Name: Philip Brennan
Job: Owner of comparison website Businesscomparison.com
Born: Paisley and moved to Chester aged one
Education: University of Chester Business School
Family: Partner Sara Hegewald
I’m up around 6.30am to drive to Chester and park up in Hoole. I walk over to the Businesscomparison.com office in the Steam Mill via Waitrose for my free coffee and a croissant. I like to support small businesses but none are open before I get to work.
We offer comparisons for business energy, insurance and financial products including loans. I worked at MoneysuperMarket.com for seven years and that educated me in how to look out for a deal. Moneysaving is in my blood, my mum always looks for a bargain and she taught me that by looking for deals your money will go further.
Once at my desk, I review the business finance news and feed any stories we need to cover to the content and PR team for blogs and emails to update our users. I then sit down with my account manager and acquisitions team and check on the previous days’ performance of the site. We can see how people have engaged with us and if we’re attracting the right kind of visitors. Based on this we set a plan of action for the day. I will then sit with the development team and see how we are progressing with changes to the site.
After this I normally have calls with our partners regarding opportunities to work together and anything they are doing which may engage our customers. At lunch I am very boring with soup most days and maybe a quick stroll down around the canal to give myself a break. The afternoon is a chance to work on new opportunities and signing off content and press releases. If people are coming to visit I like to do this in the afternoon after my tasks for the day have been done. I generally head down to Artichoke and get a mocha. I prefer a relaxed environment where you can have a direct and informal chat. I am fortunate that I don’t have to travel too often. The majority of our partners are based in London so I get down there directly and get four to five meetings done in one day. This means I can be home before 9pm and also the train is a great place to get work done without distractions - I can do four hours work a day on top of meetings.
When I finish work I head off to play football, go the gym, squash or go for a run. On a Monday night I’m at the Upton County offices with my old colleagues from the Mollington Banastre hotel where I worked during university days. I have been playing with these guys for 16 years and I have gone from the youngest player to one of the veterans. After, I get home and have some dinner (Sara cooks more often than I do!)At the weekends I like to get out walking around the UK and Sara and I are doing the Sandstone trail in four stages. Also, we like to travel so we are always planning the next trip. As ever I make sure I get the best deals for my travels although I don’t stay in budget accommodation like in my backpacking days.
The number of small businesses is growing across the UK and in our local community people are more attracted to the idea of being their own boss. This has been led by the need for contractors, the internet and funding available from investors. Money spent in small to medium size local businesses is much more likely to be reinvested in the local community. Our area has created some great entrepreneurs including Albert Gubay the founder of Kwik Save, Martin Lewis went to The King’s School and of course my old boss Simon Nixon.
What do you wear to do your job? We are very casual in the office, unless we have guests and then we have a wash!
What is the favourite part of your job? Helping business owners. I know from my own experience that owning a business is stressful so we are happy to see more and more people using the site.
What is the least favourite part of your job? Compliance - this means having to interpret regulators’ requirements which are not always as clear as they could be.
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? Managing a football club, I was never good enough to be a player!
How do you relax when you are not working? Despite not being very good at it I play football twice week. Also I like to walk, listen to music and drink real ales or craft beers with friends.
What is your favourite film? I love Big by Tom Hanks.
What is your favourite book? Red China Blues by Jan Wong. I read this just after going to China and it really helped me understand how this country has come to be. It was also interesting to see her romantic vision of communism being destroyed.
What is your favourite song? Dry the Rain by the Beta Band.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? I have never thought about this! I was once told I look like Jack Black by an Irish girl in a bar in Chester so maybe him.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame yet? Apart from being mistaken for Jack Black no!
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