Q&A: a day in the life of entrepreneur Caroline Plumb
26 July 2018
We asked Caroline Plumb OBE, serial entrepreneur and founder of Fluidly – the intelligent cashflow management system for small businesses – to tell us how she spends a regular day.
When and how does your day usually start?
The timing is unpredictable, but it usually begins around 6.15am, when my young son wanders in hoping for breakfast!
Can you describe a typical working day?
There’s definitely no such thing as a typical day, which is one of the great joys of being an entrepreneur. There’s a huge variety and breadth.
I find there’s more of a rhythm in the early part of the week, as this is the time when I focus more on my one-to-ones and team meetings. After that, I spend as much time as possible talking with customers and business partners – such as accountants, banks and accounting software providers – so we can ensure our product delivers to partners and businesses alike.
“There’s definitely no such thing as a typical day, which is one of the great joys of being an entrepreneur.”
Caroline Plumb, OBE
What kind of challenges take up most of your time?
Building out all the features we want to deliver as quickly as possible! We have a big vision and a lot to do. Better crack on.
What three items do you carry with you everywhere you go?
My phone is the only item that goes everywhere with me, though my handbag contains a myriad of wholly unnecessary items that usually come too.
How do you like to relax/take your mind off work?
Spending time with my kids. This usually seems to involve sports or tracking down small objects (bugs/fossils/stickers/lost Lego pieces).
Does anything keep you awake at night?
No. If I lie horizontal and close my eyes I can go to sleep in under a minute. I’m pretty sure it’s a CV-worthy skill. I’ll wake up early if I have a lot on my mind. Usually I’m thinking about people or cashflow. I started Fluidly to help solve both those problems.
In a nutshell, describe what Fluidly does?
Accounting tells you what has happened in the past, Fluidly is about your financial future. Our technology plugs into accounting packages and bank accounts to forecast and dynamically optimise business cashflow – think of it as an autopilot for business finances.
Cashflow management is the single biggest pain point for SMEs, and between 80% – 90% of small businesses fail due to cashflow problems. It’s also time-consuming. SMEs spend over 1,300 hours a year chasing late payments. Fluidly helps ensure small businesses can get paid more quickly and have more certainty around their cash position through AI-driven forecasting and credit control so they can make better financial decisions.
When and how does your day end?
If I don’t have an evening event, I aim to get home to put the kids to bed and do some reading with them. After dinner, the day usually ends watching Netflix on the sofa while clearing out my inbox as much as possible ahead of the next day’s deluge!
Finally, what are you hoping to achieve by the end of 2018?
Our mission is to help business owners sleep better at night so, by the end of 2018, I’d like to have thousands and thousands of them doing just that because Fluidly has helped them better forecast their cashflow and manage their finances.