Iglika Ghouse, investment banker turned entrepreneur in the wellness and beauty industry
Iglika Ghouse is an investment banker, turned entrepreneur, who quit her job in finance to start a company that would make the lives of all busy Londoners less stressful. She was working in the city for over 10 years when she recognised the undeniable shift in consumer behaviour towards on-demand services, and decided to apply that concept to the wellness and beauty industry. USPAAH was born.
What is special about USPAAH ?
USPAAH is London’s mobile spa. We deliver a wide range of wellness and beauty treatments to clients’ locations. Our team of experts, or Sparistas as we call them are vetted and insured, and operate in London zones 1-6, 7am-10pm, 7 days a week. Clients can book via our website or app in seconds, and have their treatment delivered in as little as an hour.
What does USPAAH name stand for?
The name is short for Your Spa, however USPAAH as a company, stands for delivering consistently superior standards of service.
Why did you start USPAAH ?
I started USPAAH to address a need that I, and many other busy Londoners had. Being able to fit essential treatments in my schedule was impossible, as high street salons and spas usually close at 6pm, and were never available last minute. So we set out to create an easier way for people to treat themselves, wherever and whenever they wanted.
How did you start USPAAH?
I did quite a bit of research with regards to what was already out there, and once I was convinced that no other mobile beauty services provider was offering the quality and the range of treatments we could offer, I set out to put a team together, build an easy to use app, and recruit a team of top professionals.
Did you have any technical skills for building the app? Or did you find a technical co-founder?
I really wish I did, to be honest, but thankfully I was lucky to find a world-class team of developers whom we’ve worked with from day one. They have truly built an elegant and easy to use app.
How long did it take from the idea to getting your first customers?
We actually managed to come to market within 10 months of idea conception, which i’m told is reasonably fast. It’s all down to having a very clear vision of what you want to build, and a stellar team around you to execute it.
How did you market and promote USPAAH when you first started?
I started by spreading the word through my network of friends, family and colleagues, but the real traction came when we invested in digital marketing channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Google.
What has been your biggest challenge/failure as an entrepreneur?
There are many challenges that one faces as you are building a business, but I think the toughest experience we went through was fundraising. It is so crucial to the survival of the business at early stages, and it really takes 100% of the time and energy of everyone on the team. Thankfully, with a lot of hard work, confidence in the idea, and determination, we managed to successfully raise our first seed round last year, and we are now working on raising our second round of funding.
What do you like most being an entrepreneur?
One of the most rewarding feelings of being an entrepreneur is the professional satisfaction you get from seeing someone buy or use a product or a service which you built with your own two hands, that didn’t exist before. You get to be creative, you can implement your ideas immediately, and you can see results right away. No corporate job can give you this exact feeling.
What's your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Do your research before you quit your day job, don’t go it alone (get a co-founder), and invest as much as you can in marketing to get your product out there and validate your market fit as early as possible.
5 key lessons from Iglika Ghoose's entrepreneurship story:
1) On getting a business idea: find something frustrating and see the opportunity to make it better.
2) You can start taking action for your business while still working at your day job. Research and understand your market. Is there a market, what are the pains for your target market, how you're going to address these needs, who are your competitors, ...
3) Build your team to complement your skills and execute your vision.
4) Use crowdfunding to get startup capital and validate your idea early on.
5) Market your product as much as possible to get it out there. Use social networks to get traction.
If you're in London and want to enjoy a good massage and other wellness treatments delivered at the convenience of your home or location, go to USPAAH website at www.uspaah.com or download the app from the App store or from Google play to book your appointment.
If you've enjoyed these insights, please share to inspire other aspiring entrepreneurs and join our newsletter to receive our latest stories and resources.