Monday, October 03, 2016

Interview: Tom Church of LatestDeals.co.uk


It's always fun to find a good deal and when I find one, I love telling everyone all about it. I'm definitely not alone in this it seems. Every day I see more and more coverage in the press and online about saving money and finding ways to make money stretch a bit further.

Recently I've joined LatestDeals.co.uk, which is a great money-saving site where people find and share the best deals and discounts in the UK. Users can share deals, save, and add their own deals if they are signed up with the site. LatestDeals.co.uk is a great deal sharing community where you can find coupons, discounts, voucher codes, competitions and money-saving news all in one place. What could be better?

LatestDeals.co.uk has three co-founders: Deepak Tailor, Tom Kelsey, and Tom Church. It started in 2016 and is the UK’s fastest growing site of its kind.


Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Church. He tells us about LatestDeals.co.uk, but he also shares a bit about himself. It was fun to find out more about Tom. Please take a look!
Tom Church

1) How did you make the transition from suit tailoring to a tech start-up?
It's surprising but suit tailoring and tech start-ups have more in common than you may think. First, they're both small. You're working closely with everyone in the business. Strong relationships are very important. Second, you have to think creatively. You don't have the money to spend on advertising. And third, you have to work very hard to find and keep your first customers. In the tech world, they're called "users". Moving from Mullen & Mullen, the brilliant suit tailoring business to LatestDeals wasn't crazily difficult. It still comes down to listening to what people want and crafting a bespoke service to their needs.

2) What did you learn from your time as a tailor, from either a business or life perspective, that you think will serve you well in your work at LatestDeals?

Great question. Two things. First was the skill to listen. A suit is a suit, but it means totally different things to different people. For example, one gentleman (we had mostly male customers) may want a suit because he's just got a promotion and wants to look the part. Another may want a suit because he's lazy in the morning and doesn't want to think about what to wear. Both may be identical suits but they mean very different things. Listening to people and understanding what that suit means to you is important because I wasn't selling just a piece of cloth that fits nicely, I was selling the idea of it.

Bringing that concept over to LatestDeals, when people look at a page of products - imagine it was just a list of pictures - they just see "stuff". It doesn't mean anything. However, having talked to people on the phone - something I make a bit effort to do - such as when we last chatted, I listen to people and learn to understand why they want it. Then I can tailor those pictures so that they mean something and have a story behind them: it's not just a game of Monopoly, it's a free game of Monopoly, perfect for a Christmas present if you're struggling with your budget.

Second is management. Mullen & Mullen was run by two brothers, Dominic and Damien. They are great bosses. Always encouraging and positive, I hope to develop the same characteristics.

3) What is your favourite book? Who are some of your favourite authors?

So many books! Goodnight Mister Tom has to be an all-time favourite. Recently though I've read Seveneves by Neal Stephenson which is a Sci-Fi story. I like it because he goes into detail about how exactly you would solve complex problems in space. It's a bit of a nerd book if you like engineering and making things.

Otherwise, I have just finished publishing my own book, Money's Big Secret, and some of the most interesting books I read in research for that include Treasure Islands by Nicholas Shaxson which explains how all the big companies use tax havens and Debt by David Graeber who talks about the history of money. How it was invented and huge misconceptions people have about it. Both were completely mind blowing.

4) What kind of music do you like? Who are some of your favourite artists?

You're going to laugh. I'm a bit of a freak with music. I listen to it all day yet don't know any of the lyrics, artists or album names. For me, music is an emotional tool. I hear it, but I don't listen to it. When I'm working I will put on a playlist and have it on loop until the work is done. If I'm grumpy (I wake up at 5:30AM every day, by Friday this gets quite hard) I put on quite a charged playlist to get me up. If I'm stressed I will put on a mellow jazz playlist to calm me down. Music is incredible at lifting you out of an emotional state and I use it as a tool to do that. Deezer is my music streaming service of choice because they have brilliant editors who curate playlists. Somehow they get it perfect every time - far better than Spotify, Apple Music or Amazon Music (I've tried them all).

5) What is your favourite film? Do you have any favourite actors?

I'm a sucker for big action blockbusters. Throw in some explosions, guns, and an angry man who's saving the world from some random event and I'm yours. My taste in movies does not mix well with girlfriends. Having said that, I did enjoy Drive with Ryan Gosling; amazing music, and I've re-watched Crash several times. I've recently started watching more documentaries as I always had the misconception that the quality was rubbish - how wrong I was! Citizenfour showed me otherwise. If you know a good place to find documentaries, let me know!

6) What do you like to do in your spare time?

Exercise is important to me. While I cycle an hour each way to work (saves money!), my baseline emotional state drops if I don't inject exercise occasionally. I do Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, AcroYoga (which is where you do it with a partner: sensual but not sexual) and calisthenics (body-weight movements: pull-ups, handstands, monkey bars!). Also, as a tangent, if you want to immediately shift your mood ice cold or steaming hot showers are amazing.

I also love to cook. While I'm no MasterChef, a secret hobby is to go to the supermarket and only choose foods that I haven't cooked with before. For example, last night I made a stir fry with spiralized butternut squash, passion fruit, macadamia nuts and button mushrooms. Super nice.

7) Where have you taken some of your favourite holidays?

I don't do holidays in the traditional sense. In Money's Big Secret I introduce the idea of an inflation detox. When investing your money, you learn the idea of compound interest. It gets bigger and bigger with time. However, because prices go up, that real increase is reduced. £10 today is not the same as £10 in 40 years. However, inflation is quite a low percentage. 1-3%. If you can keep what you spend each year exactly the same, technically you've experienced 0% inflation. But, if you go on holiday for a long time, 1-3 months, and spend a lot less, you can experience negative inflation. It's cheaper to live in Argentina than it is in London. So I tend to go away for a month or more each year. This way, my holiday actually saves me money. Last year I went to Brazil which was incredible.

8)Tell us more about LatestDeals...how it works and what you want to offer consumers.

LatestDeals is a money saving community. People find and share deals, discounts and voucher codes. It's a place where anyone can go and trust that the deals posted are genuine and from real people. Like crafting a bespoke suit, LatestDeals will be personal to you. If you like fashion and travel, you can say, "hey, show me fashion and travel deals!" and you'll only see those. What makes us different is that you can also follow the deals found by your favourite people. The goal is to help people save money and get more for their pound. It's free to use, just visit LatestDeals.co.uk.




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