Interview with Scott Smith, Founder of WAV Compare
We at WorksForWeb are blessed with extraordinary people who become our clients. The interview below is undoubtedly one of the most amazing and inspiring interviews we have ever done with our customers. Please meet Scott Smith, a man of many traits, a talented sportsman and a leader inspiring an awesome team behind WAV Compare, a UK countrywide iAuto-based project featuring used wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
Could you please tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Scott Smith from Wolverhampton in the UK - at the age of 9 I occurred a spinal cord injury as of the result of a tumour in the spine and use a wheelchair daily. I run a successful marketing and web design business, which includes the WAV Compare portal and travel the World playing wheelchair tennis, enjoy keeping fit and active!
What is your professional background Scott? How did you arrive at doing what you are doing now, running a unique and successful business empowering people?
I have always had an interest in web design which grew from a hobby into a business and after graduating in 2012 with a business and marketing degree I first started to work on clients websites, improving their content and through SEO generating enquires and sales. This developed into ‘in house’ projects focusing on areas where there was need and opportunity, primarily around disability and wheelchair access.
Could you please tell us about your business. What was the source of inspiration behind the idea for your online business? Please describe the biggest hurdles/obstacles you faced.
Although the inspiration was initially from trying to find a wheelchair car for a relative, it was very difficult and each vehicle has unique features to meet the persons needs.
Our ‘sister’ website which is run alongside WAV Compare is The Accessible Planet - which is everything wheelchair accessible! So we launched a simple listing feature within The Accessible Planet and started to advertise wheelchair cars.
This proved successful, and interest grew from Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle dealers. As a result, we launched a new stand alone website which is WAV Compare.
We did extensive research into different platforms and found iAuto - it’s proved a great choice and has given us the flexibility to create what we need, tailoring the website for specific features that wheelchair accessible vehicles have.
My guess is that you probably started your business offline. Quite a lot of customers actually do start with a shop or a small offline business, which grows and at a certain point it expands in the online realm. Why did you consider to move your business online?
Actually started online - as an information portal and developed into focusing on wheelchair vehicles with the separate, stand-a-alone WAV Compare website.
Wow, this is fascinating! Well then, my next question will get us closer to how you became our customer. Could you share your experience with us? I know that with all the options people are face with, selecting the right classified software platform that would work for you is not an easy thing to accomplish. Please describe your selection criteria and things that you paid the most attention to. Why did you choose our classified software?
Wheelchair accessible vehicles are different to everyday cars - they have unique features and there are several different models. For example some have manual ramps - whilst some have powered lifts on the side. There are also a whole list of adaptations and variations around driving and passenger seating. We needed software that allowed us to be unique and customise the platform - to make us stand out and be more useful to the customer, helping them find a vehicle that meets their needs, which iAuto allows us to do.
You are selling WAVs via wavcompare.com. Do you have any plans regarding extending your business into other areas that could help your customers. Or perhaps, try to extend your geographic outreach? What are your views on the future of your business?
Yes very much so - we plan to extend into different types of vehicles. Most likely mini buses and motorhomes is next up. Just like MPVs they need to be accessible and will have different features.
You will notice The Accessible Planet is an old html website - we have ideas around developing this into new website and include classified adverts.
We were immensely impressed that you created a mind-blowing website on your own, without any help of ours. How did you manage to do so? I bet you had a dedicated team working on it. Do you mind revealing the identity of the mastermind behind it all? Besides your immediate team, what about a wider circle of supporters?
A lot of the credit in terms of how the site works must go to my colleague Paul, he finds a way to implement the ideas! Yes a wider circle of supporters would be welcome, there are more ideas so any help would be welcomed to work with us to grow and improve further.
While we were preparing for the interview, we found out that you are a great tennis player, and your achievements in sports are nothing short of astounding. You won the Liverpool Wheelchair Tennis National Series! Lots of people play tennis for fun, but they never manage to climb that high. Why did you choose tennis in the first place? What is the role of tennis in your life?
Sport has played a big part in the my life, I have played wheelchair basketball for over 10 years and tennis for last 5 years. Tennis is very much a hobby which enables to keep fit and have visited various places across the World playing in tournaments.
Wow, this is amazing! What are the biggest challenges in your life that you had to overcome?
I guess having a spinal cord injury, although life is full of challenges and it’s about embracing them and find a way around it!
Thank you so much for sharting your story with us Scott!