A look at the final two finalists for this year's Harrow Business Den - a competition which gives growing businesses a chance to earn a year's worth of support:

Tudor Lodge Consultants

This fledgling consulting business has already worked with some impressive clients as it seeks to build relationships and its profile within Harrow.

Founded by Daniel Tannenbaum and David Soffer, the business has gradually grown out of a bedroom in Stanmore and now employs five people.

Specialising in search engine optimisation (SEO), the company aims to get people “to the top of Google searches” and wants to provide a unique, professional service.

“I noticed a gap in the market,” Daniel explained. “The sort of people specialising in SEO were expensive agencies who tied you down for a long time or dodgy-looking companies who sent out a host of dubious emails.

“We wanted things to be done properly, which is why we work as consultants. You know what you’re getting as we can come into the office, sit down with you, take you through things and show you how to get to the top of Google.”

He noted how, despite changing attitudes, SEO is a little-known subject, particularly when it comes to improving your chances of featuring on popular websites.

He intends to use part of the Harrow Business Den pitch to debunk any myths surrounding SEO, while giving a full explanation of what it actually is.

“Less than one per cent of companies are optimised for Google. But around 99 per cent of people will use it to search for things,” he said.

“Google’s revenue was something like $55 billion last year – our view is, why not get on-board?”

Tudor Lodge has already worked with Groupon, as well as Lord Sugar and the last three winners of The Apprentice.

While this has been exciting, Daniel is keen to grow the business through the bread and butter of SMEs and where it started out – Harrow and the surrounding area.

“We hope to use the presentation to involve the whole community; we want to look at how we can get the full value out of Harrow,” he said.

“The relationship works both ways as our mission is to get people work and we want to earn these companies money every month.”

He added that the future poses a tricky question as the business seeks to grow while remaining true to its ideals.

“We don’t want to sell out and become an expensive agency, that’s not what we set out to do,” he explained.

“We can hopefully add more consultants and perhaps branch out to other areas. This will allow us to build up in size but still offer that unique service.”

Visit tudorlodgeconsultants.com for more information. 

Earth to Earth Organics

Harrow Times:

Husband and wife duo Danny and Tenesia Pascal created their organic skincare business as an offshoot of how they live their day-to-day lives.

Self-confessed “earthy people”, they want to highlight the importance of thinking about beauty products while offering up a selection of oils, butters and body washes.

They see their business as more of a philosophy, and Danny explained how they will work hard to perfect their products, without cutting any corners.

He said: “We believe that if there’s something you wouldn’t put in your body, then you shouldn’t put it on your body.

“Skin is the largest organ in the body and, sometimes, we take it for granted. With so many things out there these days, you can lose sight of what’s actually in them.

“We offer something that is so natural, you could eat them. They’re all tried and tested on ourselves – there’s no animal testing here.

“And we’re great believers in things that are Fairtrade, are recyclable as possible and are free from chemicals.”

While their philosophy is clear, and important to their process, the products themselves have been well-received.

They have been praised for their smoothing qualities and there is evidence of them helping to treat skin conditions such as eczema.

“We haven’t marketed them as any sort of cure but people have noticed a clear difference when using the products,” Danny said.

“[Tenesia] had issues with her skin and this provided a remedy. We then took it to my nephew and it cleared up his eczema.

“He called it ‘Auntie’s Magic Cream’ and this formed the basis for our ‘Magic Body Butter’.”

The pair have lived in Harrow for the past five years and are keen to bring their products, and way of life, to the community around them.

They have organised an official launch party for then end of the month and are looking forward to Harrow Business Den as an opportunity to speak to people about what they do.

Danny said he was “definitely excited” but also “a bit nervous” as the big day approaches but, above all, he was pleased to have been given a shot.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity,” he said. “We appreciate the chance for us to showcase our work to the local community. It’s great to see initiatives like this for upcoming businesses.”

He added that, while he and his wife harbour big ambitions, they will “never forget where they started out”.

Visit www.etsy.com/uk/shop/EarthToEarthOrganics for more information. 

Harrow Times:

Harrow Business Den takes place between 5.30pm and 9pm on March 14 at Harrow Civic Centre.

Tickets can be booked at www.harrow.gov.uk/businessden or visit www.eventbrite.co.uk and search ‘Harrow Business Den’.

Read about the other two finalists here