Tell us about yourself?
I’m currently the founder and director at online credit broker and comparison site Lending Expert which includes our second charge mortgage specialist Feasible. I’ve set up and been in involved in a wide range of entrepreneurial star-ups businesses such as care, property investment and internet tech-marketing based ventures. I’m based in Macclesfield, Cheshire and the business with the help of my business partners serves customers nationwide from across the UK.
Tell us more about Lending Expert and how the business got started?
I founded the business back around 2013 and initially we were focussed on the second charge mortgage and loans market place. I was approach by an existing business partner and asked if I could use the internet to introduce them more second charge business. The business grow and developed further from there. Over the past 4 years we’ve added more product categories such credit cards, insurance, mortgages and equity release. We also now work with and compare providers who offer international money transfers and currency exchange.
Lending Expert operates in a fiercely completive personal finance market place. How do you compete against some of the household brands in this sector?
We are striving to offer a better product and user experience than our competitors that gives us the advantage. Everyday we’re making small improvements and adding features that provides our customers with more value. It’s fair to say we currently only account for a small share of the personal finance market, but we’ve been growing organically year on year and have ambitious plans to be one of the market leaders in the future.
What plans do you have for the future of Lending Expert?
We want to expand our reach so we can serve more customers. To do this we are exploring different advertising avenues and have set up dozens of new business partnerships so we can serve our customers with more finance solutions. We’re also working with more affiliates, providers and companies so we can offer a greater product comparison range.
We’re investing a lot into the business in 2018 to develop the website comparison tools and editorial guides, online reviews and content further. We have set an ambitious ongoing improvement plan and strategy for the next 18 months that will see us offer more web based online tools and features at lendingexpert.co.uk.
What is Venture Internet Group?
VIG is the online marketing business which serves and develops the Lending Expert website in which we then grow and develop our digital assets and websites. All of the business we introduce comes from online advertising and content marketing which are our core business skills and interests. This includes SEO, PPC and social media marketing activities which drive thousands of customers to our websites, affiliates and business partners across different channels.
Do you have any other business ventures in the pipeline?
Having been involved in many start-up ventures recently I don’t personally have any plans for anything new in the near future. Lending Expert will be my main focus until we have reached our business goals over the coming few years. On the non-business interests, I have founded a small children’s charity/foundation project in 2016 called Little Getaways which I’m passionate about seeing grow and develop further. Plans are in the early stages but the goal is to help disadvantaged children with small short breaks and holidays within the Macclesfield and surrounding areas.
What advice would you have for anyone starting their own business today?
I think new start up business owners should be mindful of how much work is required and how long it can take until you get a business off the ground and to be profitable. To reduce the potential downside I think it makes sense when possible to start a business on the side while still in employment. This gives you the opportunity to test the ideas and start to generate some income before fully committing to the business full time.
Any other tips for budding entrepreneur?
My approach is to focus on long term generating assets and creating systems. The goal should be to create a business that generates an income for you without your constant involvement.
Have an open mind and take good advice from mentors or those who have experience in what you are trying to achieve. Success leaves clues and it’s much better to learn from the mistakes of others. Most successful business owners will be happy to share their experiences so take advantage of that where you can.
Have clear goals and a strategy of where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. When possible share this with others who are more knowledgeable than you to get constructive feedback.
Be prepared and open to evolve and adapt to new challenges. Learn from every mistake and move forward on a stronger footing.
Don’t flog a poor business idea for longer than necessary. If after careful consideration if it isn’t working out its okay to change direction and move onto something else, but do it quickly.