Simon Jones, Founder& CEO, The Pension Platform
Having graduated from Newcastle University in 2012 with a BA (Hons) Economics, I decided to move into the financial world, accepting a job with a financial consulting company based in London. Whilst I had a fantastic time there, I always knew I wanted to start my own business one day.
I recently decided to bite the bullet. Entering the entrepreneurial world rather fresh-faced, I realised just how many different people I needed to connect with, from marketers to investors, technology engineers and product designers. However, after some relatively simple networking, I realised just how much my network of connections could help me facilitate the introductions I needed.
Through discussions with friends and old colleagues I found myself introduced to people who were able to help me with a wide range of issues which in turn helped kick start the business. I’ve even been introduced to technology advisors because an old colleague happened to know someone who happened to know another person who advised on technological builds – obscure I know!
Having a network is something which requires work. Going to events to meet new people and connecting with old friends and colleagues are things I have deliberately carved out time for. It’s also a two way street; the people I’ve connected with have helped me, in part, because I got on with them but also because they know I may be able to help them in the future.
I’ve realised a common pitfall when trying to set up a new business is the belief that you need to keep your idea a secret. I quickly learnt that I shouldn’t be afraid of telling everyone about my idea. The chances of someone stealing my idea and executing it successfully were small, but the chances of someone knowing someone who could help me were actually surprisingly high.
On that note – the business I’ve started is called The Pension Platform. We help UK consumers find, consolidate and manage their old DC pensions for free through a simple and engaging online tool. We’re set to launch at the end of the year and are now looking to grow our customer base and be introduced to senior individuals at pension providers for discussions about potentially automating our workflow. We’re also looking for introductions to potential investors to raise the funds required to scale.
If you think you could help with this, then please get in touch with me via email@example.com
I have learnt how important it was to connect with people to grow my network and help get my business off the ground. I also know that I’m going to have to continue to grow my network to help the business succeed in the future.
Visit www.thepensionplatform.com for more info.