Starting a family is one of life's great adventures.
It is also an adventure that often leads to questions around the issue of work-life balance.
When Toby Price and his wife were ready to start a family, they found themselves re-evaluating what was important to them and their future children.
After ten years of working in Spain as a translator for KPMG, Toby began weighing up the difficult decision of leaving the security of a job with a huge multinational company against the flexibility and availability that would come by starting his own business.
In the end, Toby put his family first and took the plunge, creating REacTiv Limited.
The Business Begins
In 2008, REacTiv Limited was founded in Spain as an English-Spanish financial translation company focusing on the banking, insurance and finance sectors.
REacTiv quickly took off as Toby's extensive translation experience and technical knowledge attracted clients. Popular translator-focused websites such as Proz and TranslatorsCafé.com, as well as LinkedIn were also cleverly leveraged to generate business leads.
Later, as REacTiv grew, Toby restructured operations to maximise business profitability and protect his highly-valued work-family balance. Clients were now brought in via translation agencies rather than as direct clients.
"I could now take on agency clients from around the world, without any requirement for face-to-face meetings. This got rid of a lot of time-sapping sales and admin work too. It meant giving away a small percentage of revenue but the time savings were enormous. There were now more hours in the day for billable translation work and to spend with my family."
This change in strategy now offered Toby even more flexibility as the business could be operated from any location.
In 2010, with their oldest child approaching schooling age, the family decided to move back to the UK.
REacTiv Limited moved too, and has continued to prosper.
Managing The Business Costs
The successful move from Spain to the UK brought a new challenge. Toby now had to manage business costs and personal finances in Sterling. With clients across the world paying him mostly in Euros and US Dollars, this was causing him a big headache when it came to converting these payments into Pounds.
Initially, Toby used his old high street bank who offered the option of setting up a Euros account, and he then converted funds into Sterling whenever he needed.
"I found it frustrating having to take the bank's exchange rate when drawing down money rather than hold out for a better rate, and then seeing the market move."
This was directly affecting his pocket:
"The rate I was getting wasn't as good as you'd see on the currency exchange websites. It got me thinking about these rates, and the charges that my bank were deducting from my transfers and simply for holding the account with them.”
Looking At Other Options
After examining various other money transfer companies, Toby decided on CurrencyFair:
“It made total sense. I was getting paid in multiple currencies and needed a much better exchange rate.”
Has the switch to CurrencyFair helped reduce business costs?
“Absolutely, no doubt, I'm saving money. I'm getting a better exchange rate - a two or three per cent better rate than I'd get at my old bank.”
Taking the big step to launch his own business has helped Toby balance work and family in a way that is good for him. We're delighted to be playing a small part in helping to make it a success.
To learn more about REacTiv, visit the company website.