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1 month ago

How We Grew BusinessComparison

Our Story of the Trials, Tribulations and Achievements of Building a Successful Business

In entrepreneurship, the road from startup to thriving small business is paved with challenges, lessons and perseverance. As a supporter of Britain’s SMEs, our comparison service is here to help companies like ours optimise essential products and services.

Who We Are

Businesses are undoubtedly the backbone of the UK’s economy, but they often feel neglected regarding the solutions offered. We recognised that this sector needed support, so in 2014, a decade ago, we challenged ourselves to change that.

Consumers have become accustomed to the benefits of comparison and shopping around provided by industry giants. Arguably, businesses have a greater need for this service. That’s why we now work tirelessly to help UK SMEs save time and money.

This article sheds light on our journey and will resonate with fellow businesses facing similar hurdles.

BusinessComparison founder Philip Brennan

Our Early Days

In our infancy, founder Philip Brennan drew inspiration from his seven-year stint at MoneySuperMarket. Recognising that there was still more to offer to SMEs hungry for a reliable comparison service, Phil got to work with a skeletal team and launched a beta site focused on finance and banking named Co Hub in October 2014.

Co Hub ran until April of the following year, providing some valuable early lessons that soon resulted in the creation of the current brand and the launch of businesscomparison.com.

2016 was a pivotal year for BusinessComparison, as we embarked on a Business Energy comparison venture. Building on the success of our early efforts, we expanded our services to the intricate world of Business Insurance comparison in 2018.

The Challenges We Faced

Uncharted Waters

Like many British businesses, our early years were like sailing uncharted waters. Despite the knowledge and experience of our pioneers, finding our space in the industry, building relationships with service providers and establishing credibility posed significant challenges. However, our undying commitment to providing first-class support to fellow small businesses kept us afloat.

Limited Resources

A familiar story for most small startups: resources were scarce initially. We were balancing the need for top tech and marketing campaigns with a tight budget, calling for creative solutions. We embraced the lean approach, focusing on our key goals, reaping the rewards, and growing BusinessComparison sustainably. We understood our people, rich in potential and passion, were our most valuable resource.

Insurance Headaches

After moving into our first office, we grappled with deciphering essential insurance policies. Recognising the typical struggle businesses face in this arena, we decided to transform our experience into a solution. Leveraging our insights, we branched out to Business Insurance to help companies make sense of policies, saving time and money.

Banking on Trust

Convincing businesses to trust an industry newcomer with their essential services was unsurprisingly a hurdle. We invested our time and energy in building a transparent and user-friendly platform that emphasises the benefits of comparing with us and supports our valued partners. SMEs’ testimonials and success stories became invaluable tools to help us establish trust.

BusinessComparison's ten year journey

Brexit Means Brexit

Like many other businesses in the UK, we felt the pinch of Brexit. With costs creeping up, overheads increased, which made BusinessComparison essential during Brexit and in the cost of living crisis we find ourselves in now.

Businesses should be able to focus on what matters, running their business and ensuring that they do so successfully. We're here to ensure you don't need to worry about being on the best Energy tariff or having the best deal on your Broadband. We run the comparison for you to find the best value from our panel of providers.

We applied this ethos during Brexit, and while we know many businesses didn't make it out the other side following Brexit, we like to think that we saved a few businesses from worrying about their overheads and others who have thrived since then.

A Global Pandemic

In 2020, we experienced transformative changes like most British businesses. The move from Chester city centre to our Tattenhall office was more than a location change; it was a shift in our way of working.

Like many other businesses, we worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and later transitioned to a hybrid working model. What began as a necessity during the national lockdowns soon evolved into a sustainable way of working, embracing the benefits of flexible working as a permanent fixture.

While this new way of working took a little while to get used to, we took steps to make it work from the start, ensuring that each of our team members had the equipment they needed to work from home. From laptops to monitors, keyboards, mice and even the occasional desk and chair for those who needed them, we ensured that our team had what they needed to keep BusinessComparison running smoothly throughout the pandemic.

Investing in technology and high-speed broadband to allow our team to do their job as well as possible became our priority. Business Broadband later became an additional comparison option for companies like us using our platform.

Our Growth Strategies

Customer-Centric Energy

Our commitment to understanding the unique needs of small businesses in the UK became a cornerstone of our success. By actively seeking feedback, adapting our services and maintaining open lines of communication, we’ve been lucky enough to forge lasting relationships with our customers and partners.

Embracing Technology

Recognising the power of technology and digital methods, we invested heavily in developing a comprehensive, secure, and user-friendly platform. Staying ahead of the curve with savvy developers and creative marketers has allowed us to sharpen our competitive edge consistently.

For example, when we looked for information on broadband, leased lines and wayleave agreements, we needed more to help small businesses make informed decisions. So, we wrote a guide to help others who found themselves in our shoes!

Building the Dream Team

As we picked up the title ‘SME Website of the Year’, Steph Salusbury joined in 2016 as Channel Manager for Insurance and Energy, bringing her eight years of experience in sales and operations roles with MoneySuperMarket. A further eight years later, she has been pivotal to the success of BusinessComparison and now heads up Operations and Compliance.

However, Steph's addition to the BusinessComparison dream team was only the beginning. We could only achieve our journey to the team we have today by recruiting talented, knowledgeable individuals with a shared drive for success alongside experience from a broad spectrum of British businesses. Crafting a conducive work culture and encouraging innovation has been instrumental in harnessing the collective potential of our team.

Space to Grow

When we outgrew our offices in the West Cheshire village of Tattenhall, we moved 8 miles up the road to the Steam Mill Business Centre in Chester. Our new home, in a converted Georgian flour mill in the heart of the city, gives us over four times the space to work with.

BusinessComparison officeMD Philip Brennan said: “We are really excited to return to Chester city centre. This larger office space has allowed us to bring on multiple new hires and has overall provided the team with a much more comfortable, productive and inspiring environment to get things done.

“We’re absolutely no stranger to Chester, having been based here for years. We’re thrilled to have made this move and to have welcomed several new additions to the team within the past few weeks. We can’t wait to see BusinessComparison continue growing and for that growth to really accelerate over the next few years!”

Let us Help Your Business

We help you compare essential business products and services, ensuring you get the best deal and helping you with your bottom line. Save time and money with us by comparing today.

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Sam White