INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Gaining Energy in a Changing World
We talked to Koen Verkerk of GoedkopeEnergieenGas about how customers can Compare the cheapest energy suppliers quickly and easily and choose the best suited for them and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Koen Verkerk: We are doing good. We enjoy the extra time we spend together at home with each other, friends, and family. Although the pandemic changed everyday life, for now, we want to make the best of our time at home during the Christmas days.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded GoedkopeEnergieenGas?
Koen Verkerk: After I finished my study, I started with a part-time sales job. With a small business degree in my pocket, I started seeing my business opportunities reasonably quickly. During my job, I started investing time in the weekend and even hours to set up my own online business.
After a while, I switched from sales to an online marketing consultant role within the same company. During these times, I learned more about setting up a website and attracting traffic. Since then, my affiliate projects have been growing steadily. This made it possible to stop with my job around three years ago and rely on my own business.
How does GoedkopeEnergieenGas innovate?
Koen Verkerk: I always try to spot new opportunities. GoedkopeEnergieenGas.nl offers consumers information, advice, and tools to choose the cheapest energy supplier in the Netherlands. But I haven’t limited my business to this. After a while, I, for example, also started reviewing smart home products, solar panel suppliers, and B2B energy suppliers. One of my recent additions to my project is reviewing suppliers of charging stations for electric vehicles. Exploring new markets is vital, in my opinion, to keep things fun for yourself.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Koen Verkerk: Since the pandemic started, more and more people began working at home. This increased the amount of energy that people use. Now the heating and electronic devices like monitors and computers are on all day long. This increased awareness of how much people pay per month for utility services. In my opinion, this ensured more people started researching how to lower their monthly costs. To help people cut costs, I also began reviewing products that help you use less energy.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Koen Verkerk: One of the main challenges I face is that more and more competitors get involved in the comparing market. Most of these competitors have big budgets to start and add campaigns on the tv or radio. This ensured I needed to be creative and find opportunities to attract visitors without competing with them.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and GoedkopeEnergieenGas in the future?
Koen Verkerk: Currently, I am not stressed since business is going well. Although this is the case, I know my business relies on SEO and, therefore, Google very much. This creates significant reliability on Google Updates that are rolled out fairly often. Every time this happens, your stress levels will rise for a short time.
In the future, more and more people will be self-sufficient, in my opinion. Because of this, fewer people will make use of energy comparison services. This creates a need to focus on more industries, such as products and services, to generate your energy and store it at home.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Koen Verkerk: Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of small and big sites offering these services. There are also various big consumer organizations and collectives that help people switch to a cheaper energy provider. This makes it hard to get a piece of the pie. Because of this, I focus very much on delivering unique and valuable content for my visitors.
Your final thoughts?
Koen Verkerk: Getting started with a start-up can be challenging and required a lot of dedication, but in the long run, it will be worth it!
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