NextAdvisor Tom Harrow: The More I Can Give Back The Better

Tom Harrow is one of the NextAdvisors signed up to advise our community in our Business Advice Programme.

Tom is co-founder of Findababysitter.com, father of two and entrepreneur. Tom is passionate about emerging web technologies, and its potential to engage and empower consumers.

Tom discovered his love of web technology in 1997 when he taught himself HTML and built his first website. Tom’s career began as a web developer and lead developer for top web companies and agencies in New Zealand and London. His career developed quickly into project and product management. He delivered multi-million pound projects for companies including FT.com and Microsoft.

Tom launched Findababysitter.com in 2006 with co founder Vanessa Cook. With Tom’s technical knowledge and expertise Findababysitter.com has grown into a powerful consumer platform with over 250,000 members, helping thousands of families find experienced local childcare every week.

Tom is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

Findababysitter provides an easy to use online service for parents and families to find and connect with child care professionals that live and work locally, including Babysitters, Nanny’s, Au Pairs, Childminders, and Housekeepers. Findababysitter.com is easy and affordable to use and enables families to find their own childcare without the expense of an agency.

TNW: Tell us about your current role/venture. What’s at the top of your mind with regard to your business?

TH: Findababysitter.com is a leading UK childcare search site now with over 300,000 members. We are one of 2 market leaders in our space. We are stronger in some areas and our competitor is in others.

On the top of our mind is protecting our position in the market and fuelling our plans for accelerated growth in the coming months.

We also have major product updates happening in the very near future which has been a big focus for the team.

TNW: Which business topics are you most interested in providing advice on?

TH: Building teams, fundraising, managing offshore teams, pitching, Product Development, Marketing, managing cash-flow, getting product to market and actually doing business.  

TNW: How should a NextAdvisee approach their relationship with you, to get the best out of you?

TH: Be open and honest.

Be clear about the problem they are trying to solve and understand the addressable market.

TNW: What do you see as the benefits of an advice relationship, for the advisor?

TH: It is always gratifying to help people succeed and build businesses.

It's so incredibly hard, so any leg up along the way helps - speaking from experience. The more I can give back the better.

Also if an idea is good and something I believe in there could be a board seat or an investment opportunity for me.

TNW: Do you currently have a mentor?

TH: Yes, not one single mentor but many.

TNW: Which business matters have you most needed advice on during your career?

TH: Almost everything! But we have called on various people for help regarding marketing, legal stuff, general cash-flow management and managing P&L.

TNW: What is the most useful lesson you have learned from a mentor?

TH:

Form a good advisory board early.

TNW: Who would be your dream mentor in a fantasy world (they can be living or a historical figure)?

TH: Jason Fried of 37 signals.

Tom is ready to start advising you on your business. For more details on The Business Advice Programme and to sign up, click here

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