If you want to grow you have to reinvest and delay gratification and personal income.
Nick is the founder of PetInsuranceQuotes.com. He grew up around dogs and formally adopted a rescue lab-mix named Beau in 2012. He graduated from Miami University in 2003 with a degree in finance and the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University in 2007.
Nick is a fully licensed insurance agent in all 50 states. He is an Accredited Adviser in Insurance (AAI®) and member of the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Ohio and Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.
Where did the idea for PetInsuranceQuotes.com come from?
In 2009 I was searching for pet insurance for our dog Beau and found the process impossible. There were no good 3rd party websites and I had to get quotes on 12 different company websites and try to compare them all on a spreadsheet. That experience inspired me to build the LendingTree of pet health insurance.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I start every day responding to customer requests from the night before. This reinforces why I do this every day. Focusing on helping pet owners is our #1 priority and what drives our mission.
I stay productive by keeping a working To Do list that is prioritized daily to make sure I spend time where we can make the most impact.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It all starts with feedback from the customer. Once we have an idea of that their needs are we whiteboard designs and functions that could help fix the customer headache. After a few iterations on paper we then have our developers and designers build it and push it live.
Then the process starts all over again.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
The pet economy in the U.S. is expected to surpass $60 billion in 2016 and that is because more and more pet owners are treating their dogs and cats as part of the family. This humanization trend is fun to be a part of and bodes well for the future of pet insurance in the U.S.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I constantly prioritize my day so that I am spending time and resources where it can make the biggest impact. It’s easy to get caught up in email, meetings and phone calls but you have to build and create in order to grow.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I was a dishwasher in a restaurant in college. I wanted to be a line cook or waiter, but wasn’t experienced enough. The dish-washing job taught me humility because nobody is too good for any job. And in most cases it’s just someone’s step up the ladder of their career.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Plan more. We designed version 1.0 of the site and just spent the money and built it. In hindsight I would have spent more time getting feedback and thinking through the model.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Get customer feedback. It’s so essential to stay on top of customer trends and needs. Every entrepreneur should be an expert in the feedback loop and constantly interact, support and gather feedback from customers.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Running a lean business has allowed us to reinvest in growth. As our revenue increases the amount we spend on marketing increases. If you want to grow you have to reinvest and delay gratification and personal income.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Version 1.0 of our website was not functional for our customers. It was impossible to monetize. We overcame it by going back to the drawing board and not giving up.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
There is a huge need to simplify and standardize payments between pet insurance companies and veterinary clinics. There is a big opportunity there to fix that last mile problem.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Dinner for two with my lovely wife, Melissa at our favorite local restaurant. You have to stop and smell the roses as much as you can.
What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh, it is the best beginning to end book about entrepreneurship I’ve ever read.