British Small Business Awards winners: Chris McCullough of Rotageek

Rotageek, a technology company that creates data-driven employee schedules, won the Small Business of the Year gong at the 2017 British Small Business Awards. Here, we chat to CEO and co-founder Chris McCoullough about the win.

The 2018 British Small Business Awards (BSBAs), held at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel on October 31st, will bring together the brightest stars of the small business economy with the vendors, advisers and financiers that help them start, run, grow and succeed.

You could still find yourself on one of our shortlists for this prestigious event. To be in with a chance, nominate your company free of charge before the deadline of June 25th 2018.

In this section, we’ll look at the winners from the 2017 Awards and learn about how they’ve got on since their win. Chris McCullough, founder of Rotageek and winner of our flagship Small Business of the Year category in 2017, discusses the effect the event had on the fortunes of the company.

What is the background of the business?

Before founding RotaGeek, I worked in the NHS as a doctor in A&E for eight years. I saw first-hand the scheduling difficulties that imposed serious strains on the NHS and this is where I became determined to solve the staffing issues that the NHS faces. As a result, I turned my career from scalpels and scrubs to be founder of a disruptive data-driven automated scheduling scale up – Rotageek.

A few years later, Rotageek has grown from a tool created to enable my A&E department, to a software that has saved O2 £2.5 million through effective scheduling. RotaGeek is designed to solve a problem with staffing and this is a problem that exists in any industry that employs a rostered workforce. Be it a ten-person coffee shop or a 40,000 employee organisation – the software is entirely applicable, and entirely scalable.

How’s business been since the win?

Winning the Small Business of the Year award marked a real turning point for us. It felt like it sparked a transition from being a start-up/scale up into a bona fide SME.

Revenue growth was threefold last year and that’s progressed at the same rate since the win.

For potential clients there was definitely an awareness of the win, they were actively outreaching to us following the event, so that was very positive. We’ve also got clients with whom we were working who actually won awards for the Rotageek rollout within their own business.

Was this win any different from others you have experienced?

There are quite a lot of other awards ceremonies out there and we’ve had some good success, we’ve won start-up awards before and its nice to be recognised in that way, but we’ve really been growing up as a company and winning Small Business of the Year was more of a recognition of us alongside really strong companies [that were more established than start-ups].

Overall the evening was great. Nice room, nice for the team and really good to win as well!

The 2018 British Small Business Awards will take place at the Royal Lancaster Hotel on October 31st 2018. For more information, please visit the website here.

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.