- Company: Quote Goat
- What it does, in a sentence: A money-saving site for personal and business customers, offering leading comparison solutions in finance, energy, and insurance
- Founded: 2014
- Founder/s: Michael Foote, Founder & CEO
- Size of team: 5
What problem are you trying to solve?
The finance and insurance industry can be quite perplexing for time poor consumers and business customers. They are forced to navigate a bewildering array of providers and “special offers” in order to secure themselves the best deal. My goal is to make the comparison process as simple as possible for Quote Goat’s users by doing all the hard work for them. Instead of adding to the “noise” of the comparison sector, Quote Goat identifies a leading provider for each comparison product and partners with them, to bring the best of the comparison sector to our users.
How big is the market – and how much of it do you think you can own?
E-commerce and smartphones have changed the way we shop, and it was a natural step for savvy shoppers to start utilising price comparison websites. The industry started around two decades ago and has grown to truly epic proportions. In fact, 85% of all UK internet users have used a price comparison website according to the UK Competition and Markets Authority. Naturally, a few big players dominate the market, but Quote Goat has carved out a niche for itself by offering a reputable, personalised, professional service. “Don’t go big, go better” is my viewpoint on the matter.
How do you make money?
First and foremost, our site is free for users and always will be. We generate revenue, primarily on a revenue share agreement through partnerships with our carefully selected comparison providers. Being 100% independent ensures that we put our users’ best interests at the forefront of our work.
Who’s on your team that makes you think you can do this?
Quote Goat is a lean machine, our team consists of a hand-picked selection of outsourced agencies, experts in their respective fields. This way of operating has always been at the heart of the business since inception and over years of trial and error has resulted in a small but highly effective team. To be honest, the site wouldn’t be where it is today without any of them.
Who’s bankrolling you?
The business has grown organically since it launched in 2014 for the cost of a domain name. I’m a great believer in spending cautiously and in the early stages it proved a better investment to learn a new skill myself than to pay for the work. That approach worked well to establish ourselves and start generating revenue. As the site grew, so did our capacity to reinvest in the business.
We have been approached and offered investment on more than one occasion, but our rate of growth makes it hard to part with any equity. With hindsight, it’s proven to have been the right decision. I’d be the first person to put my hands up and admit that raising finance could have catapulted us to success, but I’m on a mission to buck the trend of “yet to make a profit” tech companies raising finance on the basis that they are going to generate returns in the future.
What do you believe the key to growing this business is?
Being a small team allows us to adapt quickly in situations, whether that’s launching a new product to address changes in consumer spending, e.g. courier insurance for food deliveries, or taking advantage of up to the minute marketing techniques.
What metrics do you look at every day?
Predominantly everything SEO related. Organic traffic, bounce rate, pages per session etc etc. I am a stickler for detail, so metrics analysis is, dare I say, a pleasure of mine.
What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
If something is not working, know when to cut your losses and move on. At one stage I thought we had identified a new vertical to diversify into and after a substantial investment into development, it flopped. This project had my focus for over a year but cutting it, accepting the loss and moving on has paid dividends in the long run.
What’s been your biggest mistake so far?
I am an entrepreneur, I do not make mistakes, I learn lessons! In all honesty I try not to dwell on negatives and do my best to see the good/opportunity in every situation.
What do you think is on the horizon for your industry in the year ahead?
The UK will experience tough economic conditions in the months ahead as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that consumers and businesses will need to tighten their belts given the current uncertainty. Comparison sites will help play a role in ensuring that they can do so by economising on their bills.
Which London start-up/s are you watching, and why?
Lockdown has been a time to reflect on/reassess how we go about our hectic, always-on lifestyles and although it’s been a focus point in recent years there’s still so much room for innovation. I’m particularly interested in start-ups that benefit our health or reduce waste and pollution.
TINCTURE London: they’re reinventing the way we clean our homes with toxic chemical free cleaning products.
To Good To Go: an app that reduces restaurant food waste by selling meals at the end of the day at a discount.