Welshman Dave Legion puts his entrepreneurial success down to patiently, persistently progressing and being able to keep numerous plates spinning at once.
Dave, 37, from Pembrokeshire, launched self-employment accounting app, TAXO’D, with help from Virgin StartUp in 2015. Five years on, he’s taking the app to the next level.
And Dave says the success is in part down to a ‘just do it’ mentality.
He said: “In the early days of running your business, when finance and resources are low, you need to rely on yourself to make things happen. You may be uncomfortable with many aspects of running your business, but you need to quickly change your mindset and adopt a 'just do it' mentality. You'd be amazed at things you can achieve and how far you can get.
“But it's not easy. We often hear about the need to 'work smart, not hard', but working smart comes with experience and learning what to prioritise and what to delegate (if you have someone to delegate to). In the beginning, you only have yourself to rely on, and to get things done; you must work hard at it – at everything – because the moment you stop, it stops.”
Dave has been working on the latest version of the app ever since it was first in beta mode in late 2016. The latest version, launched late 2019, now includes Open Banking technology which automates bookkeeping for freelancers and can process a year’s worth of accounts in as little as ten minutes, and even file their returns to HMRC from the app. TAXO’D is officially recognised by HMRC and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Dave says he wouldn’t have been able to get to this stage without the Start Up Loan he received from Virgin StartUp.
He added: “The loan is one thing, but the support you get from the Virgin community is great. My mentor eventually became a shareholder and we still meet every month. He’s a great friend and has helped me hugely. Today, as a Virgin StartUp mentor, I’m glad that now I’m able to pay it forward and help new businesses coming through the Virgin StartUp scheme.
“The loan itself was low-risk – exactly what I needed to get the product out there. We got the app out, but it was quite buggy. Even though we have had our first 1,000 customers, we knew it had so much more potential.
"Even after all those years, I still feel the same drive and passion as I did from day one. I always knew what I wanted to achieve with TAXO'D, but I could never have fathomed what it would take to get here and the things I would need to do, the risks I would need to take. It's an absolute rollercoaster! Filled with highs and lows. This is why you have to learn to love the ride; let each experience make you, not break you. Building up resilience and patiently persisting is key to business success and staying healthy and sane in the process.”
You can download TAXO’D from the website and the app is also available on web app and iOS, with Android coming later this year.
Find out more about how a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp could propel your business forward today.