Founder: Gavin Male
Tell us about your business.
Broadband Compare is New Zealand’s most comprehensive broadband comparison website. We list broadband plans from over 100 ISPs and have simple-to-use filters based on a user’s internet habits to help find the best broadband plan for their needs. We compare all plans in a simple format to help visitors make an informed choice on a product that has historically been very confusing.
Who and where are your target customers?
Primarily the New Zealand ‘Head of Household’ – those tasked with making the home budgeting and purchase decisions. A particular focus on renters and homeowners in the areas of NZ where ultra-fast broadband is going to be made available to 75 per cent of New Zealanders by 2019. We also offer a comparison tool for SME business owners.
Who, how and when did you first come up with the idea for your business?
Coming from the UK I was surprised to find a lack of consumer empowerment websites when I arrived. In my own case, choosing a broadband provider was a challenge. I only knew one brand, Vodafone, as all the others are local market players.
To add to my confusion Telecom had just rebranded, so there was Spark that seemed to be everywhere but had no reviews or info. Add in the fact that the government was investing billions of dollars in internet infrastructure projects in UFB and RBI, and there was a glaring need, and opportunity, for a broadband comparison tool to help consumers and businesses make an informed choice.
What are your three biggest unique selling points?
We provide our comparison service and all information free of charge to the consumer. Site visitors can find out everything they need without relinquishing any of their personal information.
We list all Internet providers in NZ, whether they are paying clients or not.
Rather than compare purely on price, the Broadband Compare rating is based on each user’s unique set of variables, from address and connection type through to the need for a landline, free modem and many other variable filters. The cheapest plan won’t usually be the most suitable for your needs.
What are three things about your business that you are proud of?
- Organic growth since launch. We have achieved consistent month-on-month revenue and traffic increases, with February seeing almost 30,000 sessions on the site.
- The partnerships and relationships we have made and nurtured within the sector, including the likes of Chorus, TUANZ, InternetNZ and the Government, who supported our launch event when the Rt. Hon. Amy Adams, Minister of Communications attended and spoke.
- The usability of the site. We have a tiny bounce rate and high number of page views per session. This means site visitors are investigating and using the tool to compare multiple providers and make an informed choice.
How do you market your business and what advice do you have for others around marketing?
We have focussed on a variety of online channels, from display to PPC, but primarily we have built our traffic and sales based on organic search traffic and partnerships. We are positioned well as an informed expert on the broadband sector in New Zealand, and have a fledgling brand which we are looking to leverage through providing expertise and commentary on industry issues.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in building your business so far?
Increasing traffic volume to the site in a profitable way. We can buy more traffic but we are seeking a positive return on investment for every marketing dollar spent. We know there is a long play on getting the service in front of people mid-contract, but cashflow demands have meant we currently need to target those switching now… not in 3, 6 or 9 months.
What is the biggest entrepreneur lesson you would like to share with other Kiwis thinking of starting their own business?
It is often said, but don’t wait for your product or service to be ‘perfect’… it can always be improved, and what you think is perfect may not be right for your users. Launch quickly, get a minimum viable product out there ASAP, and prove it can make money or drive value; improve from there.