Looking for want-to-be entrepreneurs


CEN has been contacted by Cate Trotter, the owner of tour company, Insider London. She’s looking to hand over a stake in the successful business (for free) to someone with the time and energy to develop it.

Are any Cass or City students/ graduates interested? 

What does Insider London offer?

Alternative London walking tours and business visits.

They were the first company to offer a Street Art Tour, and still provide the only London Underground, Silicon Roundabout, Retail Design, Cutting-Edge Green and Sustainable Architecture tours in the city.

Who buys from them?

UK and foreign students are the company’s biggest market. They’ve received requests from many colleges and universities from around the world, but they feel that there are many more who don’t yet know what they offer.

Corporate groups are their second biggest market – they have delivered tours for the BBC, Eurostar, Deloitte, Samsung, Google, The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, IKEA, Tesco, Jones Lang La Salle, BNP Paribas and more.

What has it achieved?

The business has grown every year since it started, in some years by as much as 75%. They have achieved this with little investment in marketing or business development.

Almost all of their customers come to them. All of the business’s growth has been funded by revenue – it is a cash positive business.

Its website is one of the most visited London walking tour sites, and they have a constant stream of bookings and requests coming through. They recently got one for 900 students!

Insider London has a 5* rating on TripAdvisor, almost 7,000 followers on Twitter, and has won a number of awards. It’s been named a SMARTA 100 business, and Cate Trotter has been named a StartUp 100 and Future 100 entrepreneur.

The business has been featured in Time Out, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, BA Highlife, The Globe and Mail and numerous TV shows around the world. Most of the press coverage has come from journalists getting in touch with them, rather than the other way around.

How much more can it grow?

With some very basic marketing activity and full-time attention, Cate estimates that the business could easily double in size in the next 12 months. She believes there is a huge amount of growth left after that, as the business could be marketed much more heavily, and the range of tours and visits could easily be extended. It could become a global brand if the right person wanted to take it that far.

Why doesn’t Cate do it herself?

At the same time as she set up Insider London, Cate also set up Insider Trends, a trendspotting consultancy that is a completely separate company.

Although she’s really enjoyed bringing Insider London to this point, she is not keen on managing a bigger team.

She’d like to be able to focus on Insider Trends full-time, turning it into a small, international business.

What should I do if interested in this opportunity?

You can contact Cate direct by phone: +44 (0) 20 7183 1055, or email: [email protected].

About the author: Riaz Kanani

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