Real Business Owner Rob Mardell, La Dolce Velo
We interviewed Rob Mardell, owner of La Dolce Velo about launching his bicycle shop in San Jose, CA. Rob shares his experiences, along with a few resources and tips that helped him get his business out of his garage, and off and running, or rather, cycling.
Q. What’s the name of your business?
Q. What business/industry are you in?
A. Retail Bicycle Sales and Service
Q. What made you want to launch your own company?
A. It was an outgrowth of a non-profit project for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Q. What was your biggest hurdle you discovered when launching your business?
A. Leaving a job with secure income.
Q. What was easier than you expected?
A. Starting the business was much easier than I thought. Keeping it going is much harder than I thought it would be.
Q. Did you write a business plan? Why or why not?
A. Yes, We drafted a business plan as we were about to outgrow our garage.
Q. What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your business?
A. A bit more knowledge on preplanning inventory selections.
Q. What services would you highly recommend outsourcing (please be specific)?
A. Anything that takes low skills and mass time. Such as window/bathroom cleaning. On the other side of the spectrum highly skilled hi cost items such as accounting and legal services.
Q. What tasks do you think every business owner should do for themselves?
A. Every business owner should ensure that they are paid. Too many business owners forego their own pay to keep the business afloat. Depending on the size of the business, a good task is to sign off on each new hire as well.
Q. Which books did you found helpful while getting started? And why?
- Business Plans For Dummies – We need to write a business plan at some point.
- QuickBooks 2012 For Dummies – To better utilize QuickBooks
- Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant – We need to learn how to compete and be different enough to drive the customer to us.
Q. What online resources did you find helpful?
Q. How do you find new clients/customers?
A. Referrals are the best!
Q. What kind of marketing or advertising do you do?
A. Our website and Facebook are paramount to all other forms of advertising for us.
Q. What piece of advice would you like share with someone looking to start a business today?
A. Ask yourself: Why? Your answer is more important than your business plan.Written by