After years of setting up and helping grow gohenry in the UK since the founding of the company, I was excited to be back in North America to get the US business off the ground. One of the first things I wanted to do after we launched was to meet our early customers. I’ve always spent a lot of effort speaking to customers and getting to know the market. Part of my weekly routine is getting on the phone with a few parents who are using gohenry, to find out how it’s going and how we can do better (and from time to time I hit the road and go visit them).
In August, gohenry CEO Alex Zivoder and I did just that – we visited NYC, Houston, Austin, and Atlanta. We were encouraged at how many parents and families wanted to come and spend an afternoon hanging out with us.
In each city, we spent an afternoon with our earliest adopters, doing something fun for the whole family – a theme park in Austin, Dave & Buster’s in Houston, an afternoon exploring the World of Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, and a feast of Mexican food in NYC. Parents and kids were excited to tell us about their experiences and we were thrilled to meet them (and in some cases their extended family :).
Parents shared heartfelt stories about how meaningful it was that they could use gohenry as a tool for teaching their kids about financial responsibility, and how it actually saved them money to use gohenry.
One mom, Traci, said “Dean, I’m a single mom on a teacher’s income and at $3.99 it actually saves me money. Before gohenry I was paying for my daughters wants and needs, lots of cash handouts and me buying her stuff. Now that she takes care of her own wants, within limits I set, she’s making her own choices and that is saving me at least $30.00 a month.”
Some parents, rather emotionally, shared that the tool was so important because they saw it as a way to help their kids avoid the very bad credit mistakes they made in their early teens and twenties. They couldn’t believe this tool didn’t already exist and everyone felt it certainly was making their lives easier when it came to managing the kids allowances.
One of the most encouraging and rewarding realizations Alex and I had on this trip was how so many American parents, teens, and kids from different states were tied together by feeling empowered that they could manage money together in a positive, practical and educational way. Just like families in the UK have told us for years. In regards to the problem we’re solving, the markets are not so different – parents in both the UK and US want an easy way to manage allowance and help their kids learn about money, and their kids are excited by the freedom and independence.
A few families commented to me how generous we were to come meet them and that “most companies just don’t do this.” I think a lot of good companies do meet their customers, and we certainly believe it’s important to do so – but the truth is they were the generous ones who have given us their time, attention, and trust. This means the world to the entire gohenry team. We care a lot and we are inspired by our community, and this is exactly why we love to collaborate with them – how else can we build a market leading product that meets their needs? We’re really excited about being in the US – it’s a very important step on our path to helping millions of kids be good with money!