5 years ago

Hobnobbing with Benno Spencer from Raffle House

So, what does Raffle House do?

Raffle House is a property prize competition website and soon to be app. We give our customers the chance to win amazing London properties, mortgages and Stamp Duty free, for just a fiver.

What’s behind the business idea?

We all know that the UK is going through a serious housing crisis. With more than 70% of 20-40 year olds not owning their own home and prices now so high – the average cost of an average London property is nearly £500,000! – we offer a genuine chance of getting onto the property ladder. Also, 70% of us already play the lottery once a week and, on average, spend £8 a week. Raffle House costs just £5 and our odds are hundreds of times better. There’s clear demand for life changing games of chance and everyone wants to own a home, and that’s where we come in.

Was it hard becoming a business owner?

I’ve been self-employed for over two years now and, yes, it was hard. I soon realised that no matter what the job, no matter how big or small, I just had to get it done. And I had to learn how to do everything. From customer support to UX design and doing my own hobnobbing with lawyers far more qualified than me. Also, I learnt to make mistakes – and that’s no bad thing, providing I learnt from them.

How did you recruit your employees?

I was lucky that the Raffle House team organically gravitated towards it with little pressure or searching from me. It’s a near totally new industry and our company has worthwhile core beliefs. Some people naturally see that, and I want to work with them as much as they want to work with me.

Was there a breakthrough moment?

Every day brings a new challenge and we overcome. To quote Zombieland’s, Rule 32: enjoy the little things. And then rinse and repeat.

How is the company doing?

Really well. We’re actually raising funds right now on Seedrs and after about 2 weeks are nearly 90% funded. People really get what we’re doing and love the concept.

Do you have any regrets, If so how did you over come them?

Not doing my own thing sooner.

I always saw myself being self-employed but, in truth, it took the corporate slog and the maturing and education that that brought to get me to where I am today. Cleaving oneself from what one knows is hard and sometimes slogging it out a little is character building.

What makes you stand out from your competitors?

We’re one of the only businesses that does what we do and we have strategised relentlessly to make sure we can do what we do. Hence the investment raise – all of our raise is due to spent on marketing and that’s where our competitors have missed a trick.

What is your definition of a positive customer experience?

Where the user experience has been top notch, they’ve enjoyed themselves and they want to come back and use us again. There’s lots of little things that make this come together and we pride ourselves on being attentive to all of them.

You’re currently reaching out for investors, what do you plan to do when you have raised this funding?

Grow and scale. We’ll be self-sufficient shortly after this raise. Then it’s time to grow and bring our amazing odds to the masses in a way that we’ve been unable to do so far. Reach is everything and marketing is so key to what we do.

If you could help a business now with a single piece of advice, what would it be?

Don’t be afraid to make a mistake – everyone does and every decent business anyone’s ever heard of has learnt from theirs. The successful ones are able to learn from their past and bounce back stronger and wiser.

Finally, Benno what is your favourite biscuit?!

Not only my favourite, but there’s a way to eat them too. Maryland cookies. You need two, flat side pressed to flat side, dunked in milky tea. Winner every time.