Mike Beech, Ross Williams, Guy Harrington (pictured left to right) and Tom Packer (not pictured), demonstrate that it takes very little in the way of hard cash investment to found a successful business.
What does your business do?
Shopping Vouchers is an online retail lead generation business. We connect the retailer with the consumer using voucher codes, special offers and other sales enhancement techniques.
It’s great for the consumer because they get money off their purchase, and it’s great for the retailer because they attract new customers and increase revenue.
How did you decide to start it?
As individuals we’ve all been interested in business from an early age and using the Internet is a great way to start a business with very little upfront capital so it made perfect sense for us.
We noticed there was a gap in the market place and capitalised on the gap for a clean, easy to use money saving website where consumers come to save money and retailers can use to gain customers.
What were your toughest challenges?
The website relies quite heavily on search engine traffic and it took time and a lot of continuing effort to become established in the major search engines. We are receiving about 4,000 unique visitors a day at present and to get to this level was very hard, but we have an excellent team of developers always pushing us to the next level.
What advice do you offer to fellow entrepreneurs?
Cash is king. You should set out to be making money and be in profit from day one. To start an online business all you need is a computer and Internet connection so overheads are next to nothing. Having a good flow of cash from the start ensures projects run smoothly and can be done as well as possible without the need for major investment.
The main point for any business is just do it. If you have an idea then go for it. It’s hard starting you own business and it’s also high risk. But if you put your head down and work the rewards are worth it. A positive mental attitude definitely helps!
What sites do you recommend?
- Business Link is a very good resource for business in the UK.
- TechCrunch is very good for staying in the .com loop.
Which entrepreneurs do you admire most?
Probably Richard Branson, he’s got a great attitude to business and has lots of fun while he’s doing it. He doesn’t just stick to the safe option, he’ll go into any industry and innovate it.
On a personal note Ross Williams, our business partner who is a serial internet entrepreneur, has been a real inspiration and shown us the ropes.