Philip Brennan is Head of Businesscomparison.com – a comparison site that helps business owners search for bank accounts, commercial mortgages, finance solutions and business energy and insurance. Philip is passionate about helping UK businesses to save money and succeed.
What is the idea behind your business?
The Competition and Markets Authority, in their investigation into banking, recommended a price comparison site for small businesses, so we set up Businesscomparison.com to do just that. We launched the website in April 2015 as a one stop shop for business owners to go to compare deals on energy, commercial mortgages, loans, insurance and finance. We want to give businesses the power to source competitive, whole of market products from the comfort of their own laptop or mobile device. Business owners are busy and are often working to tight deadlines and budgets so we have created a practical, user friendly solution to the pressures many of them face. When it comes to business loans for example, many business owners who are turned down by the banks don’t know where to turn and are unaware of alternative finance options such as invoice, asset and bridging loans.
Why do you think comparison is not the ‘norm’ with small businesses?
Small and medium sized business owners have many hats to wear and sourcing competitive deals and finance solutions can seem like a time-consuming task. Comparison has become commonplace for consumers when it comes to holidays, insurance and loans but it’s yet to make a big splash in the business world. Businesscomparison.com is the largest commercial comparison site and we’re looking to continue to lead the market by providing more products and solutions for business owners. We aim to have helped 50% of SMEs in the UK in the first five years – that’s over 2.6 million users.
What’s been the turning point for your business so far?
Taking the leap into business energy was a major turning point for our company. This coincided with an off-line marketing campaign and the recruitment of two new channel managers to the business. It was certainly a busy time but very important for the growth of the business. Since then we have won multiple industry awards and moved into a new office to facilitate our growth.
What is the most challenging part of running a Fintech business?
You must stay ahead of the curve and predict what customers will require next. We put a lot of time, effort and resource into making sure our customer journey is innovative and user-friendly. Usability is a challenge that we tackle daily. We are currently on version three of the site and with each new version we learn from the previous design. We’re also consistently making smaller adjustments to our tools daily to find the best way to help our customers, whether that be visual or functional changes. An example of an innovation launched recently is our creation of a simple and easy-to-use finance finder tool where a customer can enter information about their business to find the product best suited to their needs.
How important is finding and retaining the right staff?
It’s crucial! Particularly when running a small growing business. Every member of staff is vital to the success of your projects. Our website was designed and developed by our in-house team at our office in Chester. The team has steadily expanded and the leadership philosophy is to work together as one with a shared goal of championing cost saving services to the SME sector.
If you could give one piece of advice to business owners what would it be?
Keep reviewing what you are doing – the good and the bad! We all get lost in our day to day jobs, but we need to keep sight of what we are doing and if we are doing the right things for our business. UK businesses have had a lot to contend with in terms of Brexit and increased costs and taxes. If you keep monitoring the direction your business is taking then it is easier to predict changes that are coming your way and be more flexible.
What does the future hold for Businesscomparison.com?
We are excited to be launching new channels such as van insurance comparison, business telephone and broadband in the future. We use the site to support SMEs and to inform them about issues that affect their businesses so we are excited to be launching a knowledge hub that will run alongside our popular business blog. This year saw the launch of our BC Awards for the products our judges felt best served small and medium sized businesses and we look forward to making it bigger and better in 2018. The SME sector is growing and being savvy with costs is crucial to a business so, we see a growing need for Businesscomparison.com and are excited about the future!
For further information please visit: www.businesscomparison.com