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HANA’S TOP TIPS


creations. With London featuring so strongly, this seemed an ideal opportunity. However, before launching on her own, and on her parents’ recommendation, she worked for other tour guides to learn as much as she could; internships are something she highly recommends. Hana also encourages


anybody starting out to use their 'personal network’ of people and connections. “We all have a network, it’s about who you know and who they know,”she stresses. Hana explains how this has


worked in her own business: one of her first guides, an actress, was close friends with, Harry Melling, the actor who played Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films. “Through him we discovered a location we hadn’t known about, which was en route and easy to add to the tour.”


Putting the customer first Once Hana had decided on a theme for her walking tour, her next step was to thoroughly research and develop the business idea. Business Link, a government backed helpline, recommended she get in touch with the East London Business Centre. Here she got help with practical issues like setting up a company, the necessary legal documentation and paperwork. Six months later, in the


summer of 2011, her walking tour for Harry Potter fans, exploring film locations and the inspiration behind the books using relevant props and trivia, was up and running. Today Muggle Tours is ranked No1 by TripAdvisor and Time Out London, which Hana attributes to keeping groups small and putting customer service first. “I strongly believe in treating people as I would like to


be treated and delivering an excellent, personal customer service,” she says. Hana takes all reviews very seriously and aims to learn as much from customer feedback as possible. Keeping the business fresh is really important, and reviews help you to learn and improve, she says. Looking to the future, Hana


recognises that the magic may not last forever, as interest in Harry Potter depends very much on whether the huge popularity of the books and films continues. But she loves the business of tour guiding and is exploring lots of other possibilities. “I love what I do. The muggles I’ve met, and the enjoyment they get from the tours, plus the freedom to be my own boss, makes it all worthwhile.”


l Enjoy what you do. If you don’t you will become dissatisfied and it will reflect on your business


l If possible do an internship and learn as much as you can


l Always consider the human side of a business, and put a lot of effort into customer service


l Respect your employees. If you truly value them they’ll do their job well not only for their sake but also for yours


l Learn from mistakes. Take negative feedback, improve and grow


WORDS BY VITURSHAN THIYAKUMAR WITH ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY GREGORY ALLEN, ALANA O’SULLIVAN AND RACHEL GOACHER


RESEARCH BY XXXXXXXXX www.freshyoungmillionaire.com 13


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