On the up Fred Heritage · 10 May 2016
myAllergy: The business that began with a trip to accident and emergency
A cross between a food company and a healthcare service, myAllergy was born out of Mit Sharma’s experience with his daughter, whom when she was a baby had an anaphylactic shock after eating and was rushed to hospital, where it was discovered she was seriously allergic to several major foodstuffs. Business Advice met Sharma to find out about his startup story. Sharma’s life changed when his daughter’s allergies meant that regular food shopping became almost impossible, so he set up myAllergy as a way to gain knowledge about which foods she could eat and where to get them from. His enterprise aims to give freedom from food allergies? to food allergy sufferers and carers. Having worked in the corporate world for most of his career, Sharma found it difficult at first to adjust to running a startup. There’s a lot of uncertainty, he said. You don’t know when the next pay cheque is coming in or whether the business is actually going to make money right away. But the biggest change is that you’ve got to be so much more creative about finance you can’t just throw money at stuff. With the help of KPMG Small Business Accounting, Sharma was able to take the hassle out of the financial side of things and concentrate on growing his fledgling business. The entrepreneur seemed pleasantly surprised at how supportive KPMG had been. Ive worked with accountants before and if I found myself chasing them then it’s a warning sign it should really be the other way around. I never expected that one of the largest accountancy firms in the UK would provide services for startups, admitted Sharma. If there’s one thing the regulators will get you on its your numbers and finances. Keeping that clean and up to date makes the other aspects of running the business so much easier. the best way to describe the cash-rich project management I was working in before was how dirty? it was. It was very easy to waste money and not do any valuation, any marketing, or do any surveys. I wasnt under any pressure to ask questions about whether what I was doing added value to customers, and if something didnt work it just got brushed under the carpet, added Sharma. myAllergy: The business that began with a trip to accident and emergency from Business Advice on Vimeo. Now running a new business an environment in which every penny counts? Sharma has found it refreshing to have the benefit of a supportive accountant to help make the big decisions needed for growth. Were looking to hire people at the moment, he explained. I can go straight to KPMG and ask what costs I need to consider.
ABOUT THE EXPERTFred Heritage
Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.