Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Amber Main from Ambient Home Group: Navigating Business Challenges

In this exclusive interview series, we delve into the entrepreneurial journey of Amber, a trailblazer from Australia who has successfully navigated the challenges of starting not one, but two businesses. From her humble beginnings as a biomedical science student to the creation of Ambient Home Group and LikeMinded, Amber shares her insights on perseverance, innovation, and the power of genuine human connections. Join us as we explore her remarkable story, the unforgettable moments with clients, and her ambitious plans for the future.

Interviewee Name: Amber Main

Company: LikeMinded

Intervirew Host: Jesse Samberg

The Interview

Let’s get started. First, we’d like to know more about how you started your business journey

Amber Main : Hi Jesse! Thanks for inviting me to share my journey. It all began during my undergraduate studies in biomedical science at university. While balancing my coursework, I also worked as a nanny and cleaner, leveraging the flexibility these roles offered. Coming from a background as a kindergarten teacher for six years, I appreciated the opportunity to switch off a bit during cleaning shifts, especially given the intensity of my studies.

During the pandemic, I had the privilege of working for essential workers like doctors and nurses, who were incredibly time-constrained. Seeing their struggle to balance work and personal responsibilities sparked an idea: to create an all-in-one solution for busy individuals. Thus, Ambient Home Group was born, providing services like childcare, housekeeping, cooking, and cleaning for those prioritizing convenience. Currently, we’re in the process of developing an app , aimed at enhancing the convenience of booking our services. This app will streamline the booking process, making it even easier for busy individuals to access our range of offerings. We’re excited about the potential this technology holds to further improve our customer experience and expand our reach. Two years later, with dedication and perseverance, we’ve grown to a team of 40 staff members. Challenges were abundant, but each one became a lesson, refining both my approach and personal growth.

My second venture, LikeMinded, is a lockdown brainchild. Recognising the growing issue of loneliness exacerbated by social isolation, I decided to create a platform to connect people through shared interests and experiences. Users can swipe on in person events, experiences and travel landmarks they are interested in and get matched to other “LikeMinded” users based on their interests (eg pop music, Hiking) as well as mutual interest in the selected events. Over time, the app’s algorithm learns what users like through AI/ML and begins to suggest more events, experiences etc tailored to previous experiences.

Our initial focus is on Gen Z, leveraging their familiarity with technology to foster genuine connections offline. Having raised a small amount of preseed capital in our first round, LikeMinded has evolved rapidly. Our immediate focus is on refining our AI algorithms to ensure accurate and meaningful matches between users, enhancing the overall user experience. Additionally, we’re expanding our reach by partnering with local businesses and event organizers to offer a diverse range of activities on our platform.

Looking ahead, our vision for LikeMinded includes scaling our platform to reach a wider audience beyond Gen Z. We aim to become the go-to platform for anyone seeking genuine connections and meaningful experiences, regardless of age or background. We also plan to explore opportunities for international expansion, tapping into the universal need for human connection in an increasingly digital world.

Furthermore, we’re committed to continuously innovating and integrating new features into our platform to stay ahead of evolving social trends and user preferences. Whether it’s incorporating virtual events or implementing community-building tools, we’re dedicated to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment where people can truly connect and thrive.

Overall, our future plans for LikeMinded are ambitious yet grounded in our mission to combat loneliness and foster genuine human connections in an increasingly disconnected world. We’re excited about the journey ahead and the positive impact we can make on individuals’ lives through our platform.

The journey has been immensely rewarding, marked by triumphs and growth. I’m thrilled to continue innovating and positively impacting lives through my business endeavours.

Reflecting on your business history, what stands out as the single greatest challenge you’ve successfully navigated, and how did you overcome it?

Amber Main : There have been numerous challenges along my journey, making it difficult to single out just one! However, a recurring theme that has always guided me is perseverance. My path to where I am today has been far from conventional. At the age of 16, I faced a tumultuous home environment that led me to drop out of high school. I had always loved STEM subjects in school and always wanted to explore a degree in biomedical science. I was devastated that this no longer seemed like an option for me. Despite this setback, my passion for biomedical science remained unwavering.

It took time for me to find my way back to pursuing my dreams. At 22, I discovered the concept of mature-aged entry to university—an option I didn’t even know existed. Learning about this alternative pathway reignited a sense of hope within me. Despite being repeatedly told that my earlier setback meant I would never achieve much, I refused to give up. Looking back, I’m grateful for that determination.

In 2020, I was acceptance into my dream course, but the journey was far from over. I faced the daunting task of catching up on years of missed education within a few short months. I honestly remember feeling like I was so behind. It was undoubtedly the steepest learning curve of my life. I was determined to do whatever it took to learn what I needed to.

Reflecting on those challenging times, I realize that they were pivotal in shaping my resilience and determination. Each obstacle served as a lesson, fueling my drive to push forward despite the odds. Today, as I navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship, I carry with me the invaluable lessons learned from overcoming adversity—a testament to the power of perseverance in achieving one’s dreams.

Businesses often face ongoing challenges. What does your business consistently grapple with, and how do you tackle these challenges head-on?

Amber Main : Both of my businesses are very different and so they face such different challenges! Ambient is completely bootstrapped so we never needed to think about funding and raising capital, whereas with LikeMinded that is something we always have to be aware of. Ambient, being a service based business definitely demands a high attention to detail within its internal processes. We have always placed a high importance on staying ahead of this.

Can you share with us the most unforgettable story involving a customer or client? What made it memorable, and what lessons did you draw from the experience?

Amber Main : I feel like Ambient is the best one to talk about for this one being very client facing! We have a close relationships with many of our clients and some have been our customers since right at the inception of the business. I think for me, whats memorable is making a significant impact in peoples lives in small ways. It may seem small, but something as simple and giving people time back or mental clarity back goes a long way. We helped a client a while ago who was experiencing and extremely challenging time having just lost a close family member. We serviced their home for a clean and they emailed us the next day with a heartwarming letter of how much they appreciated our help. That was so nice to hear and I still remember it.

Looking ahead, what are your current plans for your business when you retire?

Amber Main : Retiring is a funny concept for me haha. I think my personality type is one where I really enjoy my work! For me, it’s not work, it’s a lot of fun, and I do enjoy a good challenge. This way, I see myself and continuously improving and learning throughout the rest of my life. So much has happening in just two short years for me. It’s getting increasingly difficult to even picture what my life will be like in another 2 years let alone when I retire! I expect I’ll continue to try and do what I always have, help people as much as I can, wherever I can.

Navigating the small business landscape can be both challenging and rewarding. Can you share a bit about the specific hurdles you’ve encountered in areas like sales, marketing, and adapting to changing customer trends?

Amber Main : I think sales, marketing and keeping up with your ‘product market fit’ in line with changing trends, are all things to very closely coincide with human psychology. The more in tune you are with patterns in the market, in people and society, the more naturally these things evolve. Being able to pivot where necessary based on patterns and trends observed is really important and it’s probably one of the biggest pieces of advice i’ve learnt in business. Striving for automation where possible is a good example of this. Technology is constantly evolving, so weaving this into the fabric of a business is essential as we move forwards. The fun thing is there is so much you can do with it too!

Leaders Perception magazine would like to thank Amber Main and “LikeMinded” for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!

Interested in connecting with the host of this interview series? Feel free to reach out to Jesse Samberg on LinkedIn: Jesse Samberg’s LinkedIn Profile

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