Betterbet.bet: Tom Garrard
Claiming to be "the smarter way to bet on football", this start-up uses analytics to help predict results - and offer subscribers better insight when betting
Tell us what your business does:
Our business provides football betting tips, analysis and competitions for subscribers.
Our tips are generated through a statistical model that aims to identify value betting opportunities. We seek to provide something different to clients by focusing on steady, long-term returns arrived at by methodical analysis.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The idea for my business came about as a growing interest in football and sporting analytics and building and testing my own statistical models to try and predict football team performance. After a while I realised there was a gap between the “football analytics” world and the world of betting/tipster sites.
How did you know there was a market for it?
To be honest, I think I suffered from tunnel vision at first and spent a lot of the time thinking “if I can construct a model that can offer long term gains to clients, then people will buy into it”. It was only really when I started telling friends and acquaintances about it and saw their reaction that I knew people would be up for it.
What were you doing before starting up?
I worked in the finance department at a financial trading platform in the City – I did lots of data analysis using databases, Excel, SQL etc. which was a good foundation for a lot of the technical work that underpins our content.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
It was always an option but wasn’t in the forefront of my mind until last year when a combination of changes in my work situation, and the progress I’d made with Betterbet.bet, really made me think it was a viable choice.
How did you raise the money?
It’s all bootstrapped – I just left my job and started up with savings.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We charge clients £5 a month to access tips, analysis and a tipping competition with cash prizes. All our “forward facing” content is behind a paywall – we then take it off the paywall after the games that it relates to have finished. This is so non-subscribers can see what we offer.
So, for £5 a month clients get access to football match odds tips across nine different leagues generated by a model that displays consistent long term profitability.
They also get in-depth analysis related to those tips in games in these different leagues – essentially previews for each league for each round of games. They also get access to a “tipping competition” where they can win cash prizes and if they refer clients then they can get additional entries for this competition.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenges have been in marketing – I knew very little about online marketing before starting my business and due to the content of the site being sports gambling related I have experienced some issues with getting Google Adwords to promote content.
I’ve overcome them through asking for help from people I trust and ensuring I’m listening to the right people – the importance of mentorship shouldn’t be underestimated when trying to get things off the ground.
What was your first big breakthrough?
When I first back-tested the statistical model, I realised I had a product I could sell. That giddy moment of excitement was amazing.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Have a product whose need and market is clearly definable and whose purpose you can summarise easily.
Beyond that, learn about marketing strategies and formulate one that is suitable for your business. And never be afraid to ask for advice and help – if you’re not a natural in a specific area, and you can find someone to delegate to then, do that.
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
I’d like to be a part of an engaging, intellectually stimulating project that gets me out of bed in the morning. “If you can find work you love you never work a day in your life” and all that!