Michael Foote is the Founder and Managing Director of cost-comparison site, Quote Goat, which compares the costs of both personal and business financial products including Merchant or Business Cash Advances, he joins us to tell us what advice he would you give to someone starting out.
What do you currently do at Quote Goat?
The comparison industry is extremely competitive with big-name brands possessing large budgets! We are a small business, so I have to make sure we are agile, resourceful, and always punching above our weight. That means offering a professional, informative service for our customers and regularly assessing the products and providers weoffer them. To ensure this, I spend a lot of my time developing our partnerships with industry-leading providers, as well as managing our team of outsourced professionals. Quote Goat is kept as lean as possible and we achieve this by outsourcing a number of areas of our business. This allows me to concentrate on driving innovation for the business.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I have always wanted to run my own business since being a teenager, but I also loved the world of finance and initially decided to play it safe. After all I was fresh out of school and needed some life experience under my belt first. That meant working in finance and banking, but no matter what I did, I always came back to the idea of being my own boss. Afterall, who doesn’t want to be in charge of their own destiny! I decided that I could start my own business from home with a website. It would cost little to setup and I could still do my day job. To keep costs to a minimum I taught myself to code and built my first version of Quote Goat, albeit under a different brand name.
Who do you admire?
People who give their time for the betterment of others. I always like to volunteer my time where possible but when I think of all the key workers who are holding this country together through the coronavirus pandemic, my heart fills with appreciation and pride. They are special people and deserve to be lauded.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Not at all. As an entrepreneur I always look forwards, never backward! If you think twice about something, you will likely not do it. “JUMP” I say!
What defines your way of doing business?
I think the quote is “”If you build it, they will come.” There is of course a caveat to that, being that you’ve got to build something worth coming to! I have striven to create a business that has a reputation for excellence and the results speak for themselves. You do not have to be the biggest to be the best, but you do have to offer something that makes you unique and worthy of a visitor’s attention.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Two pieces of advice that I wish I had paid attention to when I started out and would have made my journey at lot easier are:
Pick a niche, focus on that and only expand once you are ready: Focusing on too many areas at once diluted my attention in the early days and in the comparison sector, you need to be highly targeted and focused when you are starting out as the competition is extremely tough.
Every pound is worth its weight in gold: only spend money where necessary and find areas where you can cut costs. That may mean learning a new skill for example, instead of paying someone else, but in my experience your business won’t always go to plan and you’ll be glad there’s funds to keep you going through slower times.