Feefo, a contraction of ‘Feedback Forum’, is a ratings and reviews provider that verifies the legitimacy of the reviewer. Merchants can use Feefo to generate ratings and reviews on their behalf, and consumers can be sure that they are all from a real customer. SME caught up with founder Andrew Mabbutt to find out about the challenges and successes the company has faced…
What have been your biggest challenges? How did you overcome them?
Growing at the pace we have one of the biggest challenges is financial planning. Apart from the very early stage seed funding, the phenomenal growth has all been organic, with no further funding rounds. To grow a business that has seen more than 50 new employees in the last two years has been a huge challenge, but we have been fantastic at recruiting amazing people who have helped with the daily challenges. Expansion to international territories has been a new experience for me, but one I am really enjoying and applying my same business practice, beliefs and ethos as I have to grow the business in the UK to the number one position – well-prepared [delete and planned] decision- making, with a Plan B always in mind.
What have been your greatest successes?
Growing this business from scratch to where it is now, with my business partner, Matt Eames, has been my greatest success and one I look on with pride. I built a previous business, in telecoms, from scratch at the age of 23 to a successful and [delete very] highly regarded company over a 15-year period. To do it again, but in only five years this time, is very rewarding. But the job is not finished and our greatest successes are still to come, given that Feefo is a global brand.
What are your top tips for SMEs?
• Always set goals you can deliver – no one beats themselves up more than the founders of a business if they don’t reach their goals
• Recruit the right people for your business even if they cost more - it is so worth it in the end
• Don’t feel intimidated by the “big boys” – your passion and drive will overcome the competition if you have an amazing product and service
• There will be good days, there will be bad days – but if it was easy, everyone would do it. Enjoy and be proud of what you have started – you wont get too many “pats on the back” from others as you strive to build your business, but never forget: you took the steps to make a difference