Meet Tarik Khribech – a Chicago-based entrepreneur. His love for connecting people and solving problems led him to found Allbetter, a marketplace that transforms the experience property owners have when they need to hire help for maintenance. This venture is an outgrowth of his passion for building powerful and lasting relationships, and it’s very rewarding.
Since moving to Chicago years ago, he has been involved in the real estate, beauty, and manufacturing industries. Whatever the business sector, he has always been drawn to the concept of a true and open marketplace where both parties have all the control over their outcome of working together. That’s what he and his team have built at Allbetter, and he’d be proud to tell you more.
Check out more interviews with entrepreneurs here.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET FEATURED?
All interviews are 100% FREE OF CHARGE
Table of Contents
Let’s learn a little about you and really get to experience what makes us tick – starting at our beginnings. Where did your story begin?
Tarik Khribech: I was born in Morocco and then migrated to the United States to finish my Master’s in computer science. After that, I immediately entered the real estate and construction field, working for Fortune 100 companies. In 2008, I launched my first business that grew to over 400 retail distributions. As I got deeper into the field, I realized the difficulty of finding reliable and affordable help. In Morocco, contractors and manual laborers would just hang out on the street corner looking for work. If anyone needed anything done, they would go to the corner and be able to find someone to help quickly. I had the idea to recreate this experience in an app and connect homeowners and skilled professionals on an inclusive digital platform where each person could get their slice of the American Dream. That’s when the Allbetter app was born.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Tarik Khribech: As an entrepreneur, hard times come with the job. No product is market-ready for the majority of consumers on the first try, so we needed to be able to change quickly and adapt to user needs should problems come up. However, this requires direct feedback from our users, which is hard to get. We decided to build a chat function within the app to allow users to give feedback quickly. In the beginning, I would spend hours reading through messages to see how consumers thought we could improve the experience, and the suggestions were endless.
While this could be discouraging at times, ultimately, I was glad to find out about them so I could fix things and improve the app for future use. I’ve realized that this ever-changing, constantly adapting lifestyle is just part of the job and part of learning how to problem-solve to provide a better product or service each time.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Tarik Khribech: Too often, entrepreneurs let fears and worries hold them back. Stop procrastinating and get started now. The perfect moment will never come around, and if you wait too long, the opportunity will pass you by. There will always be anxiety when you start your own company, but it’s essential to trust in yourself and just take the leap. Ultimately, with the greatest risks come the most significant rewards.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Tarik Khribech: The pandemic was brutal for everyone. For small mom-and-pop businesses, word-of-mouth advertising was difficult because of social distancing. Contractors in the home repair industry, in particular, who relied on this method struggled to find new business. The Allbetter app allowed them to get connected with more homeowners and stay busy in a low-cost way that avoided traditional advertising strategies. For homeowners, the extra time at home gave many the opportunity to identify the repairs they needed done, but the loss of jobs kept budgets tight for many. Again, Allbetter stepped in and allowed these homeowners to set the price to save money and set the time to work around busy work-from-home schedules. The app also kept local communities connected and reliant on one another during such a difficult time.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out from the competition?
Tarik Khribech: Allbetter keeps the needs of our contractors and homeowners top priority. Our competition charges these small business contractors high fees to bid on jobs or even see a homeowner’s phone number. At the end of the day, Allbetter allows them to keep more money in their pocket for the work they do. For homeowners, being able to determine what fits their budget best is a huge market differentiator. We also keep off the extra convenience fees that competitors include, so in the end, they get more of a say in what they pay.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
Tarik Khribech: I’d name the following:
Business management skills – Business management skills are essential to running a small business. Simply put, the ability to organize, motivate, and take goal-oriented actions are crucial for success in any industry, from tech to retail to hospitality.
Listening and Communication – A successful entrepreneur will always be a great communicator and listener. They need to understand what customers need and this is done by listening and soliciting feedback. For Allbetter, I didn’t get distracted by other competitors but listened to issues homeowners and contractors were having and developed an app that directly solved problems they were facing. Clear and effective communication is also the avenue to promote brand awareness in emails, content marketing, social media, as well as other forms of advertising, and helps to reach target audiences.
Critical thinking skills – The ability to think critically and apply logic, in addition to being able to visualize and explain things in different ways, is a skill many business leaders believe to be an essential prerequisite for success. Analytical skills and the ability to solve problems are critical when trying to decide which product or service best meets consumers’ needs or developing a plan to address business goals. It’s important to be forward-thinking and have visualization skills to be able to project how different actions or decisions could affect outcomes significantly, and how to adjust for these differences.
Being a CEO of the company, do you think that your personal brand reflects your company’s values?
Tarik Khribech: I think my personal style does have an influence on my company values. Being from Morocco, I have always worked hard to achieve my American Dream. Now it’s just as important for me to help others achieve their dreams. At Allbetter, we work to make sure these small business contractors can do just that by aiding them along the way in their own journey. These values drive us and form the basis of the company’s purpose and inform how we work to interact with our users.
What’s your favorite leadership style and why?
Tarik Khribech: I’d say my favorite leadership style is organization, because I think it is especially important for a small business. Especially when things are first getting started, things move so quickly that it can be hard to remember deadlines or prioritize what needs to be done first. Without organization, it can be accessible to all behind, and that’s never a good place to be when first starting out.
Understand your market and target audience: When I first started, I made the mistake of focusing too much on the product and not enough on the reason I developed the app: the people. Since then, I’ve changed to be more people-focused to ensure that the work I am doing is helping my target audience and understand how I can adapt to become more relevant and helpful in their lives.
Don’t try to do everything yourself: I think entrepreneurs often feel the pressure to get everything done by themselves. I know I certainly did. But this isn’t always possible. If I could start my business again, I would have found a graphic designer first—someone who has more expertise and could help me in an area I was less familiar with. Starting small is good, as is asking questions and getting in touch with other individuals who have also started businesses to get prepared before launch. But it’s important to remember that relying on other professionals or just family and friends is helpful too.
Do you think entrepreneurship is something that you’re born with or something that you can learn along the way?
Tarik Khribech: Entrepreneurship takes a certain type of person, but it can also be learned along the way. Skill, grit, and determination are all personality traits that someone destined to be an entrepreneur is born with. They must be willing to take a risk or be adventurous by trying something new. That can be hard to learn, but management, communication, and leadership are skills that can be honed through life experiences and are necessary to be a successful entrepreneur.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Tarik Khribech: The life lesson I tend to live by is “Get up, and do it.” I could have just stayed in Morocco where it was more comfortable or familiar, but I chose to get up and adventure to America for the chance to start my own company. I also could have continued working at a Fortune 100 company where my salary was safe or guaranteed, but I decided the risk and the opportunity were worth it. So many times we tend to wait around or worry about what decision is right, but by changing our perspective to wake up in the morning and make the most out of the day, we can accomplish more than we realize.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Tarik Khribech for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Tarik Khribech or his company, you can do it through his – Instagram
Did you enjoy this article? Check out similar stories:
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.