Subscribe to the just doing it startup business Podcast BY UK online Entrepreneur Aaron HEnriques
Starting your own profitable online business doesn’t need thousands of pounds, expert knowledge and the ability to get thousands of customers to your website. See why lockdown 2020 during COVID-19 is the perfect time to start your own online business that can last well into the future.
In This Episode…
- Why you should take the opportunities given to you during Coronavirus lockdown.
- How advertising online has never been more effective and cheap!
- Showing you how with just 53 customers I hit over £100k sales in a year!
Plus more… so grab a coffee, listen in and stay tuned!
Podcast Episode Transcript
Aaron Henriques: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. And welcome. My name is Aaron Henriques. And today I'm going to talk to you about why now during Corona virus, COVID 19 is the best time to start your own online business. And if you're one of those people who've been there for a long time thinking, yeah, I'd love to get this started. I'd love to start up this online store or I want to sell this product or, you know, for whatever reason, you've not taken the steps.
[00:00:23] This is for you today. Because we're living in crazy times right now in lockdown. And for those who don't know me yet, Like I say, I'm Aaron Henriques and I've been doing business since school. That was from, you know, a first sort of little venture in the playground from selling sweets. And then the next one was buying and importing and export in Japanese footwear.
[00:00:44] And. The biggest regret to date for me was an idea I had where I didn't even start it. I did the business plan had had the business already to go. I had Barclays business bank, sat down with their business managers and they were happy to fund it. And I listened to my parents and my family and friends saying, no, it's too risky.
[00:01:04] It's too risky to get started. And the idea came about three years before what you now know is Uber. Now that's the business plan that I keep to this date to thinking, you know, this is one it may have never worked out for me as well as it has done for them, but it's one of those things where you're never going to know unless you actually get started.
[00:01:24] So like I said, I've been doing business for quite a while and I was a police officer in London for over 10 years. Okay. And I actually started up my business whilst what, what I'd call a proper business. Whilst I was in the police and that was back in 2013. So I actually spent a lot of time and money and energy because I didn't have, I didn't know the ways to actually do business properly.
[00:01:47] And I was trying to find my own ways. And for some reason, I wasn't as smart as you guys to actually get on podcasts and you know, go out there and. You know, go on YouTube and all this stuff to try and find out from people who've done it before, how to get going. [00:02:00] I didn't look at business coaches and all those things.
[00:02:02] So I found out the hard way through spending a lot of time and money. And, you know, I had months when I was pumping in six, 700 pounds a month for more from just my police salary into keeping the business afloat, paying the business bills. And at a point, you know, I remember I was flat broke. Yeah. Having a mortgage to pay for.
[00:02:22] I had an expensive car, I thought, yeah, let me go and get that car. I was locked into having to pay for, and this business, it was a killer. I want it to shut it down, but I'm glad I never And after I discovered really how business works with any year from, from me discovering really what, what my secret sauce would be for my business.
[00:02:41] I went from, you know, practically no clients from a tiny amount of money. I made in, in those couple of years, I think it was like 15,000 pounds, something like that. It was ridiculous. I spent way more money on trying to keep that business afloat than I had done actually getting money in. And within that year of working it out I'd done over a hundred grand in sales and that was still while working you know, 60 hours a week in the police.
[00:03:07] And. Well, sometimes more than that, even, but that was while working full-time in the police. And eventually in 2017, I realized that I was making way more money than I was earning in the police. And I, you know, there was various reasons why I'd just had enough. The morale was really low as you probably heard in the press.
[00:03:26] And I decided to quit my job. And go do business full-time and help others in there as well. So I actually run my own businesses as well. I'm not one of those people who just teach people how to do business without doing it. Right. You know, and life has literally. For me, it's never been better, you know?
[00:03:46] Cause it's allowed me to do things like I am now. Right now it's actually my birthday. It's my 34th birthday. Would you believe? And I'm sat in the middle of an airfield feeling quite happy about it. You know, had people email not email me, send me [00:04:00] text messages and WhatsApps today saying, you know, I hope you're okay.
[00:04:04] And it's really sad. You haven't spend your birthday on your own. And I'm like, well, do you know what I actually feel pretty good. Cause there's a lot of people out there right now who are really sick. And I'm really great. And I'm sat on an airfield, which probably where you're wondering, why the hell are you sat on an airfield?
[00:04:18] Well, I'm sat in an airfield because one of the things I've always wanted to do was learn how to fly. And I was in the middle of a pilot course. When, when COVID-19 hit, I was staying on this site, doing it full time, and I'm actually still here along with a couple of others. Who are on this site, but it's a massive site.
[00:04:35] I've got the whole thing to myself. I've not seen a single person today. I've been wondering around this effort all day and not seeing a single person, which has been lovely. And I've also been working on a course that I've been wanting to launch for quite a while for, to this idea, back in 2018, I put the whole structure together.
[00:04:53] And again, it was one of those things where I never did it. One of my reasons for not doing it was, you know, sort of imposter syndrome. But since leaving the police. Okay. It's been a whirlwind, you know, I've, I've been in loads of press, I've won awards for business strategy by Experian and enterprise nation.
[00:05:11]I was even invited to Downing street you know, being put in, in various national and local newspapers and national radio as well. It's been all been a bit strange because you feel a bit like imposter syndrome, like, you know, did they actually mean to invite me to Downing street? You know, it's a bit odd, isn't it?
[00:05:29] So. If you want to know more about me, I'm not here to talk about me today. I'm here to talk about why it's time for you to launch your own online business. And if you're wondering about, obviously the sound is because I am sat outside, so apologies if it's not that great, but if you want to find out more about me, you can go and follow my personal Instagram, which is @AaronHenray.
[00:05:50] That's AaronHenray. Going follow me on there now. And you can see all the flying and everything else that I get up to there. But, [00:06:00] right. So let's get onto the topic of the day and. Really, you know, the thing that's prompted me to say that is COVID-19 because there's so many people that are seriously unhappy.
[00:06:11] I'm seeing lots of depressed messages online and people saying about how, how they're depressed and everything like that. And they, you know, they're, they're stuck in doors and I don't know, don't know what to do. And they've got their kids there and like the they're pulling their hair out because they're super bored and they've watched way too much Netflix and for me, I've not felt that way too. I've actually been really energized because it's given me some extra time to work, work on my own projects. Like I said you know, an online coaching course that I'm going to be launching some point.
[00:06:41] But it should be out by the end of April for at least a beta program. And that's because I've helped other entrepreneurs also realize their own dreams in, in being able to grow their businesses, you know, hit, hit well beyond that, that six figure sum, and, and be able to do very well and actually gone on to leave their own jobs themselves. And some of them are in positions where they could leave at any point, if they decided they needed to.
[00:07:05] So there's plenty out there right now. There's people who I've worked with, who are in positions right now, where they're not worried about their jobs. I know the government has done a fantastic thing in furloughing and all this stuff that they've put out, all these financial aids. And they're not worried so much because they've actually got online businesses that will still make them money, no matter what is going on.
[00:07:26] All right. So that's the my estimate thing now. Everyone that's on lockdown right now. If you've ever had a business idea and you you've sat there before and you've procrastinated and you fought well, You know, you've listened to maybe to your family and friends, who've sort of said, oh, it's a bit of a risk.
[00:07:43] It's a bit of a risk to take. And I don't know, you know, too expensive or, you know, said things like, well, what do you know about that? Well, let me tell you this, because the business that I told you. The I, you know, I generate within within a year's period with, within a period of time of a year after me [00:08:00] spending and working out how things are done is back in 2018.
[00:08:04] Within that year, I'd hit over a hundred grand in sales. And that was in a cleaning company, a house cleaning company. If you asked my mum about what I know about cleaning should laugh at you, I don't know anything. Right. But what I do know is how to now run a business like that. And people also think, but that's not an online business and yes it is.
[00:08:23] It's completely online for me. Yes. The cleaners are inside. They're doing the work inside, but it's completely online in the sense that all of my advertising, all of my marketing, everything is done online because the type of client I want, that's where they're at. Now, you've got so much time to get your plan together, you know, get a business plan together and take action.
[00:08:43] It's unbelievable. So right now it's the best time for you to do that. And if you don't know how to get a business plan together, go and follow me because I'm going to be launching that course. And the first module of that course is getting your solid business plan is actually going to work for you out there.
[00:09:01]Because. That is where you need to start off. And it's not just about putting your idea on a bit of paper. It's about all the other things that you may not have thought about before, in ways that you can actually you know, things that you need to think about in order to launch your business. And also more importantly, the financials, is it actually going to work financially?
[00:09:21] Because it could be a great idea, but if it's not going to work financially, then you know, it's not going to work. We have to think of other ways to make it work. And there are ways out there to make these things work. Even if the numbers don't stack up. So during this time like I say, right now, you, you don't need to go anywhere to launch your online business.
[00:09:40] You could sit there. If you don't even want to get dressed, you can sit there in your underwear, in front of your laptop and get it all done. Right. You don't have to go anywhere during this time. So anyone saying, oh, but it's locked down. I can't go anywhere. Well, first thing first, you don't need to be going anywhere to launch your own online business.
[00:09:58] You can create your whole [00:10:00] marketing strategy online. You can create, you know, if you can have a look at SEO, you can do SEO yourself. For those of you that don't know what SEO is that search engine optimization. So that's the alternative to paid ads. It's what I use in my business. Now I don't spend any money.
[00:10:15] Well, I've got multiple businesses, but in the business I was talking to you about initially I don't spend any money on paid ads at all, because it's completely done for SEO. And what SEO is, it's kind of like where, you know, if you type something into Google, like, I don't know. Okay. I'll go with cleaning coming, cleaning company near me.
[00:10:34] Right? So I'm one of those people that will come up in the organic listings that over 80% of you will still look out over the paid adverts at the top of the page. And you'll trust them more because they're the ones that are more likely to be at the top of those organic results. The top three positions, more than 70% of clicks go through on those top three positions.
[00:10:55] On SEO and it so strong. I actually ended up creating an SEO company out of it myself. But the reason why SEO is really great for you is because you with your paid ads, if you've got a budget of like 10 pounds a day, for example, when Facebook spends that 10 pound a day and they could spend that within 10 minutes easily your, your ads stop showing.
[00:11:19] Whereas you're, let's just say that 10 pounds show to. 500 people, right? And you maybe had three or four people click with SEO. The thing is the thing that you can do with that is if 10,000 people, for some reason, that day search for you, and you're in the top three consistently the know those 10,000 people could click on you.
[00:11:43] And that's how I make my money. Is through, is through that the downside to SEO and the reason why that's not a strategy for you for immediately is because it takes so long to build up. It takes about a year. If you're a fresh website, you're going to take a good year to get your [00:12:00] SEO going for you to be able to go on.
[00:12:01]On the top page of Google and it is really complex. I'm not here to talk to you about SEO today. If you want to learn more about SEO, you can definitely do that as lots of YouTube videos out there. And you can go and do that now. So if you think about. Starting your business. You don't need to have some flashy website.
[00:12:20] You don't need to go and spend thousands of pounds on a flashy website. And the reason why I tell you that is I, when I left the place and you know, I had my business there and I had another business idea and I started that up and I spent 6,000 pounds on a branding campaign. You know, I spent thousands of pounds on on a, you know, a flashy website and the company who was meant to be making it, basically they failed to do it.
[00:12:42] And yeah. What happened was eventually would that business ended up, you know, they cost me well over. I mean, my, I think my, my solicitor estimate, well over £120,000 pounds at a point, and we ended up taking them to court. We weren't ever going to get anywhere near the amount of money that actually costs me in that time, because.
[00:13:01] They were flat broke and they didn't have the means to pay it. And we won the case in court. We ended up getting Bayless out to them and ended up, you know, they went as far as having their equipment seized before they ended up paying the small some that we actually went for it. And, but basically what, what, what, what the main thing is here is.
[00:13:19] You need to go and make your first few sales and you can get a website launched, you know, you can get onto something like GoDaddy, or if you're in a UK company called UK host for you, who's I, that that's who I use. The perfectly, perfectly fine. You can go and get a page builder like fro themes. They will, there's plenty of themes out there that you can literally go and download for free or for a few pounds and create your website.
[00:13:43] If you want an e-commerce system, go and get WooCommerce is free. WooCommerce only charge you if you want. Certain add-ons like if you want a subscription system. So if you want it to automatically charge customers every month on like a certain day of the month for whatever it is they [00:14:00] purchase from you, then you can just go and buy that one add-on for WooCommerce.
[00:14:03] But otherwise for the basic, you know, online payments and online shop. It's completely free. All right. Some people, they may not actually actively want to process payments online because some businesses, it doesn't work for them so well. And so what you can do there is you can create like contact forms and with the contact forms, you can use it to like book meetings.
[00:14:24] So maybe they need to book you know, like a sales call with you or something like that, if that's what your business takes, but you get that all online because that's the place where everyone is right now. You know, if you want to go and access your target audience by means of newspaper or TV or my net online ads, right?
[00:14:43]Like radio ads and stuff like that. It's a lot harder for you to target those people. And the chances are, if you're listening to this podcast, you probably haven't got the budget to be spending on, on advertising like that. And yet social media advertising, you know, what is it? 80% of the world. You know of the Western world would be on Facebook every day at some point or one of the Facebook platforms that they advertise on every single day.
[00:15:09] So. For those of you who are wondering, well, you know, fine. Okay. I can go and get the website set up now because it is fairly easy to do that. I can go and get the website set up and how am I going to make those sales, you know, I need to make everything look perfect. Well, the fact is you don't, you really don't.
[00:15:28] You can go and test the market out. There are people willing to actually buy your product very easily on a few pounds? Like I said, something like SEO is not going to work for you immediately. That you could go and wake up 50 pounds of Facebook ads, get a few people onto your site and see how they, how they're converting.
[00:15:45] Right. When, when I, when I do that, sometimes it doesn't work so well. Sometimes it blows up and you just increase those ads, increase those ads, and then you'll get more customers on word of mouth is fantastic. Okay. That's another way. So. [00:16:00] I made a statement earlier and I've actually had people query this before, because I hit over a hundred thousand pounds.
[00:16:07] We've just 53 customers and people think, well, I need loads and loads and loads and loads of customers to make money. And you don't, you just, don't 53 customers to me is, is nothing. I mean, you know, that, that was back in 2018. Now we're talking You know, we've got what over 1500 customers on, on the, on the books for the, that have been through the books on that business.
[00:16:31]The average client in that company, right. Was was paying about 12 pounds, 50 an hour. At that time, I charge a lot more now. We were, we were getting on average clients about 50 F is about three free hours a week, which is about £37.50, times the 53 clients is just shy of 2000 pounds a week. And that works out 103,000.
[00:16:54] Yeah. Pounds a year in sales. Okay. Just from 53 clients. So you don't need lots and lots of clients. But one thing I do recommend to people, if you are starting out an online business, this is to find a way to have repeat business. Okay. And the reason why I say this is we one of my companies we were working with a lady who was selling like chocolate bars online.
[00:17:17] And the problem was with we've her businesses. The only way that was ever going to work was with either through word of mouth, which is hard to do, like when you're just getting started out. Cause nobody knows you or. You know, obviously if you get into, into a national store, perhaps that, that may be good, but it wasn't her own.
[00:17:39]From my understanding, it wasn't her own shop. There is just, you know, she was buying and selling. And the average basket was only about 10 pounds. Now, the only way she was ever going to be able to make any success with that was with SEO, but she wanted to do paid ads. And the thing is it. When, when we actually did the numbers for her, you know, had to be really honest.
[00:17:57] We've heard, you know, she wanted to buy one of our [00:18:00] services and it just wouldn't have worked out for her. She would have been paying more for our services and she, and we, that wasn't the SEO that that was for a live chat platform. She'd been paying more for that. Then she would have had in profit from the customers in, in a, in a month, even in like three or four months.
[00:18:18]Yeah, it just went and worked out paid ads for her. Again, it wouldn't work out because of the cost. You know, how many people are going to keep buying your chocolate month a month? And we're saying to her, well, why do you not do some like a chocolate subscription business instead? Okay. Instead of that, one-off purchase where if someone's literally just paying 10 pounds, you know, package it with something and in another way, you know, coffee and chocolate or something where they're going to want that.
[00:18:44] Repeat purchase coming through every month because in a business like that, that's the only way you're going to make money because you're not going to have when you're a small startup, the funds to be able to keep getting people in. So whenever you're thinking about your own online business, that's one thing I say to think about repeat sales.
[00:19:04] How can you encourage it? How can you try and create a subscription system? So my cleaning company. One thing I wanted to be completely against, which is what some of our competitors came in and they sort of flopped on their, on their face. After a few years, one of our competitors came in from America with, you know, 50 million pounds, a million dollar budget.
[00:19:27] And often, you know, I thought that was the end. I thought that was the end of all the small cleaning companies like mine out there. I thought we were going to die, but they came in with an odd strategy. They completely ignored the likes of myself I was doing and all the other businesses. And they tried to mimic a model that work obviously worked well for them in the United States.
[00:19:47] And they're in their sort of main company over there. And they were doing like one off cleans. That's what they did. They didn't do regular cleans. I just did one on, off cleans. Now. I don't like one off cleans if I charge so much for [00:20:00] one of cleans. Cause I don't want people getting them ready yet. And I, you know, I actually charge I make my money from the regular clients.
[00:20:07] So to people who want to clean every week or every fortnight, that's how I make my money. Okay. Because I don't have to keep going out there finding new clients constantly, constantly, constantly finding new clients because these clients, once they're on their subscription, now it keeps staying. You know, they'll stay for a couple of years.
[00:20:22] At least we've still got people on there from back in 2013 that are still with us, you know, and we've only ever had to. Acquire that customer, once you only ever had to pay to advertise to get a customer once and then they stay. So that's what you need to be thinking about in your business. How can you turn it into like a subscription model and right now, why is right now the perfect time?
[00:20:46] Because everyone's at home. No, the government helping, what is it? 95% of the people in this, in this country right now in UK and lots of the Western world countries, the governments of really helping out they're paying people's salaries. They're paying, you know, for company for small businesses, they're paying you know, a large portion to them.
[00:21:06] Like lots of business grants that are out there, three one's at home. But another thing that's happened is do you know how many companies have stopped advertising online? It's it's crazy. If you look at the cost of ads right now, they're dirt cheap online because nobody's, you know, a lot of these companies like Facebook, has they work on like a bidding system and the less compete, the less people bidding against you.
[00:21:30]For, for those ads, the cheaper it is. And that's basically how it works. And right now they're dirt cheap. You know, nobody's advertising and everyone's at home. So your, your audience they're at home, but not only they're at home, they're bored. Normally you have to. You have to go through, you know, trying to create these amazing ads to try and distract people while they're scrolling through their feed, but people are bored right now.
[00:21:54] They're happy just to look at the things that are like different to, you know, cause they're not so busy. Normally people are busy [00:22:00] rushing around and it's really, you know, it can be challenging to try and distract them in their day two. We have an ad to sort of say this, you need to listen to this. You need to click on this.
[00:22:09] Whereas they're bored at home and they've got money coming in. Okay. So that's why I think right now is a perfect time. Get over your fears, whatever they are, whatever. Yeah. Reason you've told yourself while you've not started, get over it and just do it because I can assure you the only thing that never going to happen with you, not doing anything with your idea is you'll see someone in the future, like I did. I saw Uber. You'll see someone in the future with the same idea as you who started and you'll be thinking, why didn't I do that? Okay. So don't let that be you. If you've got that idea. Just go ahead, go and do it.
[00:22:49] And if you want to find out more about, about me, like I said, go to my Instagram @AaronHenray that's AaronHenray. You just go on there and you can message me through my Instagram. Lots of people do because I've got another podcast which is for pilots, pilot podcast. I enjoy that. You'll probably see lots of pictures of planes and stuff. If you're more interested in the business side go to my Facebook again.
[00:23:12] I keep things simple. It's AaronHenray. There you go. You, haven't got to remember two different things, go on there and you know, follow me on there and send me a message more than happy to talk over your idea and, you know, sort of learn more about you and what you're doing and what your sort of challenges are.
[00:23:27] Okay. So for anyone that's you know, that's in, COVID in lockdown right now. You know, hopefully you can find yourself something to do. Now. Now you're thinking about business a bit more instead of Netflix, instead of, you know, sitting there moaning or whatever, you know, go and take the idea you've got and get out there, launch it and you know, get your loved ones around you to help you. Cause they're probably bored as well.
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