Leilah Aintaoui: Your Team Is the Most Important Asset You Have – Make Sure You Prioritise Their Happiness.

October 24, 2022

Leilah Aintaoui of VideoSmart Ltd..

Tell us about yourself?

I am Director and Co-owner of London based video technology agency, VideoSmart.

With a passion for communications and marketing, my goal is to transform the way businesses connect with their customers using the power of video.

Also Mum to a 4 month old baby boy, who has made life so much more fulfilled.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

3 lessons:

1. Take calculated risks. You are spending either your time or money to build something and both are valuable resources you need to protect. Risk is important, but it has to be calculated. Do your research, explore your options, and do the maths.

2. Set goals! We do this at the end of every financial year and it gives us a focus for the next 12 months. Everything is then geared towards achieving those goals.

3. Always be willing to learn. Listen to podcasts, follow the industry, listen to other experts. You do not know everything, and knowledge is power.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Take risks with ideas and invest in hiring the right people.

Your team is the most important asset you have – make sure you prioritise their happiness..

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

Until recently, this was not a challenge. My business was priority and took up the majority of my brain power, which was fine.

However, four months ago I had my first baby, and that has changed my mindset.

Juggling time with my newborn and driving the business forward is a struggle, but the best piece of advice I can give is to remind yourself why you are doing it.

Everything I am now doing is for my son, and that gives me the push I need to work hard. The time spent with my family is then uninterrupted quality time.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

The goal of the company is to transform the way businesses connect with their employees and customers using the power of video. This was the driving force behind why we started the company and still stands true today.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

Our proprietary software is unique with no other player in the market owning the same technology. We are also a service-led business – meaning, we deliver the end-to-end solution with customer servicing at the forefront of everything we do.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Sales is always the hardest but most rewarding part of running a business.

My biggest piece of advice would be to not underestimate the importance of the discovery call.

Always prioritise understanding what your client’s business needs, wants and is seeking to do.

Your solution then needs to feed into these goals. Make sure you are offering your prospect something that will elevate their business and help them achieve their ambitions.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

Balancing quality and margin. To achieve quality, you must invest.

This in turn helps you grow. However, the bottom line will always feel the pressure.

However, I soon realised that for long term business growth, you must spend – on talent, brand-building, product development, and everything else in between.

What do you find are the advantages of operating your business in London?

The biggest advantage is without a doubt networking opportunities.

London is a hub for networking opportunities, prospective clients and industry conferences.

The accessibility of the locations means that people come from far and wide to meet like-minded people and network about potential partnerships and educational experiences.

Are there any issues with having a London based business? Have you experienced these?

The cost of living is the biggest hurdle in having a London based business – not only from the perspective of office rent, but in terms of ensuring our people are happy. But I honestly believe that the benefits of being based in London outweigh the challenges.

How has the higher than UK average cost of living impacted your ability to work and live in London and how has this also impacted your ability as an employer?

Rents and rates have gone up, employees cost of living has gone up, causing a need to increase salaries.

All the while, customers are unwilling to spend more. This puts a pressure on margins, but everything comes in waves and we just have to ride the storm.

If you had to relocate your business to another city in the UK, which one would it be and why?

I would have to say Manchester, due to its similarities to London. But truly, we wouldn’t choose to relocate in the UK. Abroad is another story…

How has BREXIT impacted your business (if at all)?

Due to the inability to have our staff stay permanently in the UK post-Brexit, we opened a Porto based office to facilitate all our Portuguese staff.

This has ultimately been a brilliant decision for us, and helped us to grow across the pond.

What is your vision for your company in the next 5 years?

My vision is to continue innovating and building new technologies to facilitate growth. In five years, I hope VideoSmart will be the leading video technology agency in the UK.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

Contact me at [email protected] or visit our site for more information.

We are always looking for new partnerships!

Follow VideoSmart Ltd. on Twitter or Linkedin.

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