Fred Schebesta, 32, is Co-Founder of Finder.com.au, Australia’s leading financial-product comparison website. In the last six years, since entering the comparison market – one of the most highly competitive internet categories in Australia – Schebesta developed growth strategies so successful that Finder now that attracts over 250,000 unique comparisons every month. Here’s what he had to say about his entrepreneurial journey and business growth.
What is it about entrepreneurship that inspired you to take that path at such a young age?
In the beginning, while I was inspired by the thought of owning my own business, I was more drawn to the thrill of making my income out of something that I loved. I was inspired by technology and providing consumers with a visualisation – it happened to be a huge bonus that I was making money out of it.
What was the motivation behind creating Finder.com.au? What are some of the successes you’ve achieved with the business?
I was dabbling in a few business experiments at the time and CreditCardFinder.com.au seemed to be picking up the most traction. There appeared to be a real market for what we do however people were questioning if we could keep up with larger competitors. This made us thrive even more! We became smarter with our marketing and put our skills to the test. We’re now the biggest price comparison website in Australia.
What’s your plan for the future of the business?
The overarching goal for the future is to become a well-known household name. As a next step we’re looking at expanding further into shopping discounts for consumers and building our membership database even further. Also, we’re constantly looking into new niche avenues such as the launch of our recent travel insurance comparison page.
In terms of business growth, what path should startup owners take to ensure they experience success in the startup phase?
When you are starting a business, focus is the hardest thing to achieve. I have one piece of advice for every single entrepreneur that I meet. I tell them this usually at the end or the start of our conversation. Ignore everything else about your business and focus on making $1 of profit.
You have to be wary as there are some occasions where this $1 doesn’t count, for example if you’ve made a profit but you don’t actually have the money in your account then it’s not really a sale, you made $1 of revenue but you didn’t pay yourself for your time or you spent more than $1 to make the profit in the first place!
How can businesses achieve growth quickly in a competitive marketplace?
Be better than all your competitors at marketing. Focus on how you can beat their approach before you start anything else.
This goes for your product too! Ensure that your product offers something that they cannot.
Finally, make your product exceptional and believe in it. There’s no point in making a lot of noise if what you have to offer is less than perfect.
What advice do you have for business owners that you wish you knew before you started a business?
If I could say one thing it would be to spend more time on your strengths than your weaknesses. Put more time into perfecting what you’re good at and your weaknesses will develop in time.