By Chris Lee
Andrew Slack is the 29 year-old founder of MoreNiche, a digital marketing company he founded in 2008 with cash accrued from affiliate marketing. The company now has a turnover of £5 million and employs more than 20 people and Slack expects business to expand rapidly in the coming 12 months.
NMK’s Chris Lee caught up with Slack to learn about what it takes to create a successful start up.
Introduce MoreNiche to us
Founded in 2008, MoreNiche is a premium, content rich affiliate network which specialises in the health and beauty industry. MoreNiche creates and supports profitable relationships between advertisers and publishers where each network member earns commission from the MoreNiche portfolio of merchants when they refer a customer from their site.
What was the inspiration?
I left university with a degree in computer science. Using the $13,000 that I made designing and selling my first website I sourced products from the US and sold them to a global market across a number of websites I’d created. Effectively, I’d developed a very basic affiliate programme and I learned all the basics of being a single Internet marketer. I could see the potential of this medium and felt that specialising in a specific market was the right approach. I saw the health and beauty market as an exciting area that could benefit enormously from affiliate marketing. With that in mind, I used the capital I’d made to set up MoreNiche and focus on this sector.
What advice would you give people thinking of creating an Internet start-up with limited resources?
When I started I had a very clear vision of how I wanted the business to work and a strong desire to make it happen. What I didn’t have was a great deal of capital to get it off the ground. The main thing to keep telling yourself is that it is possible.
You need to have a good strategy and a positive work ethic. Start the business in your bedroom if necessary and use whatever resources you can to get it off the ground.
When working in fast paced industries you need to be constantly improving and challenging yourself. Take what you already know and try new things to ensure you are innovating and moving forwards. The beauty of the Internet is there are no borders, so consider markets beyond just the UK.
Similarly, I see affiliates joining MoreNiche with very little Internet marketing knowledge who have become hugely successful through dedication, focus and hard work.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
One night we’d suffered a DDOS (denial of service) attack. Our systems were paralysed and our sites down. After a severe lack of sleep I eventually managed to solve the problem and get us up and running again.
As an affiliate we have had a few bad experiences along the way, including a credit card processor ‘going bankrupt’ and a supplier selling us thousands of products which were simply not as described. The important thing is that you learn from these and make sure it doesn’t happen again.
As we continue to expand one of the most important lessons I have learned is that success cannot be achieved alone. A business no matter how big or small is really just a collection of people working towards a common goal.