How two friends went from making £200k-a-year at school to the fastest-growing small business in the south west

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Last year, Furniturebox was ranked as the fastest-growing small business in the south west by the Sunday Times

Two schoolmates, including a former Bristol Rovers youth player, who turned down a chance to study at university to create their own business have recorded £17million in sales in just seven years with the fastest-growing start-up in the south west.

Monty George and Dan Beckles, both aged 25 and living in the city, started Furniturebox straight after leaving school. Last year, Furniturebox was ranked as the fastest-growing small business in the south west in the Sunday Times’ list of the UK’s most successful private companies.

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During their time at school, Monty claims he was turning £200,000 a year selling products, such as computer tablets and phone cases, on eBay. After graduating, he persuaded Dan to turn down a place at university to join him in setting up Furniturebox, in 2015 - they noticed a gap in the market for an online furniture company.

Monty said: “I could see that there was a huge market for furniture and it was very under-developed online. I bought a couple of containers of furniture and persuaded Dan to join forces with me to sell it online. That is how the business started.

“It has been an amazing seven years of growth. We know that the model we have now is highly efficient for profit generation. We feel we can roll that out in other markets - in America, Germany and elsewhere. In the furniture industry, there aren’t any other e-commerce companies doing the same thing as us.”

The Gen Z entrepreneurs admit their ability to work closely has been helped through their time playing football together. Dan was previously on the books at Bristol Rovers as a central defender while goalkeeper Monty played for Premier League Bournemouth and Portsmouth at youth level.

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“We bonded because we wanted to play football whereas our school pushed us towards rugby,” Monty said. Dan added: “We saw how competitive we both were on the football field and we knew that would work in business.”

The pair also agreed that Bristol has had a huge impact on the business’ success with its pool of tech talent and transport links near their new warehouse based in Chippenham off the M4.

Monty and Dan during their time together playing football.Monty and Dan during their time together playing football.
Monty and Dan during their time together playing football.

Monty explained: “We have so much talent in the south west. We would never head to London because we are so much happier here. The scope of what we can achieve in the future is huge and we don’t want anyone else doing that.”

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