Gocompare founder Hayley Parsons tells her story


Looking back now, what were the biggest lessons learnt along the way?

It?s easy to come up against difficulties, in business and in life, but by telling yourself to be brave, and remembering that setbacks are only ever temporary, it?s possible to overcome challenges and make the most of opportunities. This is particularly applicable when starting a business, which is about the most exciting, fulfilling yet nerve-racking thing you can do.?

As a business owner you?re responsible not only for your own livelihood, but the wealth and wellbeing of the people you employ, which is why it?s so important to persevere, hold your nerve and really go for it. In business, and especially in the early days, this can mean turning a blind eye to any losses you sustain and quickly recovering from mistakes you may make.?

As long as you?re confident that you?re going in the right direction your losses will only be short-term, and it can be far more dangerous to focus your energy on breaking even when you should be breaking new ground.

How did you develop the company’s unique marketing approach, and why do you think it worked?

Like our business, our marketing ? and specifically our adverts ? has always changed to reflect our customers? needs. In the very beginning, our ads were informative, explaining just what a price comparison website was.?

After a while, people became familiar with the concept, and that?s when we introduced Gio, our moustachioed opera singer, to make sure that when people thought about insurance, they thought ?Gocompare!?. That campaign worked incredibly well, and helped to cement our position as one of the UK?s biggest and busiest comparison sites.?Yes, some people may have found the adverts a little annoying, but I?ll wager that they weren?t annoyed by how much money they saved on their household bills!?

Our current campaign has been developed to reflect the fab people at Gocompare.com, who all work tirelessly to develop the services that help our customers find the deals that are right for them. Through a series of characters, who all inhabit the fictional Welsh town of LlandofsavingmoneyandfindingtherightdealgogoGoCompare, we?re showing people, with a sprinkling of humour of course, just how fanatical we are about comparison.

Why do you think that people have increased engagement with the likes of Gocompare.com?

I think it?s a mixture of increased awareness through marketing, the fact that for most people now a search for anything starts online so they are comfortable with that, and the fact that price comparison websites are just really, really good at empowering consumers. Once you?ve used one you probably wouldn?t go back to searching for insurance, credit cards or energy tariffs like you used to.?

Remember what it was like before comparison websites, when you had to try and phone as many insurers as you could to find the cover you were looking for at the best price? It would take hours. I don’t miss those days.

What made you decide now was the right time to sell the business?

I built the business but now I want to hand the company on to new owners who can develop and build the brand. It is the right time for Gocompare.com. Esure understands the business, they know the staff and they are committed to keeping the Gocompare.com brand. They will also keep the Gocompare.com office at Newport, which is incredibly important to me.

What will you be doing with yourself now?

I have worked full time since I was 16 ? starting out by writing cover notes for a local broker ? and in that time I?ve had two gorgeous children. I actually want to be a mum for a bit. I realise how lucky I am to be able to do that. And then I’m going to do something totally different. I hear they?re looking for a new board member at the Welsh Rugby Union?

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