Debbie Wosskow is the Founder and CEO of Love Home Swap, the world’s biggest Home Exchange club.
Focus is the most important thing for me – I’ve found that I need to be fully operational in a business to make it a success, rather than investing time in various companies.
I also think that early stage businesses are all about the detail and you have to be a meddler in order to succeed.
Business model is everything – particularly for marketplace businesses such as Love Home Swap. We’re constantly tweaking our product, pricing and conversion funnel to make sure we get the best results.
Given my background, I’m a strong believer in the power of PR and Word of Mouth to drive sales, particularly among audiences new to the concept of your business. 82% of Love Home Swap members haven’t home swapped before – so this is a powerful channel for us.
Traditional sales channels also work well for us alongside Digital Marketing – it’s amazing how effective it can be to speak to people on the phone to help them get the most out of your service.
Sell the dream – and make sure you have the right incentives in place to ensure that employees share in the upside as the business grows.
We’re the archetypal lean start-up – everything we do starts off as an MVP. We also split-test absolutely everything to ensure that decisions that we make are data- not opinion- driven.
We launched with 250 properties on LoveHomeSwap.com two years ago – mainly the homes of friends and family!
We seed-funded the business ourselves to reach sufficient scale – then raised VC funding to help accelerate our growth.
We now have 46,000+ stylish properties listed in 150 countries around the world – and growing fast – making us the world’s largest home exchange club.
Work hard and be prepared to take risks. And remember, it’s a slog to build a successful business – nothing comes easy.
Set up an industry body – we launched ‘Collaborative Consumption Europe’ to help lead the conversation around the Sharing economy over here. We’ve had a ton of great press coverage and contacts off the back of this.
Wow – that’s a good question! Hmm…let me think.
When I went on my last home swap (with Sydney, Australia), I stayed in an apartment next door to Russell Crowe – that was pretty crazy!