Have you got your sights on building an international business? It could be yours in only five years’ time. Danny Scott achieved that so why can’t you?
Meet Danny Scott
Danny co-founded CoinCorner in 2014 in order to meet the growing demand of people wanting to buy bitcoin in the UK. The bitcoin industry is incredibly fast-paced and in five (short) years, CoinCorner has grown from startup to success with services now available in 47 countries and 200,000+ customers worldwide. Here’s how it happened.
1. Why did you start CoinCorner and what were you doing before?
CoinCorner was created because we struggled to find somewhere in the UK to buy Bitcoin back in 2013. We actually started mining first, as we felt this was easier than using a Bitcoin exchange, but eventually realised there was a gap in the market, so why not start our own exchange? So we did! The key takeaway for anyone with a business idea is to make sure you’re solving a problem. Before I moved into the Bitcoin industry I was running my own small software development company after an online startup I was working for was acquired.
2. What were the biggest sources of inspiration and support when you were starting out?
As always, the support system came from my family, friends and the CoinCorner team. Always surround yourself with great and positive people – life starting out in the business world is hard enough, you’ll need people to support you.
There are plenty of entrepreneurs and business people that inspired us along the way, however some of the more “unusual” inspirations for me came from the music I listened to – songs about coming from nothing to achieve great things. I’m a big rap fan, so the likes of Eminem, 50 Cent and Macklemore, have all inspired me to achieve something great.
3. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting the business?
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt since starting CoinCorner is a bit of a weird one. I’ve realised that nobody knows what they’re doing. No matter the company, the job role, or the industry, people are “winging it” so much more than you think. The thing to takeaway from this is that for a lot of the time in a startup, you feel out of your depth or you often doubt yourself as to whether you’re making the right decisions, but don’t worry as it’s normal and everybody feels like this at some point.
The amount of times we’ve seen a competitor doing something completely new/different and we think why are they doing this? Should we be doing this? But it just seems wrong. We’ve come to realise that they also didn’t know what they were doing and they were using the “spray and pray” approach, aka attempting 10 ideas in the hope that one idea will stick, because they don’t know themselves.
4. What has been your proudest moment/biggest achievement so far?
Sometimes it’s the small things that mean the most. My proudest moment was probably moving into our current offices. We had started in a garage, then an empty warehouse, to a small office that crammed 6 people in, to our current open plan Silicon Valley-esque office. We have an amazing view, astro turf with bean bags and even a boardroom (we had never had one previously!). It’s the small things.
5. What piece of advice would you give to anyone starting out?
It’s important to start out by creating a business that solves a problem and whatever the problem is, try to keep your focus on doing that one thing really well. If there’s no problem to solve, you’ll struggle to interest customers as you’re not filling any gap in the market. Focusing on one core product helps to stop you from spreading your business too thin as well.
My second piece of advice would be to surround yourself with great people. You want to be able to trust your team to tell you when you’re going in the wrong direction or to be there as support when hard times come knocking. The team makes the company at the end of the day and you’ll want to spend your time with people who believe in you and the business.
6. What piece of investment did you make in the business that was worth every penny?
The team – in the past we had struggled to hit a break-even point, but once we did we chose to keep reinvesting any profits into expanding the team to help grow the business rather than begin taking the profits ourselves. We now have an amazing team of 14 (and growing!) experts, not only in their own fields but also in the new exciting industry that is Bitcoin.
7. Which element of marketing has made the biggest impact on your business?
Backlink building has made a huge impact on our business. It’s something that we’ve always given top priority too as it helps to rank our website (where all of our sales are made) and build natural growth in Google searches. The impact of backlink building can easily be measured and it’s a free way for businesses to reach more customers.
8. What do the next 12 months look like for you?
The exciting yet crazy thing about operating in the Bitcoin industry is that you don’t know what the next 12 months will be like. You have to roll with the punches, expect the unexpected and just be generally prepared for anything.
As a company we will continue to focus on our core offerings: being a quick and easy on ramp for Bitcoin, while also driving our new Bitcoin payment gateway for businesses to accept Bitcoin payments.
Do you have an interesting story to tell about how your business got started? Tell us about it.