Through experience of my own and just experiencing different elements of the industry we’re in and just feeling that there was something missing. In terms of the business, what we’re trying to do is provide a safer environment for people to enjoy the gambling aspect of sport but in a slightly different environment.
What were you doing prior to Who Knows Wins?
I left university and took a job as a bar manager in a golf club. I’d worked there part time during uni and then a manager position came about just as I graduated. I stayed there for a lot longer than I initially imagined, but I did enjoy my time there. I left there after six years and came straight to ICE, It was a huge weight off to get out of it.
What have you found most enjoyable about owning Who Knows Wins?
So far it has been the people I’ve met. Generally I don’t really like people that much but I’ve been surprised, especially here at ICE. The amount of people that were proactive in helping is something that I would never have come across previously which has been what’s surprised me the most. It’s also what I’ve enjoyed the most about it.
What have you found most challenging about owning Who Knows Wins
A lot! There have been a lot of challenges, and these tend to be kind of the bureaucracy with business. However, being in the gambling industry the problems that have arisen through that have been vast. I wouldn’t change what I’ve got into but I didn’t realise how difficult it was going to be. It can all be overcome but it’s a headache.
Do you have any tips for starting business particularly relating to gambling?
It’s difficult because whenever anyone wants to start a business they have to have that one of a kind idea and I think you should stick to that and what it involves because that’s probably where the passion is and what you have been driven to do. My tips would be to take advice from as many people as you can and just remain level headed because things tend to take longer than you think they will. Always make sure that you’re happy doing what you’re doing and that you’ve got a bit of security behind you.
Where do you see your business in 5-10 years time?
Honestly, hopefully sold! We want to build something brilliant and quickly. The exit strategy is just to offload it.