How did I start my business? Join us as Dave Bird shares his entrepreneurial journey and valuable business advice for new entrepreneurs.
Dave Bird is co-founder of Monetise, a UK based affiliate network that provides traffic to online advertisers. He has been working in the industry for more than five years and has gleaned a great deal of experience when it comes to online marketing.
David Bird co-founded his company six years ago and the network has grown substantially over this time. Dave likes spending quality time with his family and looking at ways to further grow his business.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Monetise all about?
Monetise is a UK affiliate network that specializes in lead generation, delivering high-quality traffic to our advertising partners who are looking for more sales or leads through their website or mobile application.
For anybody who doesn’t know, an affiliate network sits between the adviser and an army of people (called affiliates) who drive web and mobile traffic to the advertiser’s website in exchange for commission. The affiliate network looks after and manages the relationship between the two.
Monetise launched in March 2007. Today, we comprise of a solid team of analytical experts who live and breathe online marketing.
Q: Starting out as an entrepreneur, who did you look up to and who were some of your mentors and why?
I really wish I could cite some big names here, but the truth is that my biggest influence has been my dad. He started from nothing and did well for himself in the property development field.
He taught me the value of working hard and that anybody can achieve anything they like if they really want and work hard enough at it. He also taught me ‘what goes around comes around’ and that ethics and good practice will always pay off in the long run. In other words, never screw anybody over!
Q: How do you separate yourself from your competitors and what makes your platform better or different?
The biggest challenge faced by any affiliate network is to prove they are reputable, honest and above all, that the affiliates will actually get paid!
There have been a whole bunch of fly-by-night networks that have set themselves up, said all the right things, appeared in all the right places, only to then disappear within a year with everybody’s money.
Monetise has been operating for more than five years and we’ve always paid our affiliates on time, often with extra perks and gifts to show our appreciation. This is a good example of where ethics and good practice pays off. Nobody in the industry has a better reputation than Monetise when it comes to servicing and paying affiliates.
In short, we just think we do things a little better than the others!
Q: What’s the biggest problem you’ve encountered with your business and how did you overcome it?
The single biggest problem with running an affiliate network is that we have to pay our affiliates twice, or often three times, before receiving payment from our advertisers. We like to get our affiliates paid ASAP, but normally have to extend credit terms to our advertisers. This effectively means that cash flow issues can be a risk.
In the early days, this meant that the quicker we grew, the more we had to outlay in advance. We had to be very careful. This was addressed back in January 2012 when we received some venture capital funding and the availability of financial support if needed.
Cash flow is the single reason why most affiliate networks fail. But we at Monetise have managed to mitigate this concern.
Q: What’s your definition of success?
On a personal level, I measure success holistically, not solely through business achievements. I have an amazing family, with two boys (4 and 6 months) and I firmly believe quality-of-life, health, and those precious family moments come before the next big pay cheque. Although, this doesn’t mean I won’t continue to work hard at achieving everything I can professionally!
If I were to answer from a business perspective, I see Monetise becoming the primary lead generation network in the UK within the next 18 months, and I see future expansion into other core international markets also. If I can drive the company into achieving that – and dominating the lead generation industry internationally – then I’d like to think I’d be reasonably happy!
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?