Finance is often a sensitive topic for many businesses, but not for James Vinicombe. The founder of UK based company YourMoneyHub.com spoke to us about how he launched the business, challenges SME's face in finance and advice in regards to financial matters for business owners.
Tell us about YourMoneyHub.com. What services do you offer?
YourMoneyHub.com specialises in helping Individuals and business owners connect with a qualified professional who can help with accounting, financial advice or business lending.
We also have partnerships with many other organisations that provide further Business help, such as Legal Services, Freelance Work, Financial Directors, Business Coaching, etc.
We have tried to make it as much of a hub for finance as humanly possible!
How did you decide to start your own business?
I have always wanted to have my own business; the only problem was that I had no idea what kind of business I wanted!
I have always worked in finance, thanks to my upbringing in Luxembourg (which is a banking hub, pardon the pun), and when I returned to the UK, I continued the trend by working at Retirement Advantage, One Family and Crunch Accounting.
Spending time in these dreary companies made me realise that I should strive for more, and now was the time to do it!
While at Crunch Accounting, I came into contact with a financial adviser who wanted access to the clients we had. Unfortunately, the deal didn't go through, but it gave me the idea to create a site where I can bring financial professionals and online marketing together.
After a year of figuring out the dynamics of how it should work, the site went live and the rest is history as they say!
In your opinion, what are the challenges businesses face when first starting out?
There are many challenges we face when starting a business, and that can depend on the nature of your business. Some ideas can be easier to start than others.
Guidance and Funding are top of the list for me, when I first started, it was very difficult to know where to begin! Do I need FCA clearance to start my site? How do I contact accountants and advisers? How do I create the site? Its imperative you know all there is to know about what you're getting yourself into! Speaking to my accountant and financial adviser helped me a lot.
With regards to funding, many banks don't even look at you when it comes to start-up capital, which can be frustrating! After a lot of looking around, I managed to find some money to provide a cash boost, so I could get my office and hire staff to progress to the next level.
What common financial mistakes do you see SME’s make?
Far be it for me to pour scorn on another person's business, but in my humble opinion, it has been because their plan is awful or it has too many moving parts.
I don't think some people will want to hear this, but there are those who are not cut out to run a business.
Hard work, a solid plan and financial advice from a professional will prevent you from making those mistakes if you're unsure. It's always best to have a second opinion on your business ideas, and that opinion carries more weight when it's from a financial professional.
If you could go back to when you were first starting out, what would you have done differently knowing what you know now about starting a business?
From what I have experienced in business so far, there are no short cuts, it just takes time to learn everything about your field, and it requires a lot of trial and error.
I would tell myself not to waste time with a few marketing techniques - Google Adwords being the biggest waste of money by far!
Certain business partnerships to have been created sooner, and others to not have been created at all!
I feel as though I have evolved along with my business, and it's been one hell of an experience that I wouldn't change one bit!
What inspires you in business and how do you come up with new ideas to keep YourMoneyHub.com stand out in the finance market?
I’m inspired to deliver a quality service and exceed the expectations of those who join YourMoneyHub.com, whether that be my own staff or members of our site.
In order to stand out, you must know the competition as well as you know your own company, then you can see what they offer their clients and work out how to beat it!
Being innovative and different (but in a good way) will get a client's interest, but you need to back it up with evidence, so once you have that, they will always hear you out!
What is the best business book you ever read?
'The Wealth of nations', by the famous economist Adam Smith. For me, this book is back to the basics of business and understanding how the system works.
What advice do you have for business owners who are just starting out in regards to financial matters?
There's no shame in speaking to a financial professional if you need help sorting out your money!
A business owner is going to be busy, and will need to have their time dedicated to the product or service. The last thing anyone wants to do after a hard day's work - is figure out how much tax you owe, your pension contributions, insurance, your loan, etc.
It is best to leave it to an expert who will do it for you, that way you can have peace of mind that your finances are in order and all you have to worry about is your business!
In fact, accountants and financial advisers are great people to bounce ideas off of with regards to your business. Your conversations do not have to be solely about finance.
So it's always worth a try to see what they can do for you!
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