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Bootstrapping a Niche E-Commerce Business to Exit: Dara Greaney, CEO of BuyAutoParts.com (Part 4)

Posted on Monday, Feb 8th 2016

Sramana Mitra: What was the average deal size? These are pretty high-ticket items, yes?

Dara Greaney: Yes, they’re pretty high-ticket items. We are looking at the $350 to $450 range, which was good because it was so cumbersome for us to get them out the door. Every order has five touch points, but we didn’t have the system in place back then.

Sramana Mitra: At what point did you start bringing in these systems and how did that proceed?

Dara Greaney: We had this in-house system that we kept building on and evolving on. Piece by piece, we would develop. We were using an offshore Indian team to develop the website for us. We had an internal person who was building some of these internal systems. They were constantly working to help evolve our catalog and just every month, do something to make things a little bit easier. >>>

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Thursday, Feb. 11 – 293rd 1M/1M Mentoring Roundtable For Entrepreneurs

Posted on Monday, Feb 8th 2016

Entrepreneurs are invited to the 293rd FREE online 1M/1M roundtable mentoring session on Thursday, February 11, 2016, at 8 a.m. PST/11 a.m. EST/9:30 p.m. India IST.

If you are a serious entrepreneur, register to “pitch” and sell your business idea to Sramana Mitra. You’ll gain straightforward feedback, advice on next steps, and she’ll answer any of your questions. Others can register to “attend” to watch, learn, and interact through the online chat.

You can learn more here and register to pitch or attend here. Please share with any entrepreneurs in your circle who may be interested. All are welcome!

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Apple Poses Threats For Amazon on Multiple Flanks

Posted on Monday, Feb 8th 2016

After four consecutive quarters of good results, analysts sent Amazon’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) stock down in the dumps. Last week, the company reported disappointing results for the quarter and the outlook wasn’t impressive either.

>>>

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Bootstrapping to $100 Million Using Services from The Netherlands: Pierre and Fred Guelen, Planon Software (Part 5)

Posted on Monday, Feb 8th 2016

Sramana Mitra: Where did you get the money to invest?

Fred Guelen: That’s always the big secret, isn’t it? I had a very successful law practice and I made a lot of money as a lawyer. I was able to largely finance that with my own equity, and I also took a loan.

Pierre Guelen: He built his law firm from 2 persons to 150 persons. It was a very successful law firm in the Netherlands. What I did in Planon, he did in the law firm. He created a lot of value there.

Sramana Mitra: Did you sell the law firm or do you still have the law firm while you’re now working with Planon? >>>

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Design Philosophy is Critical in Driving Breakthrough Innovation

Posted on Monday, Feb 8th 2016

By Guest Author Soren Petersen

It is now abundantly clear that incremental innovation only keep the Sharks away long enough to come up for air and that it takes breakthrough innovation to swim out into the Blue Ocean, where opportunities are plentiful. Changing market and technology positions usually requires a renewal of the organization and that is when a strong design philosophy becomes integral to success. >>>

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Catching Up On Readings: Crunchies 2016

Posted on Sunday, Feb 7th 2016

The awards season is here and the 9th Annual Crunchies award show, also known as the Oscars of Startups and Technology, is going to be held in San Francisco on Monday. Awards will be given in categories such as Best New Startup, Best Overall Startup, Fastest Rising Startup, Best Mobile App, Best Technology Achievement, and Biggest Social Impact. For this week’s posts, click on the paragraph links. >>>

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Bootstrapping to $100 Million Using Services from The Netherlands: Pierre and Fred Guelen, Planon Software (Part 4)

Posted on Sunday, Feb 7th 2016

Sramana Mitra: What did that do to your growth? Between 2000 and 2010, how did the company grow?

Pierre Guelen: We’ve always had a steady pace of growth of an average of 20% a year.

Sramana Mitra: Let’s go to 2010. Are we talking about just one product in the cloud architecture in 2010?

Pierre Guelen: No. In 2010, we had one standard product that’s used by every customer, but it wasn’t a real cloud product at that moment. At that moment, 80% of our customers were still on-premise. Only in the last few years did we see a shift towards our cloud solution. We have an enterprise system. That means that this is a very traditional market. Most organisations like hospitals and governments want to use software on-premise because of security reasons. This has just shifted in the past three years.

Sramana Mitra: What year did you finish the cloud product? What year did the software business become a cloud business? >>>

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Bootstrapping a Niche E-Commerce Business to Exit: Dara Greaney, CEO of BuyAutoParts.com (Part 3)

Posted on Sunday, Feb 7th 2016

Sramana Mitra: What was the inventory strategy at that point?

Dara Greaney: We had inventory as much as we could because we weren’t really getting a lot of traction with people drop-shipping. If you placed a PO, a month later, you get the parts. Nobody really kept a ton of stuff on stock. It was just the nature of parts back then. We were constantly building our inventory out and extend our working capital, and trying to convince the banks to give us a bigger line of credit.

Sramana Mitra: Was bank line of credit your primary inventory financing strategy all along?

Dara Greaney: Yes. Auto parts are seasonal. They’re real big in the spring and summer. The automotive season is Q2 and Q3. We would stock a bunch of inventory and draw down our line in February, and try to sell it all in Spring and Summer. Then pay off the line in the Fall. >>>

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