This month Considerate Hoteliers’ founder Benedetta Cassinelli was interviewed by the Smiling Barracuda Founders’ Programme, which she joined earlier this year, where she answered questions about her life as a founder.
Here’s a short recap of the interview:
Michele: What inspired you to found Considerate Hoteliers?
Benedetta: My business partner and I are passionate about sustainability and wanted to set up the company with the aim to bring positive change to the hospitality industry. After having worked with hotels for many years, we realised the negative environmental impact that tourism has on a destination and decided we wanted to do something about it.
Michele: If a fellow founder came to you for advice, which area of expertise would you like to share with them?
Benedetta: I’d be happy to give advice in areas like cost management and growth strategies, but one of my strengths which has played a big part in running my business is basic common sense.
Michele: As a founder of a young company things can get undoubtedly hectic sometimes. How do you maintain a work/life balance? What do you do to get your mind off of work and take some “me time”?
Benedetta: For me, work/life balance is extremely important. I think that one of the most important factors in maintaining a proper work/life balance is the ability to delegate, that and self-discipline. Just as I’m self-disciplined with my work, I’m self-disciplined when it comes to taking care of myself. I always make sure to take time for the things I enjoy like yoga, meditation, and reading.
Michele: They say hindsight is 20/20. What’s one thing, in terms of founding your company, that you might do differently in retrospect?
Benedetta: I would have definitely done more professional and in-depth product market research. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time or resources to do it at the beginning. Another thing I would have done is allocate a budget to a professional online strategy. I just didn’t realize the importance of having it done professionally at the time.
Michele: If you had to a name book about business and/or entrepreneurship that made the biggest impact on the way you run your company, what would it be?
Benedetta: Well, I usually don’t read work-related books, but “Lean In” certainly made a positive impact on me.
Michele: Now that you’re almost halfway through Smiling Barracuda’s year-long Founders’ Programme could you talk about a couple of things you’ve gained from being a part of it? Which aspects of the programme have been the most valuable to you so far?
Benedetta: Smiling Barracuda brings together an interesting mix of founders with a lot of experience to share. It’s so nice being able to connect with other entrepreneurs that are facing similar challenges as me. I really appreciate the workshops, as well. They are extremely informative and give me access to great know-how and experts from various backgrounds. Being a part of the club also helps keep me on track by making me accountable for setting and achieving my goals each quarter.