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From the corporate rat race to entrepreneur

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Jeremy Levitt

Jeremy Levitt is an experienced entrepreneur who co-founded online quotes business, ServiceSeeking.com.au. He is a specialist in online marketing, business strategy, management and technology.
 
I never thought I'd…

Be running a website that has made the lives of over 800,000 Australians so much easier! That was always the vision when my business partner, Ollie Pennington and myself hatched the idea for ServiceSeeking.com.au back in 2007. We were moaning about the corporate rat race and our busy lives over a couple of beers in our Darlinghurst share house when we resolved to revolutionise the way people looked for and hired services - and put the Yellow Pages out of business. Customers on our website have compared more than 2 million quotes from businesses keen to do work. So much better than flipping through directories and getting the run around.
 
The best thing about doing what I do is…

Working in such a progressive, cutting-edge business with awesome, inspiring people. I learn something new every single day. But best of all, it’s incredibly rewarding to know that we’re helping small Aussie businesses, stay in business. In the last year alone, ServiceSeeking.com.au generated more than $400,000,000 in work across the country. I think that’s something we are all very proud of.   
 
The hardest thing about doing what I do is…

To prioritise! There are so many good ideas but often very little time and resources. It can be frustrating when a great concept doesn’t get the attention it deserves and never gets off the ground. But when allocating resources it’s important to make smart decisions for the business as a whole. It’s one of the reasons we’ve been able to progress from a struggling start up to a high growth business!

I wish someone had told me… 

To get started earlier! I’ve always had loads of ambition but I suppose I was channeling it into the wrong venture – law! I graduated law with first class honours, so it was a natural progression for me to then take up a position at Allens Arthur Robinson. But it took 4 years to realise that while studying law was great; I didn’t enjoy practicing it half as much! While I’m glad that I have that education (my negotiation and contract management skills have certainly come in handy) I can’t help but wonder where the business would be if I’d realised sooner where to put my focus. It takes a lot longer to grow a profitable business than I thought! There are so many "overnight" success stories that have been going on for decades!
 
The best advice I was ever given was…

Make money, save money or get out of the way! That mantra helps me manage our staff and trade partners and evaluate suggestions for new features in the cold light of day.
 
If I could do it all over again, I'd…

Study computer science (together with my law degree). It would be nice to assist in getting things out the door more quickly by building a prototype of a new feature myself!

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