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Spotlight: Money Crashers Builds Personal Finance Brand Where Insight and Resources Collide

Take a look at Money Crashers to make the most of your finances.
CFO Collaboration

CFO Base- CFO and Key business decision makers are discussing together a new startup project. A glowing light bulb as a new idea.

What the Business Does

Offers an online media outlet centered around personal finance.

CEO Andrew Schrage told Small Business Trends, “Money Crashers is a media publication, so we follow the standard model that most news and media sites have. We provide advertisers with a space where they can reach an audience that’s likely to want or need their products. Ultimately, we partner with advertisers that offer solutions that’ll benefit our audience and help them reach their financial goals.”

Business Niche

Taking a holistic approach to financial content.

Schrage says, “I think what really sets us apart from our competitors is we’re not just focused on helping you save money or showing you creative ways of making money. Our approach to personal finance is more nuanced. We want our readers to make financially sound decisions, but that’s ultimately so they can live more enriched lives. This means educating people on how to develop a positive relationship with their finances, but also reminding them that it’s okay to enjoy their money responsibly.”

 

How the Business Got Started

To help people after the recession.

Schrage explains, “With my background in Economics and Gyutae’s technical background, we found an opportunity. Before we launched Money Crashers we both wanted to do something entrepreneurial and have our own businesses, but we also wanted to do something that gives back in some way. Whether it would be education or community based stuff, we weren’t sure. It hit us during the height of the 2008 recession that there was a huge gap in personal financial education. We both went through school and didn’t really get much or any personal finance education and it was clear to us how a lack of societal prioritization on such an important life skill contributed to the tragic developments of the great recession. We believed that not addressing this gap would perpetuate some of the worst effects of the recession. So we started Money Crashers in order to help fill that void.”

Biggest Win

Running the business full-time.

Schrage says, “The shift from a side project to something that we could give our undivided attention to allowed us to better serve our audience and reach even more people. We were able to build on what we started and just grow it at a pace we wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. It came about after we had spent over a year working on building the site and growing the audience to point where we could walk away from our full-time jobs.”

Biggest Risk

Creating the initial branding.

Schrage adds, “Money Crashers was something we picked out because we believed it was a strong domain name with a nice ring, but that also made it risky. We were going to pour our energy and time into the brand and shifting to something different later on would represent a loss in the creative and public equity that we built. If we missed the mark here, it’s possible that we could’ve ended up a niche site with a smaller following. Setting our intentions with the branding and our editorial approach early on is what set us up for a lot of growth. The end result is that we’re a differentiated brand in the finance space.”

Lesson Learned

Don’t undervalue social media.

Schrage says, “I think we undervalued its potential when we first got started. We signed up for several accounts early on, but we didn’t really do much with them. Now we view it as a tool to deepen our relationship with our readers and as an additional way to keep providing them with value.”

 

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Improving the product.

Schrage explains, “We’d invest that right back into growing our business so that we can give our audience even more value.”

What Sets the Team Apart

A nationwide reach.

Schrage says, “Our company has grown to be over 30 employees—but only four work out of our New Jersey headquarters. This means that we tend to hear a lot of really interesting stories from around the country that might not be part of the national discourse. Things like local news stories, local urban legends, etc.”

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Find out more about theSmall Biz Spotlightprogram

Images: Money Crashers, Andrew Schrage

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