Startup Q&A: Treena & Simon Budd, Co-Founders, Lifeline 24Last Updated: September 1, 2019
The co-founders of Lifeline 24 take to the AGENT Startup Hotseat to field questions on the history of their startup, a successful provider of monitored personal safety alarms for the elderly.
HUSBAND and wife team Simon and Treena Budd set up Lifeline 24 in 2013. The firm supplies personal pendant alarms and keysafes for the disabled, frail and elderly, and monitors the devices from its emergency response call centres.
Simon’s idea was to provide a superior standard in monitored personal safety at a lower cost to the residents. And over two-and-a-half years on from its foundation, Lifeline 24 has supplied its personal alarms to more than 6,000 customers.
Lifeline 24 has grown to at least 25 employees, and it’s anticipated that the firm’s turnover this year will increase to the neighbourhood of £1m. The entrepreneurial couple are now thinking global. They have launched in Ireland, and are eyeing the United States and Australia in their plans for international expansion.
Incredibly, Lifeline 24 is a testament to the power of referral and word-of-mouth marketing. Simon and Treena employ no salespeople, and rely for sales on recommendations from friends, family, careers and healthcare professionals.
1. Very simply, what does your company do?
Simon: We supply and monitor personal alarms for the elderly and vulnerable, providing peace of mind to thousands of people nationwide and internationally.
2. What was the ‘Eureka!’ moment?
Simon: Whilst working for a local housing association for a similar service I was confident that I could set up a company to offer a superior service at a lower cost. After taking the plunge and starting from scratch the company has built up to the stage where we are trading internationally, with plans to expand into Australia and the US.
3. What were you doing before starting?
Simon: I worked in banking for 10 years, before moving to Norfolk and working at a local charity which I left in 2013 to found Lifeline24.
Treena: I previously worked as a PA to a doctor at Cancer Research UK, and then left to raise our two children whilst supporting the business.
4. How are you funded?
Treena: Primarily through our own savings, but we have been lucky enough to have received funding from the Future 50 scheme.
5. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs starting their own company?
Simon: Cashflow, cashflow, cashflow!
6. What object would you never leave your house without?
Treena: My phone.
Simon: My Samsung Gear Watch.