Tell us a bit about yourself, background and what you do currently
Nena Chaletzos is founder and CEO of Luxtripper, a holiday search website with propriety ‘Where To Go When©’ technology that matches travellers with perfect combinations of 4- & 5-Star hotels, flights, tours, that suit their individual interests. Driven by her own frustration that the holiday search process was unnecessarily complicated, Nena created the concept for the site. Throughout her career, Nena has always challenged inefficiencies and outdated processes. Before Luxtripper, Nena spent 16 years working in Strategy and leadership to director level across different sectors including technology, retail, banking and luxury, making her style incredibly flexible. Led by Nena, the team at Luxtripper are focused on making the world a smaller and easier place to navigate for travellers, challenging the current outdated processes of travel search and booking.
What inspired you to start a business?
I saw that there was a problem in travel that no one was really addressing; it takes around 30 hours to find a holiday online. Personally I was getting really frustrated about trying to find a holiday online as everyone seemed to be using the same model, which meant hours of researching lots of different options. I saw that as a big opportunity for me to make holiday search quicker, simpler and personalised. Having worked in strategy for 16 years and developed lots of key skills such as cost management, leadership, strategy, negotiation, tactical execution and communication, it just felt like the right time to apply those to a new business in an area I feel really passionate about. Now Luxtripper is a multiple award-nominated travel tech company with its own global patent pending ‘Where To Go When©’ search technology that’s helping unsure travellers find perfectly matched comprehensive holiday packages worldwide in seconds.
What is the greatest challenge and the greatest reward in being your own boss?
The greatest challenge is not having enough hours in the day. It often feels like if you could just find that 25th hour in the day, it would be amazing. The most rewarding part of my job is when people see what you’ve created and say that they would use it. It makes you realise you are doing something useful when people validate your business idea and I find that the most motivational factor.
What motivational tips can you give to our members about goal setting and managing both successes and failures
When goal setting, I believe the most important factor is having a really clear understanding of the big picture goal, i.e. what is the target? Once you have really identified that, then you can work out; how am I responsible for delivering my piece of the puzzle to help the business succeed. In terms of managing your success, I think you should always remain humble, learn from failures, and remember why you are doing this and what problem you are fixing. Everything falls in place when you focus on how you are helping people and making something better for them, in our case it is saving time.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a business owner?
It’s multitasking and putting on different hats throughout the day. As a founder and CEO, you are involved in all areas of the business from HR and marketing, to legal and finance, and it can be challenging managing the complexities of those different subjects. It’s also this diversity that makes working for yourself so enjoyable.
Why is technology an interesting industry to work in?
Technology is a fascinating industry as the potential is huge and the speed of development is so fast. It’s amazing to work in a space where there aren’t any barriers. You can come up with an idea, develop the technology quickly, get it out to people anywhere in the world quickly and get feedback quickly.
How have you benefited from mentoring or coaching?
I think mentoring and coaching has helped me see things in different lights so that I can make better decisions and in turn it’s helped me personally develop my skills. It can be very lonely setting up a company and it’s so constructive to have someone there as a sounding board as well as to reassure you when things are tough. From another perspective, it also helps open doors and I’ve found my network grow. Being introduced to people through your contacts can really have a great impact on the business you are able to do.
What advice can you give about the benefits of networking?
The more contacts and networks you have, the more your own network can grow and as I mentioned, personal introductions can be hugely valuable. I think it’s important to realise that you don’t know how each person could help you, so to approach everyone as if they are the most popular person in the room and don’t just approach the most popular person in the room.
What are your tips for scaling a business and how do you plan for and manage growth?
When scaling a business, look at if your business is dependent on a particular area for it to grow i.e. sales, and then look at the processes and costs in that area to see if there are ways to make them more efficient. For example can you automate any processes, are there any costs that can be reduced? In terms of managing growth, I think having really tight KPIs and execution is essential and these should be all the way through the supply chain. When you grow it’s more difficult to understand at what stage things may have gone wrong, but having tight control at every phase from creation to customer purchase, helps you keep track of that.
What does the future hold for you?
The future for me and Luxtripper is international growth. We have already identified some of the key markets that would benefit hugely from our amazing search. That’s the great thing about tech, you can go anywhere, so that’s what we plan to do!
For more information on Luxtripper, please visit www.luxtripper.co.uk