What do you currently do?
MD of www.money.co.uk
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The drive behind money.co.uk was to create a financial comparison site that combined both product comparison and guides that genuinely help the user, and to provide that information in an open, transparent manner. I love the challenge of delivering really simple solutions for our customers through the innovative use of technology and back end processes, despite the enormous “hidden” complexities involved.
What defines your way of doing business?
A cocktail of experience, experimentation and gut instant held together with a healthy splash of common sense, rather than following a rule book or “the norm”. I believe in creating a supportive environment that encourages my team to experiment and push the boundaries, whether that’s with the website or the way in which we work. And treat everyone as you would like to be treated, whether that’s your own team, your customers or business partners.
Who do you admire?
Seth Godin. He’s an author, blogger and public speaker on a range of marketing topics and delivering. For me he is continually thought provoking. I admire the way in which he looks at a situation, a problem or an opportunity from a very different angle to the majority of people and the effortless way in which he articulates his ideas with laser-like clarity. I could sit and listen to him for hours.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I sometimes feel I should have grown the business faster in the earlier days. That said, the slower growth has meant we’ve been able to grow organically without having to take on any external investment or debt, which means we truly are the masters of our own destiny.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Bear in mind that the business idea is the easy part. Making it happen is where it gets tricky. Remember, the issues and challenges that can make a business so difficult to get off the ground are the same issues and challenges that make running your own business so exciting, rewarding and fun.
Choose a business idea that you feel passionate about in some capacity, which doesn’t have to be the product or service itself. It could be the technology you’re working with, the marketing or sales. Whatever it is, you’ll need to have passion and resilience to see you through. But it’s so worth it!
Oh, and look at the world through your customer’s eyes, not your own.