17 March 2021

You can’t create a great startup company by being the same as the average businesses | Aaron Henriques

It came to me watching the wheel of death on Netflix. Learn why I think creating an average company just isn’t good enough for a startup business in 2021. Hear about my experiences in doing things differently and how that has led to some successes in my own businesses.

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Opportunity Awaits podcast Episode Transcript

Aaron Henriques (00:02): Hello everyone. And welcome to the podcast. And I just want to apologise, first of all, because if I sound a bit funny today, that's because my face is in pain. I'm dashing off shortly I've for the last few days I've had a pain in my jaw and the first emergency appointment I could get is later today. I need to leave in about 20 minutes, but in any case, the reason why I actually thought about this episode today is literally I was sat there in my gap. I was thinking, well, I'm not going to start doing any more work because I'm going to get sucked in and I'm going to forget to leave. So I thought, well, let me just put on, you know, had I had nearly an hour to kill. I was like, Oh, let me just watch, you know, the rest of an episode on Netflix that I was watching some, something about Samurais. Aaron Henriques (00:50): But anyway, and I was getting that spinning wheel of death, you know, the thing where it just spins and spins and spins and it just wasn't going to work. And then while it was spinning and I was going into my, you know, I don't know if you do this, you know, maybe you do, maybe don't, you know, when you start thinking about stuff yourself and I was thinking about the business that I'm launching a commercial cleaning company. And I was thinking about basically around hiring some new staff particularly an office staff member, someone who's very flexible and adaptable and, you know, sort of going to help me drive the company forward and grow it when it starts when it launches officially soft launch next week. Aaron Henriques (01:34): Yeah. I started thinking about it and I was running through these role-plays of, you know, conversations that we can have it so bloody weird. I mean, I mean, is that something you do yourself? You know, it's, it's one of the things where I was just sat there thinking about us having a conversation. And I was thinking about the stuff, the, some of the plans I've got sort of things I'm going to be getting them to do, and sorry, my Alexa just butted in. It always does that. Yeah, I was thinking about some of the stuff we're gonna be doing and how they may... Aaron Henriques (02:12): Yeah. So how, how they may sort of respond to some of the things I'm going to get them to do now, the problem is, is that I was thinking that they were going to be like, well, this isn't how it's done, you know, in the industry. And that's something that I was literally just, role-playing the conversation with where they're saying, you know, this isn't how it's done. And the thing that come into my mind as a response was you can't create a great company by being the same as all the, all the average ones. You know, that that's literally what, just come into my head. And then I started thinking about it a bit more and you're like, yeah, do you know what that's right. You can't do that. I mean, for those of you don't know already, I'm part of a domestic cleaning franchise. Aaron Henriques (02:59): I have been eight years at the time of this recording. And you know, one of the things that I, I, I won a national franchise of the year awards of the year award back in 2017 or in 2018. But anyway, that was for innovations I brought to the franchise, particularly with that online stuff, how they, how they operate, you know, taking online bookings or automatic payments, stuff like that car payments. So it was all this stuff they didn't have before. And they've been going since 1993 they have over, I think it was 120, 140 franchisees there. And, you know, what's things that seem quite basic and obvious to me didn't exist. Not only there, but also across lots of other similar companies all across the UK that just didn't have those facilities. And to me, it just seemed odd. Like we're living in a different world now, and I'm very much pro online, you know, this commercial cleaning company, again, this is something else where, you know, I'm going to be taking those same sort of innovations that I sort of introduced to the domestic cleaning franchise that I am in, but into my own brand new commercial cleaning company. Aaron Henriques (04:12): Because it's something that currently, there's lots of things that, that I'm looking at bringing in that doesn't exist at this current moment in time. And that's because all of the existing companies and, you know, from the ones that have been there for years, for 20 years, for the ones that have, you know, literally started in the last couple of years, they're all doing exactly the same as everyone else. I mean, you know, I've, I've been doing my market research on, on some of these people and I'm like, you guys are so dull, you know, you're just exactly copying each other each other's model. None of you stand out at all for anything. You know, but that's good for me because that allows me to come in there and, you know, operate in a different way, have different ways of offering the product or the service to people. Aaron Henriques (05:07): And that is something that is going to help me differentiate myself and my company. And, you know, time will tell if that's going to play out. Well, I don't know. It may not. It may, people may not be receptive to it. Maybe there's a good reason why no one ever does it that way, but I'm not, I'm not talking about reinventing the wheel here, but just changing things up too, you know, doing things differently that it's going to be more convenient for, for the customer. That's my goal, make things more convenient for the customer, right? They're more accessible to the customer and there's an, a wider range of customers. I'm not about just going after the, you know, the multi-million pound contracts here. You know, there's a, there's a much larger demographic who are completely ignored in the industry. Like, you know, the smaller businesses who they don't have services sort of aimed and tailored at them. Aaron Henriques (06:07): And that's one of the things that that's going to be very different. And so, yeah, I just want you to bring it up quickly and I'm going to have to go because I need to get in the car. But I mean, it's, is that making sense? You know, it's, it's something where if you're operating, exactly the same as everyone else, then you're just no different and your pricing, the way that you price your products and stuff like that, you know, people try and do the race to the bottom thing where, you know, they just try and be the cheapest, let's try and be the cheapest and beat you all to competition. And next thing you know, you're not making any money. I've done that in my domestic cleaning. It didn't work. Did the exact opposite. Now the most expensive and with, you know, never short of work coming in, obviously COVID has changed things a bit, but, you know, being the most expensive in the area, it hasn't stopped customers from booking on, on quite a level. Aaron Henriques (07:01): I think last was it last week, maybe the week before we turned away, like eight clients in a couple of days, because just didn't have the staff to do it, which kills me doing that. But, you know, and that's us charging much more than most of our competition, you know, some cases were sort of 30% to 40% more than the competition is. And yeah, so I just wanted to, I just want us to talk about that because if you're currently like starting up a business or you're operating a business and you're literally doing the same thing as everyone else, then maybe you should sort of reflect on how you can make that better, how you can make the service better for the end customer, you know, how you can package your products in a way that makes them more appealing to people, how you can make it more convenient. Aaron Henriques (07:51): People pay a lot of money, a lot of extra money for convenience. You make their life easier, they'll pay for it, right? How can you make it more convenient to people? Is it for an online booking system? You know, are you, are you expecting your customers to call up on the phone? And then, you know, they can't get hold of you, but then they leave a voicemail and then hope that you'll call back later, you know, do you need to just get a call answering service? And, you know, that's something I'm getting in place today. You know, for quite large company, we've gotten that sorted today. I don't want to be answering the calls. So that's what I'll get in place. We're not going to be, you know, advertising for people to be calling. Because I want to operate in the online space here. Aaron Henriques (08:35): There's particular ways they can have products and services that I'll be offering that would fit that online model. And is that something that you could do, you know, make it more convenient for your customers, make it more accessible for your customers. Is there a niche or is there a quite a large group, if you look at your current audience, is there a large group of people who, who you're ignoring or who you're putting off for your ads, because maybe it's not as accessible to them, maybe your putting a bit of fear into them. So for example, you know, lots of smaller businesses, okay. Not even just small business owners say, I'm going to say this in a general example, I really need to go. But the, as a general example of things is like people don't like to look stupid people don't like to make, you know, make a telephone call to someone. Aaron Henriques (09:22): And only to hear, you know, where their budget might be a hundred pounds a month, you know, for a service or a widget that they're buying or whatever. And then to be told that actually it's going to be 2000 pounds a month where their budgets a hundred pounds, people don't like that. They don't, you know, when you actually speak to someone on the phone and that fear can put people off ever calling you in the first place, it doesn't matter if they're in business or not. People in business are just everyday people, you know, they're everyday people who run businesses. And so if you're doing something like that where they're not sure what your level of service is because you're not advertising your prices, they don't know. And they might be thinking, well, this is really for bigger companies. It doesn't really suit me. You know, and then they're not calling you because of that, then that, that makes that, you know, obviously though that that's a problem for you because, you know, you've just lost a potential client who could have been a great client, but had you had a way for them to be able to, without any sort of fear or embarrassment or anything like that, of them being able to get hold of your prices or your terms or anything like that without them having to even make that direct call to you. Aaron Henriques (10:43): Not only is it more convenient, because they can do it in their own time. Whenever they want, for example, we have an online booking or quoting system, but it takes away that fear of feeling inferior, feeling stupid or anything like that. So just take that away. If, you know, if you haven't taken anything else away, take that away today. There is something else I want to be talking about, but I haven't got time today. So I'm going to come back on another time. Probably the next time I'm back on and it is about Aaron Henriques (11:27): And why, why does this happen when I'm recording? Yeah, so it's about people's sort of like negative mindset and how it can kill your startup particularly. So, but it's quite a long conversation to have. And so I'm going to do that another time. My face is killing me. I've taken wayy, you know, I've been taking pills for that. I've taken way too many pills. I'm not high, I've been, I've been taking pills for the last few days to like get rid of the pain. Every few hours it sort of wears off and my face starts getting numb and hurts. But anyway if you want to be hearing about the next one, about the negative mindset stuff particularly to do with your startup you know, get online onto your app now hit your subscribe button and do you know, it'd be great if you could do it. Aaron Henriques (12:27): I mean, if you know that there have been some people, in fact, we've had quite a lot of people recently sort of inboxing me about, about some of the episodes that have gone out and, you know, having a chat with me, which is, which is great. And I want to hear from us @AaronHenray on Instagram, that's @AaronHenray on Instagram. If you messaged me there, you know, always sort of happy to respond to people. I try and get back to people as soon as sometimes it's like the next day or whatever. But another thing you could do is... Aaron Henriques (13:04): If you open up your app now, so if you like using Spotify or Apple podcasts or something, take a screenshot of the podcast and, you know, post it up on your story, just tag me and I'll share it as well with my people. You know, tag me in that and get some of your friends listening as well. Because if you're finding this useful, the chances are some of your other friends and family, coworkers, people, you know, who you're connected with would also find some of this stuff useful here. And of course, if you've got any questions or anything that you want answered on the podcast in the future, you know, just let me know. I just tend to do episodes when I have something come into my head like today, and more than happy to sort of answer people's questions on the podcast, because if you've got a question, I assure you, other people have it as well, but anyway, I need to dash. So until next time have a great day.


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