Interview with young entrepreneur Arya Bina from CheapTravelHunter.com
Cristian: Hi Arya and welcome. You started a business about 2 years ago at 16. What is about?
Arya: My businesses (CheapTravelHunter.com) main focus is on providing discount travel accommodations to all travelers in a fast, simple, and easy straightforward manner.
Cristian: Is it targeted to the Uk market or Worldwide?
Arya: Our business has a worldwide market due to the nature of the business itself, and has a great presence in the USA where about 90% of our visitors come from.
Cristian: How did you decide is a good idea to implement? Most people stop because they think their idea will never make enough money.
Arya: In the beginning I didn’t make a penny, and my friends teased me about wasting my time, but I kept at it and educated myself, learning mostly about online marketing and reading real success stories, and seeing people who were making a living doing what I wanted to do (which was run an online business) and from then on with a lot of hard work, a little luck, and a load of knowledge I began making some real money.
Cristian: Do you think that being young helped? I mean it’s far more “risky” to start a business on your own when you have a family to support
Arya: Absolutely being young helped. Having little responsibilities other than to yourself is definitely a big advantage, I could never accomplish this so fast if I had a family to support.
Cristian: So you would advise other teens to start a business as soon as possible?
Arya: I think not, I would say you have time, and business is a lot of hard work, and it takes a very high level of dedication, unless you have a truly brilliant idea, business can wait, youth won’t.
Cristian: What were the steps to start the business? And how long did it take from idea to launch?
Arya: Well the first website was one which I made myself, with no real business model behind it, and from idea to launch it took about 5 days. But to put that in perspective we just did a redesign on our website http://www.cheaptravelhunter.com and that took 7 months from initial design to launch.
Cristian: Were there any legal steps that you have to do as well?
Arya: In the USA (where we are currently based) it was very easy, actually no paper work is needed, I file taxes as a self-employed individual, and due to the nature of my business I have virtually no liabilities so there’s no need to file an LLC.
Cristian: What did your parents say when you started the business? Did you get any advice and help?
Arya: My parents definitely did help me a lot, they are very well educated , my father himself is a businessman who owns two restaurants, and I was surrounded by other very successful people, as they say; “Take the average income of the 5 people you associate with most, and your income will match that” so I definitely don’t underestimate the value of the people around me and I am truly grateful.
Cristian: What motivates a young entrepreneur like yourself?
Arya: It is the money, definitely the money. But it’s also about achieving and building something great, something to be proud of. Something which you can point to and say, “ya, I made that” kind of just like I’m doing right now!
Cristian: Do you think school had something to do with your wish to have your own business? How important is formal education?
Arya: A formal education is very important, not just for money, but overall! Sometimes I speak with very wealthy people, and yet I can tell they’re not well educated, nothing compares to a great education.
Cristian: Any plans for extension? What comes next?
Arya: We are in the midst of a huge expansion, we are launching various marketing campaigns and reinvesting huge amounts of money in growing the infrastructure of our business, including most recently adding call centers, and live-chat customer support.
Cristian: What are your political point of views?
Arya: I am a capitalist, I believe that opportunity is out there and for those who are willing to go out and hunt after it, they should be able to keep the reward.
Cristian: What is the most important part of being a CEO?
Arya: The most important job of a CEO is teambuilding, if you can create a good team from the start, and hire the right people for the right jobs, the rest is like clockwork.
Cristian: What advice do you have for a young/new entrepreneur?
Arya: Here’s my advice. Accept the fact that you don’t know anything. Ask questions! Don’t read a few articles and presume you know everything and jump in front of a company or potential employee and give them a lecture, instead you should educate yourself briefly, and then ask the person who you are about to hire to educate you further, then you can cross check that information latter, but by no means should a CEO be a jack of all trades.