What do you currently do?
I spend most of my time working on commercial relationships, product development and business strategy. We’ve just become the number one fixed-line communications comparison player, according to Hitwise. I’ve been working closely with our marketing director to look at how we extend this position.
We have some really exciting new product launches that will help consolidate our market leadership position.
What is your inspiration in business?
When I started out I did so because I felt that none of the big players were doing justice to broadband comparison.
They weren’t giving consumers the detail or editorial needed to help them find the best broadband package. The telecoms sector is a much smaller comparison sector than, say, personal finance, so it was ripe for a smaller company to service as a niche with real enthusiasm and energy.
Who do you admire?
Honestly? My team back at Consumerchoices.co.uk. We have some real star players that would literally run through brick walls for the company and our customers.
One of our investors is Chris Ingram, founder of Tempus plc – the global media group – he is also a really inspiring figure and someone I’ve learnt from in our shareholder meetings.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
Looking back I wish I’d had more confidence in our ability to succeed. That would have enabled us to take more risks, growing the business at an earlier stage.
Last year we invested in our white-label team with the appointments of Simon Piper and Jason Glynn and the team has gone from strength to strength offering customised communications comparison solutions for brands like uSwitch.com and Gocompare.com.
Now, I wish we had taken that step two years earlier. The secret is: the right people unlock business success.
What defines your way of doing business?
We always want to work in partnership. Our negotiations with our advertising and white-label partners are all about shared outcomes. Ensuring we deliver growth in sales volume year-on-year is vital for all our commercial relationships.
We also follow a mantra of continuous improvement. We recently redesigned our white-label comparison service and managed to improve conversions by 33%.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
You don’t have to have the ‘killer idea’ on the web, but you must execute more effectively than your competitors; innovating within your space, even in the smallest way.
Even if you have big funding, it’s good to stay lean. It’s a good discipline that prepares you for tougher times. We started with £15K and we still apply the same disciplines even though we are set grow our turnover to £7.5 million.