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‘Learn from every meeting’ – Building a business part three

by: Nicola Firth, chief executive of Knowledge Bank
  • 05/03/2018
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‘Learn from every meeting’ – Building a business part three
Last month Nicola Firth revealed how some individuals had sought to copy the technology she was developing. This month she considers how to formally launch and grow a new venture.

Having started Knowledge Bank with a bright idea as a broker knowledge sharing site in 2015, in just over a year we had seen it burgeon and develop beyond anything we thought possible at the outset.

When coming up with an initial idea, little do many people realise just where it will take them and what else will be required.

We had already redeveloped Knowledge Bank in 2016, but by 2017 we had so many other things to add onto it we carried out another complete rewrite.

Central to the rewrite was still our philosophy of Knowledge Bank being quick and simple to use.

 

Formal launch

Even before launch we already had several hundred brokers either in trial or as paying customers, but after the rewrite to version three it was time to launch Knowledge Bank to the whole market.

By now we had expanded our IT team, expanded the support team and brought in an experienced PR firm to help with the launch.

We picked a prominent expo which attracted a large audience. This was an acid test of what people thought.

Fortunately, the biggest criticism we received was ‘Why didn’t you do this earlier?’

We had four lenders and one network contact us on the launch day asking how they could become a part of it.

 

Legalities and funding

We have been also amazed by the number of people expressing an interest in investing, so we registered for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to make this future investment easier if and when we need it.

We also found a good corporate lawyer to draw up all the agreements we have needed with lenders and networks.

The most important thing has been to learn from every meeting.

When you’re doing something new, it sparks people’s imaginations and we have received so many fantastic suggestions as a result we have created a system to capture them all and put a schedule for each to be implemented.

We have added at least one development per month but our future plans will take this to a whole new level.

And our growth of use shows no sign of slowing. We went from 48 lenders to more than 100 in just three months, with 26,000 broker searches in that time – more than 215 per day.

 

Recruitment

Looking forward, we are now on a recruitment drive.

Our most recent recruit was a former mortgage broker as we believe it is important they understand the market and the trials and tribulations faced by brokers.

Most important for any business is to keep in touch with what your customers want, in our case that is brokers and lenders.

This is not only for now but focusing on the future and what people’s needs will be in six months or a year.

The challenge is to absorb the ideas but still stay focused.

 

You can read part one and part two of Nicola Firth’s journey building Knowledge Bank online.

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