My Startup: Betternotstop, Manchester

Charlie Spargo's picture
Betternotstop, Manchester

Betternotstop is the travel startup empowering professionals to see the world and invest in themselves.

The company helps those who think they're too busy to travel, allowing them to take time for themselves while keeping on top of their daily obligations, and offering opportunities including those for networking and lead generation.

The company only launched in September, and has its first world journeys planned for early 2020. Some destinations Betternotstop have chosen include Mexico, Sri Lanka, Iceland, and Romania.

Founder: Hannah Cox

Founded: 2019

Website: betternotstop.com

Hannah Cox, Betternotstop

We talked to Hannah to find out about how Betternotstop came about.

Why did you start Betternotstop?

I've been self-employed in events and project management since University, and after working for successful start-up Design My Night in my twenties, I knew I wanted to start something of my own, I just needed to find the right idea. 

For several years, in my spare time, I travelled extensively as well as writing, speaking and organising events under the name ‘Betternotstop’. In 2017, I backpacked overland through 18 countries on an adventure from England to Bhutan on an Expedition called 'Road To Happiness', to discover and document what makes people happy. It was after this trip, when I learnt just how important personal relationships are for happiness and success, that I considered combining my skills to create Betternotstop. 

I spotted a gap in the travel market to make travel easier and stress-free for business owners, and was surprised no one else had thought of it, so I decided to save some money and then work on the idea full time in April. 

Tell us more about the product.

Betternotstop empowers business owners, entrepreneurs and freelancers to do their best work wherever they are. We aim to tackle the shocking figure of 1.5 million UK small business owners who have not taken time off in the last year, who are also struggling with loneliness and anxiety about the success of their business.

We create adventures for business owners combined with connections and networking opportunities with local businesses and entrepreneurs in the countries we are visiting, to create truly tailored experiences.

Betternotstop

Itineraries are three days to three weeks long, and include multi-city trips with daily cultural activities, scheduled work time in coworking spaces, business introductions, sightseeing, and skill-sharing, all while our customers are looked after by an Experience Manager and local guide who arrange all the logistics for them while they're away. They stay in premium private accommodation and - as all our trips are exclusively for business purposes - they are recognised as an allowable expense against taxable profits with HMRC.

Where are you at right now?

We launched in the last few weeks, and have already started filling experience places. They take place through a free no-obligation consultation with our team, who then present a tailored schedule for each business owner.

Our first trips start in January and are in Vietnam, Thailand and Mexico, and we are getting a lot of interest from businesses in the creative industries, and freelancers who are seeing it as a great investment to enter their 2020 business plans. 

What are your aims for the next year?

Our aim is to create a service which provides genuine connections and life-changing experiences for business owners and encourages them to invest this time in themselves every year. We want to redefine how business owners travel, in the same way that coworking spaces have redefined the office environment in the last few years. 

What's been the hardest thing about getting Betternotstop off the ground?

We are a new concept in the market so its finding business owners who are adventurous and willing to be early adopters of this new travel opportunity. 

We want to remind business owners that they are their most valuable asset and they should be investing in themselves. I personally have a huge amount of experience, having travelled to over 50 countries and worked overseas, and understand the difficulty of being a small business owner. We want to build a community of collaboration over competition because we understand it's people, not platforms, that grow a business. 

Why should more people be using Betternotstop?

We are the next logical step for business owners - business retreats are old school, and we offer better tailored support and opportunities than conferences, especially when looking to grow in an international market. Combining business and leisure is a market growing 20% year-on-year, and studies show people are 34 times more likely to respond to face-to-face relationships over emails. 

How much will it cost users - and why is it worth the investment?

We have positioned our price point as the same as small-group travel companies, yet we offer increased value with private premium accommodation, plus all the additional tailored business services, support and introductions.

We want to show the huge amount of value we can offer as a business expense, as long-term we want to grow a sustainable, supportive community who travel with us every year. Our first trips are fully inclusive and priced between £1,849 and £3,499 based on length and destination. We also offer substaintial discounts to members of the FSB, Chamber of Commerce, IPSE, and WeWork, and offer payment plan options. 

Got a startup that's shaking things up?

Northern startups are welcome to email charlies@prolificnorth.co.uk to discuss getting involved in a feature.