AGENT Q&A with George Bevis, Founder & Chief Executive of TideLast Updated: September 1, 2020
Tide is a fintech business that’s revolutionising banking services for small business owners. Its founder and CEO George Bevis spoke to AGENT about Tide, which within its first year, became responsible for around 7 per cent of all new business current accounts opened in the UK.
George Bevis is founder and chief executive of Tide, the fast-growing fintech company that provides small and medium-sized businesses with mobile current accounts.
“This is a career path, not a project. Focus on maximising learnings…”
Tide’s online current account saves business owners time and money so that they can focus less on tiresome administrative tasks and more on building flourishing ventures.
The app automates bookkeeping and lets users file expenses and send invoices with a few taps.
Members can be set up with an account within five minutes – instead of waiting weeks for an account to be opened with a high-street bank.
And unlike traditional banking services, Tide does not charge a monthly account fee, just 20p for each transfer and £1 for an ATM withdrawal.
Within 11 months of its launch, Tide has become responsible for roughly 7% of all new business current accounts opened in the UK.
12 Questions for George Bevis
George Bevis spoke to AGENT about his career to date, recalling his earliest experiences in business, his inspirations and role models, life at the head of Tide, and shared some of the key lessons he has learned as a startup, for the benefit of young entrepreneurs starting out in business today.
1. Briefly tell us about your business and your business goals.
Tide is an online current account that exists to save business owners time and money so that they can focus more time on doing what they love and less on the boring admin tasks that slow them down.
2. What age were you when you realised you wanted to run your own business?
I launched my first start-up at university when I should have been studying for my Finals. Prior to Tide I ran various start-ups. I also worked for Capital One, RBS and Barclaycard. The experience was fantastic but I always itched to start something that would really shake-up an industry. I strongly believe we’re doing that with Tide.
3. Who are your business icons and inspirations?
Richard Moross, who created moo.com, an SME product with soul. And Mind Candy founder Michael Acton-Smith, who is famous for his generosity of spirit.
4. What has been your biggest challenge in business, and how did you surmount it?
Access to capital is a struggle for a lot of business owners and it was for me when I started my first business. I’m lucky to have built a great network of investors over many years so it’s not as hard now.
5. What gives you the most satisfaction in business?
Making a positive impact and helping small businesses. They’ve been let down by banks for too long and deserve a banking service they can rely on that can help them to reach their goals.
6. Work-Life balance: is it possible? How do you achieve it?
Entrepreneurs never really switch off. Tide serves business owners many of whom do not switch off either! I tend to work until quite late in the evening. I love jazz so when I do get the opportunity to relax it’s normally at a jazz bar near my home in north London or with friends over dinner. A balance is hard to strike especially in the early days of a businesses lifecycle.
7. What is the first thing you do every day?
I check the emails I missed while I was asleep. Normally I’ll have messages from my team.
8. What screen saver picture is currently on your phone?
Whatever the default is—I have no desire to change it.
9. What is the most important app on your mobile phone, and why?
My Tide app. I use it to manage the company’s finances and test all new in-app services we build before they are launched.
10. What is the last thing you Googled?
Alias Grace, a new Netflix series that was recommended by a friend.
11. What item do you never leave the house without, and why?
My phone – I think most entrepreneurs would struggle to run their business without it!
12. What advice would you give to your younger self starting out in business?
Entrepreneurialism is a career path not a project. Assume your first few projects will fail and focus on maximising learnings for the long-term.