Posted by on September 22, 2020 3:00 am
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Categories: Entrepreneur

#1987 FixMyCar got $250k in a bar

#1987 FixMyCar got $250k in a bar

Andrew: Hey there, freedom fighters. My name is Andrew Warner and joining me is a Mixergy listener who says that listening to Mixergy gave him the sense that it wasn’t as hard as he thought to create his own company. And sure enough, he did. And, you know, a few years ago there was this thought that if you couldn’t come up with a business idea, just go to Craigslist and do whatever they do better by focusing on it by adding tools that just are more sensible.

I see. You’re smiling. Pershant as I say it, I thought that was done. And then per shank actually ended up doing just that. As you’ll hear in this interview, he got customers from Craigslist. He got mechanics from Craigslist and he created this business that. If you want a mechanic to come to your place and fix your car, you could just have him come over.

Alright. Prashant Sala is the founder of fix my car. He says, it’s the fastest and easiest way to get your car fixed anywhere. I’ve seen some reviews. There are people who say they’ll just mechanical. Just show up. I thought I saw someone say within 20 minutes and mechanic came, but for Shawn saying, that’s not reasonable expected within a few hours, but that’s mighty fast.

My man. Alright, we’re going to find out how we did this, this little hack that he did with Craigslist. I want to hear about that. I also want to hear about this business that he had when he was a kid in Mumbai. So glad you’re talking about that. And so many more things we could do it. Thanks to two phenomenal sponsors.

The first, if you have an idea and you need some help validating it, figuring it out the right idea. I’m going to tell you how many companies have turned to launch pier and how launch pure can help you validate your business idea and get together a business model. And the second sponsor is SCM rush. If you need traffic to your site, if you need to do marketing, I’m going to tell you about how.

How SCM rush will help you and recommend that you use my links so that I get credit for sending you over. But we’ll talk about all that later first. Pershant good to have you here.

Prashant: absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Andrew: Awkward question. But, um, you told our producer, I’m hoping, you’ll tell the audience, what’s your revenue.

Prashant: Uh, we do be trending 600 a year. Last month in August, we did about $50,000 in top line revenue.

Andrew: Wow. Okay. And do you have very little outside funding, right? How much?

Prashant: Uh, 250 K.

Andrew: Alright. And we should get into the story of how you got that, but I want to go back to Mumbai for a moment. You said to our producer, everything is a struggle in Mumbai. Give me an example of what was the struggle of what life was like when you were growing up there.

Prashant: Yeah. So it w everything is a struggle in the sense that the things we take for granted, um, just getting somewhere the mobility within the city, I’m just getting the basic things done. It’s really hard. Like. All the, like all the working people, the students, because of the way Mumbai is structured and it’s got 25 million people, um, get going from place to place.

B mostly is done through trains and I’ve spent almost like 10 per cent of my life in local trains because of the fact that I was two hours away from my school, my college. Um, and my workplace was an hour and a half away. And the only way you can get there, the fastest, which is an hour and a half or two hours is through a local train.

So every day is like went through a war zone.

Andrew: when you tell me that, I think about my time living in New York, every time I wanted to get to school, I went to Brooklyn tech living in Queens, took me about an hour to me. I liked it. It was nice downtime. I would read novels. I would read books. Sometimes I would sleep, which I wasn’t happy about sleeping on the New York subway, but it was all pleasant.

What is it for you that made you feel like this is not at all your relationship with the train system?

Prashant: I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t like it when you’re surrounded by a hundred sweaty, middle aged men in a local train, which is like, it’s got 10 times more capacity than it’s supposed to be. So imagine you leave your house, you go to a local train. You wait for the train. A train to come by and before the train even stops for you to board, you are with 50 other men trying to get into the train before it even stops for you to board.

So you can imagine once you’re in the train, you’re getting. Hit elbows and knees everywhere from all sides. And then you’re able to stand for two hours. And while you’re standing, you have like sweaty people around you and you can barely move yourself and you do it four hours a day every day, every week, every month.

Andrew: you said to our producer, you wouldn’t take it. An extra set of clothes with you because your clothes would be so sweaty. Would you, would you then smell from being around all these sweaty people? Even if you change your clothes,

Prashant: Yeah, I think, um, I did that because, uh, just the fact that, um, yeah, you could present yourself if you’re going in a meeting or you’re, you’re going anywhere where you have to be presentable, it’s just impossible. Um, so yeah.

Andrew: there was one time you said to your parents, I want to go play poker. For money and your parents said, what.

Prashant: Well, it was a, obviously they didn’t like it, but it was more like, um, me trying to get money so that I could play poker. So I was selling my university’s databases to every store. So I used to, um,

Andrew: So your parents said we don’t have enough money to send you to go play poker. We’re not exactly excited that you’re playing poker in the first place, but we’re not going to fund it because we don’t have the money. You said I’ll get my own money. You started to talk about this database.

You scraped your school systems, email list. Am I right?

Prashant: Yeah. So emails, physical addresses, phone numbers and everything else that comes from a similar,

Andrew: We’re talking about what? A hundred different people and 500 kids.

Prashant: yeah, they were close to a thousand, maybe a little over a thousand bucks.

Andrew: Okay. Then you get on the train, the sweaty train. You go all the way to where.

Prashant: So all the way to my university. So grab the database, um, and then, um, park your car and go to store by store and say, Hey, I have this huge list of people you can sell your products to. And then you get rejected. You do that 100 times, and then eventually someone’s going to buy the database. And finally you have some money to play poker.

Andrew: And they would do what with this database of students, what were they selling them?

Prashant: They would basically sell any kind of university materials. So, coaching classes, tuitions, or, any assistance, uh, in terms of books, uh, online courses, things like that. Yeah. Yeah. Local stores would have the database and we’re basically send letters, emails, anything that they could to be able to sell their products.

Andrew: All right. That’s kind of a hustle hustler, like Mark Zuckerberg, like move to take. Did you do well with your poker?

Prashant: Yeah. So it was funny. I was, yeah. I mean, we used to organize poker tournaments with most, uh, some of my friends and we used to target high net worth kids, uh, that used to drive fancy cars, but then they couldn’t play poker. So used to, uh, organize tournaments and, , basically, , have enough money to do whatever we wanted.

, yeah. Sort of like

Andrew: What do you mean you’d target them? You’d find house parties.

Prashant: so a few friends of mine, they were organizing this poker tournament in a big house with, with blackjack rooms, roulette rooms, poker tournament rooms, with, and although games, but the, the goal was to attract rich kids.

And then we knew how to play cards and we used to basically make the most of the opportunity. So that was the whole game.

Andrew: You’re hustling. This, is this an insight into what you were like as a kid? Or are we talking about a couple of random experiences?

Prashant: this was, well, you could say that it was an insight in the sense. It was always, I was always up to something or the other, um, good or bad.

Andrew: Okay. What else? What else did you do? That was bad before we get into how you got to the U S.

Prashant: right when I was playing Bulger, I graduated from college with a degree in mechanical engineer and I was always into cars. So I applied for masters in, um, automotive engineering at Clemson, university in South Carolina, which is one of the. Uh, biggest and best schools for automotive.

And then, so I’ve always wanted to come here or Germany, one of the two in the Detroit area or Germany, but, um, so in order to get there, um, I had, I had six months with me, so I was like, what do I do now with six months? Um, in my, before I moved to the U S so what I started to do was play poker at night.

And become a mechanic during the day and just fix cars and try to get a feel of it. And I love kind of getting my hands dirty and I, yeah, I used to talk to a lot of mechanics in the dealership that I was working at. and I saw the struggle that they were going through and I was trying to help them as much as possible with my poker earnings, but that was just like one or two instances.

Andrew: You mean give them some of your poker money

Prashant: Yeah, so

Andrew: they weren’t doing well in Mumbai. You decided you’re going to help them out by giving them some cash.

Prashant: correct. So I was one of them, we were getting paid a hundred dollars a month, a hundred dollars a month. Not, not an hour, not

Andrew: For how many hours a week are we talking about

Prashant: 60 hours a week.

Andrew: 60 hours a week, every week. And then at the end of the month, you get a hundred bucks. They hand you a check.

Prashant: They gave you, they gave you a cash or check, but, um, I do remember working my ass off and imagine going that sweaty train for two hours in the morning, going to the workplace, working your ass off for the F for the entire day. and then going to a poker tournament, making some money and then doing it all again and again, every day, every week.

Andrew: This is really painful. All right. And you say yourself, this is not right. In fact, I say they hand you money, but you told our producer, they made me wait in line for a long time before I can get this Hunter, the dollars that I earned by fixing cars. Right.

Prashant: Correct.

Andrew: So I see the pain. How do you end up in the U S you get a visa to come work here.

Prashant: Yeah, so I, yeah, I got a student visa and, my whole plan was to basically come here and do a master’s in automotive. Cause I’ve always interested in automotive. Um, but yeah, so the, the story in a Mumbai was getting paid a hundred bucks, a hundred bucks a month. And I was, at that point, I was like, someone should really do something for the mechanic community.

And I didn’t have to have an idea. I didn’t have a startup or anything like that. It was just like, Hey, someone should do something because this is just not right.

Andrew: Okay. You’ve come to the U S you don’t get a chance to do anything about it. You’re an engineer for five years. Where,

Prashant: I’m in the Metro Detroit area in, in one of the engineering services farm.

Andrew: what did, what does that mean? What type of engineer were you? What did you

Prashant: So I was an automotive engineer working on diagnostic data. So whatever data we get from the computers in the car, uh, we analyze the data. We make some conclusions, we sell the data to OEMs like Ford, GM Chrysler, and we used to work with the manufacturers to be able to make better cars so that they will reduce the warranty cost.

Andrew: Okay. So five years you’re doing this. You end up with a problem with your own car. And you can fix it yourself.

Prashant: Yeah, so I, um, so I was working as an engineer for, well, let me, um, take a step back for real quick. So I did my masters, right. And I applied for a program, uh, which was. Why I was at Clemson anyway, and they rejected me that did not accept my application to be in the program. So that was one of the worst times.

Cause I was like, this is exactly why I’m here and I’m not able to be part of this program. So then I graduated, I moved to Michigan. I work as an engineer for about four or five years in the automotive industry. And I was just feeling so restless because I really wanted to do something. So I bought a gas station.

I bought a million dollar gas station in Atlanta, Georgia. It was just a stupid mistake. I shouldn’t have done this, but I was really like trying to do it was something I was just getting bored of an engineering job. So yeah.

Andrew: Wait, how do you wait? It costs you a million dollars to buy the gas station. You still have to pay, lease on the property, right? And then, and then how do you even get the money for a million dollar, a gas station?

Prashant: So it was the, it was like a lease purchase agreement. The agreement was designed in a way that, Hey, you keep making payments to us. And then we’ll basically still do the asset that the property, and you don’t have to, you basically deduct the entire money that you have already paid us.

Andrew: And what was the, what was the profit before lease payments on the property? On the gas station.

Prashant: So the lease payment was about four or $5,000 a month. and then, then the other business expenses, you hire people, the payroll costs and all the overhead that comes with running a gas station. So I did that. I ran it for a year, hired some, a team of people to run the gas station, but, um, really it didn’t work out and I lost a ton of money.

, working as an engineer for a few years, you can only save so much, about 150, 180 K.

Andrew: Wow. So this was out of your savings. Good Lord. Did you get depressed?

Prashant: Oh, this was one of my worst times ever, because here I was, I, yeah, I lost almost everything and I, it wasn’t even something that I could like learn from the experience. Like it wasn’t like a tech startup. I built a network of people that I can leverage. It was an industry that, um, I just didn’t want to work in, in the future.

I was super depressed. I was really in a bad situation. So I started doing Airbnb,

Andrew: I am writing a note here to come back to the Airbnb. But tell me about, why do you think it didn’t do well? What was it? Did you just sign a bad deal where the lease expense was too high? What happened? Were you not present

now? You seem like a guy who works hard.

Prashant: I was not present that’s that, that was one part. and then at the end of the day, the, there weren’t as many customers coming in to be able to, buy the products and for us to pay the bills.

Andrew: And you didn’t know that going in because you didn’t look at the, at the income statement well, or something else happened.

Prashant: Yeah. So we did look at everything and I think there was a major, it was, it was a small town. So there was a major employer which shut down. So all the workers and

everything

after, after he bought it.

Andrew: so suddenly this, this potential customer base dries up after you buy it. Okay. What else?

Prashant: Yeah. So after that, cause that was a major employer in the community and everybody who worked for that employer basically, contributed to the economy in the local community. And we were one of the biggest losers cause we were so close and there’s no way we could have find that out. So it was. at the end of the day, it was basically, we didn’t have enough customers.

We were losing money and I had a decision to make, I was like, I need to stop bleeding.

Andrew: Before you do that. When you get depressed at the time, I see you’re uncomfortable and watching you through the webcam, but I want to do a little step further into this because we’re going to get into all the things that worked well for you. Let’s get to the, to the humanity of what happens when things don’t work out.

How do you deal with that? You personally, are you someone who just dives into video games and loses himself in that? Do you drink? Do you sleep all day? What do you do to deal with? What did you do to deal with your depression?

Prashant: So I did two things. I wanted to get super comfortable with suffering in general. So what I did was, I was like, what is the one thing I really hate? And then I thought to myself, I hate running. So signed up for a marathon and I, I ran them. I know you run marathons in different continents,  I hit it running so much and I wanted to get used to. Doing things that I didn’t like consistently. So that was one thing I did. And then I, I started, getting into a spirituality. So I kind of dived into and learned about just spirituality in general. So I will do a lot of silent day silent, 10 day retreats around the country.

In Boston, California, and Michigan. and then I learned a lot about how to deal with a bad situation.

Andrew: How, so let’s get to the things that you hate running a marathon or something you hated. You wanted to push yourself to do the things that felt uncomfortable and felt painful that you didn’t like. Why is it that you, you didn’t do the things that were painful for you? You avoiding some things before and you felt that that led to failure or what.

Prashant: Yeah, I think I was, I was getting that sense that I needed to kind of be uncomfortable and wanted to see adversity at a deeper level. And then, um, because of the fact that I, I, um, I was in a position after doing all of this, that I was okay with suffering and doing things that I didn’t like. And because of the spirituality, um, AI kind of got comfortable with ups and downs, and I trained my mind on a certain level to be as a quantum economists as possible.

Andrew: Ah, okay. I get what you mean, because especially as an entrepreneur, you feel these. Highs and lows because it’s natural and we’re so identified with what we’ve created with what we’re running. That if it’s hitting a low, we feel like we must be bad or not good, or what’s wrong with me. Right. And you wanted to separate yourself from that and not be uncomfortable with that feeling and allow yourself to still be you, even when things are low and strangely, even when things are high to not get carried away that way too.

Am I, am I understanding you right?

Prashant: Yeah, cause I was, uh, I was really in a bad position because, I, yeah, I didn’t have that feeling before, so I was disappointed, but I, I knew that this is how it’s going to be if I’m going on this path. And if I am deciding to go on this path, I really want to condition myself to be able to be kind of a neutral in every situation.

Andrew: Okay. You know what I get, where you’re coming from. I interrupted you about Airbnb. When I give you a chance to say, what did you do with Airbnb?

Prashant: Yeah. So, like I said, after, after that moment where I was, uh, not really doing that well, I really wanted to get rid of my possessions and just kind of. get used to being in, in an adverse situation. So I put up my apartment for Airbnb for a few weeks to a month, and I was living out of my car and going to YMCA for showers.

and my day looked like this. So I woke up in from my car and I used to go to work. Um, my day job, come back, take a shower at the Y and then go to a coffee shop, work with my partner, Sean, on, um, the MVP of a, like something we would be working before. and then get back to my car asleep and then do the same thing or in Oregon.

Andrew: Got it. Got it. And were you making enough money then to live from Airbnb?

Prashant: So I had a really good bang, um, engineering job. So

Andrew: And so now you cut back your expenses and you had a nice little rabbit, nice little profit. I’m assuming from Airbnb. Am I right?

Prashant: my, my salary was great. Like as an engineer, you, you get paid well. Um, but I really just wanted to get comfortable with, um, not a lot of resources. So that was the main motivation. It wasn’t like, Hey, I need to save a lot of money. Um, yeah, that helps. But it was basically saying, Hey, if I had nothing with me, How would I start from scratch and how would I deal with my emotions?

So just being able to sleep in my car every day, getting used to the, the lack of comfort, um, it just taught me that, Hey, you really, I mean, people take things for granted so much, and that allows distractions to come in their lives. So in my case, Because of the fact that I started to not take things for granted that allow distractions to go away.

And I was not getting distracted by anything because I knew that, Hey, just having a bed, having a desk to work at and sleep at, um, that, that, that is gold. So yeah, that was, that was the whole point for me.

Andrew: You know, what, if you had a YouTube channel of this experience, I’d be watching it religiously. There’s this, uh, there’s this guy, he goes by the name, homeless firefighter on YouTube. He decided that he was spending too much money on rent. He didn’t need it. And so he lived out of his van for, I think, two years.

And he did publish videos on YouTube every once in a while showing how he does it. And I was fascinated by I’d go to the gym, to shower, to work out. He’d go for long hikes. He’d cook out. How would you cook? He cooks, uh, or he just. Stop doing it now and is ready to get into a place. But how did you cook? I used to watch him cook in the back of his car, right outside of the back of his car.

Prashant: Well, sometimes I used to go to my friend’s place. Um, I used to take, take out some time. Um, but yeah, for me, for me, the main thing was like, just not having a house.

Andrew: That’s a incredible dedication. Alright, let me talk about my first sponsor and you know what I think if I talk about them, people are going to feel a little skeptical because here’s the deal. You and I both have businesses that didn’t do well. You want to know that before you invest money into it, you want to know that you’re off track before you build the business?

Well, this company launched pier. Has got an online course to help you figure out if you’re already, as soon as I say online course for Shanti, I know people are rolling their eyes who needs another online course, but here’s the thing. They have one that shows you how to validate your idea, how to see if there’s product market fit, how to get to a business model.

And again, people are still skeptical. So let me tell you about who this launch pier is. They’re an organization that helps. Nontechnical founders launch their products. And I’ll give you an example of a company that they work with. There’s an organization, a company called gotcha. They had the idea that they wanted to be Uber for college campuses.

They mean, you know, bikes, electronic scooters, all those things, little electronic cars that you need. If you’re trying to get around college campuses, they want it to just be the company, the workout, and to do a deal with a college and put those things out there. So they went to an agency. They decided that they would get this thing built so that they could show it to colleges and get clients.

And the agency just kept missing deadlines, kept being bad at communication, et cetera. The thing just didn’t work out. And the customers that meanwhile, they were signing up customers, they were getting university to say, sure, let’s take a shot on this. It’s interesting. Universities are willing to try out new things like this anyway, but the universities are starting to get frustrated because, Hey, where’s this thing that you promised us.

Finally gotcha. Went over to launch pier. They talked to them just like for informational purposes, just to learn. They said, you know, we like what you’re thinking, let’s work with. You got just started working with launch pier every two weeks. They would get a new demo. It would do these two weeks sprints.

They did this for a total of 12 weeks in between sprints. They would be on Slack talking in between demos, making sure that everything’s up to speed. And then they ended up with mobile apps. They ended up with a web portal. For admins and so much more as a result. Gotcha. Pitch colleges. And they had something worth testing, something that actually worked for colleges to say, yes, we’re happy.

We signed up with you. We’re ready to roll this out to all of our students. Gotcha. Ended up with Washington university, Washington state university, Val Vanderbilt, university, Florida state, and so many others. I’m not going to go to this whole laundry list. It’s because they work with launch pier. So what does launch pier have to do with this free course?

They want to help entrepreneurs are trying to figure out, am I on the right track? Am I even ready to work with launch pier or am I completely diluting myself? And so they’re offering a free course. If you want to know how to build your own business model, whether you’re on the right track with your customers, go to launch pier.com/mixergy.

And they’ll teach you. They’ll walk you through this. In fact, they’re incredibly responsive, even if you never do any business with them. And if you do, I think you’re gonna find that they’re a great group of people. The founder did an interview with me years ago, and I guess he got enough customers that he called me up and he said, Andrew, how do I buy ads?

And so we did it. We said, let’s make it useful first. And then if people want to work with you, they could find a way to do that. So here it is free course on how to find product market fit, how to figure out your business model, how to build a business, right. Just lock this in. By going to launch pier.

Remember there, you’re going to be your peer partnering up together. Launch pier.com/mixergy, L a U N C H P E r.com/m I N E R G Y. Alright, you now, wait, you tell me that you had this business idea that you were working on with Sean. Was it,

Prashant: Yeah.

Andrew: what, what happened to that idea?

Prashant: um, well, so this was, um, uh, this was when I was, um, kind of, uh, working for, fix my car. We were building an MBB. Um, but I

Andrew: Oh, okay. So this is all right. So let’s go back then and figure out how you ended up with this. The MVP happened because you had a problem with your car and I’m guessing you couldn’t solve it. And so what did you do?

Prashant: So I had a problem with my car. I needed brakes done. Um, so what I did was I went on Craigslist. I said, Hey, uh, can someone fix my car? And, um, a re a 30 year old mechanic, um, an hour away from me, he reached out and said, Hey, I can fix your car. I can come out in a few hours. So I met. I met up with him in the next few hours.

It was like five, 6:00 PM. He sure. Fixed my brakes. And then after that I was, I always had a soft one or for like the automotive community. So I kind of, uh, took him out on data and we spent a few hours together. Um, and then after that, we, I went to his house and he introduced his family to me, three daughters, a lovely wife.

And I was like, wow, this is great. And then I did not know the fact that he was going through a lot of issues on his, his end, but then I learned through communicating with him more that he was a 30 year old, um, a 30 year experienced mechanic, uh, who works for himself. And the industry does not recognize his potential.

Um, so he stopped working in the industry as a mechanic. So he was working for him and I said, how can I help you? And he said, well, I work for myself. And I go to people’s houses to fix cars. And so I said, well, how about this? So let me get as many customers as possible, um, on a daily basis. And, and I can see if I can hook you up.

So a month later he was getting a thousand dollars a week from me, scraping Craigslist and getting customers.

Andrew: What does it mean that you scraped Craigslist for him?

Prashant: So basically I set up an ad saying, Hey, my name is Jack. I’m a mechanic. I, this is my resume. Uh, call me if you need any car repair help. So people used to call me and I used to be like, well, so I’m not available exactly right now, but my friend here, David is, uh, he’s a 30 year old mechanic. He’s going to come to your house.

So I used to do that multiple times a day.

Andrew: Just for fun, just to help the guy out.

Prashant: Yeah, just a guy. I mean, at that point I literally had no idea about like, yeah, I’m going to build a startup and I’m going to scale this. Um, but it was basically me trying to work with him and it was fun and it was trying to help him out. Um, yeah. So that was the motivation.

Andrew: I love Ari disarm our producer, because she’s, she spends time with you and she takes great notes and she passes on to me and she said, yeah, this guy. Was going through, I don’t know how much to get into with his life, but he basically was saying, look, my wife is going to divorce me unless I figured this thing out.

I’m not, I’m not taking care of my family enough. I’m not taking care of my wife. And so that pulled on your heartstrings and you said, I think I can help you. I will promise. I will put myself out there and tell you that I will get you clients. And that’s what worked, uh, for you to go out there and do it.

Prashant: Yeah. So I was going to pull up a screenshot office text, but after a month he texted me saying, Hey, look, you saved my marriage. You saved my life. I was going through a really bad time with my family. And we were almost getting separated because I was not able to bring money in. And, um, yeah, and I, I, I didn’t experience that feeling before, um, being able to help someone in a situation like that.

And I thought to myself, like how many mechanics are out there, same situation who really just need consistent work. They have the skills, they have the tools to be able to go out, but there is no platform to be able to connect them to customers who want to get the cars fixed.

Andrew: And so you said, I think I can do this. And this was now I’m imagining, starting to become a little business in your mind. Right. And so what did you do to test it, to see that you had product market fit?

Prashant: So, what I did was I went with him to all the customers’ houses and in his car. Um, and I used to help him out a little bit. And then mainly I was there to talk to the customers. Uh, I was like, Hey, what prompted you to go to Craigslist? Why didn’t you go to a shop and just a laundry list of questions, which would help me understand the life cycle of a customer journey in this business.

So it was more like, Hey, talk to the customers, talk to the mechanic. And we were running around every day and it was such a fun experience.

Andrew: And what were you starting to understand from all this.

Prashant: So one of the things that I got from talking to customers is they want their cars fixed as soon as possible. They really don’t want to go to a shop, get a ride back, pick up the car the next day or so only to find out it was a, it was a small fix and that could have been fixed, um, somewhere else. And. So the speed was of the essence.

Um, and I found out that there’s a lot of, there’s a lack of trust between customers or between people and the repair shops in general. There is no loyalty. There is no retention.

Andrew: Okay. That makes sense. I also get the. When you say they needed a fast, you don’t mean they needed it done today necessarily. It’s just that they don’t want it to suck up half of their day as they drive out to the mechanic way to be seen, leave the car, get the, get the estimate afterwards and then decide whether to go with it or not in my right.

Prashant: Correct? Yeah. So it’s not like, Hey, I know exactly what needs to be done. I just wanted to get done today. It’s not like that. It’s basically, Hey, I really want to get to work tomorrow morning and I have a no star. My car doesn’t start. So I just want someone to come out or otherwise I’d have to tow my car to a shop and they would take forever.

Andrew: Okay, so you wanted to test to see if there’s a marketplace. Did you run ads on both sides? Run ads, looking for mechanics, run ads, looking for people who needed mechanics do matchmaking.

Prashant: Not yet. So this was a phase where I was just going out with this one guy. And then we, I was talking to customers all day and at the same time, Sean. And I were building the MVP at the coffee shop in the evenings. Um, so the mechanics and the customers were driving the functionality of the product and we didn’t want to fix any we’d been, we didn’t want to build anything which nobody wanted. So yeah, after that, we, I signed up for a meetup in Ann Arbor, Michigan here locally. And then I pitched at the event and, um, um, Adam, um, who’s, um, an expert in lean startups. He challenged me and he said, Hey, look to me, the biggest hypothesis in this model is the fact that mechanics want to go out. Right. So I was like, okay, how do we, um, how do we validate this assumption in the, in the big hypothesis that we have?

So what we did was we texted. 25 mechanics from Craigslist and said, Hey, I have this scar. I need to get it fixed. And I’m willing to pay you your hourly price. So I had a mechanic come out every hour for the whole week and I had 20 mechanics show up to my house every hour. And I was like, okay, let’s see how many people come up to my house.

And the result of this was 19 or the 20 mechanics showed up to my house and that’s what validated my hypothesis.

Andrew: Why that was shocking to me. When I saw the notes from your conversation with our producer, I was wondering why was that the part to test? If you have money to pay people, wouldn’t you just bet that they’d show up? I would think that would a, would a stranger who’s never tried this system be willing to get a stranger to come into their house.

Would there be enough demand for people willing to pay for this? It seems like that would be the big constraint. Why not?

Prashant: Yeah. So I, in my mind, the biggest challenge was on the supply side. Um, he, yeah, obviously people would love someone to come out with all the skills and the doors and get their cars space. As soon as possible without moving from their couches. But on the supply side, we just didn’t know that. Do the mechanic next really want to go out?

Do they have the skills? Do they have the tools? It’s like it’s during the winter, it gets super cold. So you’re in that environment. Do people really want to go out? Um, so that was the hypothesis and this was. Um, yeah, this was like fall or summer or something like that, but, um, that was the main hypothesis.

So we validated that, um, hypothesis in the model. Um, and then yeah, the reaction from, um, the mechanics was good.

Andrew: Okay. And he was willing to give you money to, to run this experiment, right?

Prashant: Yeah. So he gave me a few thousand dollars to run on the Aaliyah. It was just a few thousand dollars to pay each mechanic a hundred dollars, um, for them to be able to come out to the customer’s house.

Andrew: Okay, so you tested it, it worked, he wasn’t taking a piece of your business at that point, right? He just said, let me give you some money and we’ll see if it works. Am I right?

Okay. That’s pretty impressive. Why, why did he want to give you money to test out this idea?

Prashant: Um, I’m not really sure, but he sounded pretty excited and he said, Hey, I mean, if this works, you have a business and you can run with it. But if this fails, then you might have to reconsider. And I was on board. I was like, I do agree. Like if the mechanics really don’t want to go out at a certain price, then I don’t think we have a business.

Andrew: Okay. You now know you have a business it’s time for you to capitalize on it. Let me take a moment. Talk about, um, my second sponsor. And then come back and see what you did to get your first customers. I’m guessing it’s went to Craigslist and you just repeated what worked for you with your first, but we’ll find out in a moment.

Uh, my second sponsor is a company called SEM rush. Do you know SEM rush?

Prashant: Yeah.

Andrew: You do have used them.

Prashant: Yeah, we do use them to some, get some SEO analytics.

Andrew: You know what I was looking you up on SCM rush. They said that one set of keywords that you should be going for is mobile car repair. You guys now are number six in the search results for that. But it seems like as I look at this, you could climb up in it. At least take over number five. They don’t seem like they’ve got much going on for them and just continue to climb up.

And they’re going to give you key words and suggestions for what you should write about if you want to, if you want to rank for that keyword. And then once you do, you’re going to get traffic from it. Is that how use it?

Prashant: Yeah. Yeah. Um, we, we have put emphasis on content creation, uh, around those top keywords and I think that’s the mobile keywords, uh, one of them. So I think we are pretty confident in climbing of the ladder.

Andrew: I’ve been talking to entrepreneurs lately. Who’ve used them because truthfully. I don’t have as much experience as some people in my audience when it comes to SEO. I’m Russia. I know that there are people who are fricking fanatics about it. So I emailed my audience. I said, if you are, tell me how you use it.

I got flooded with people who said, this is how I use it. This is what works for me. Um, I just interviewed an entrepreneur. Who’s got a content site right now. Um, and what she does is she says, look, before we write any article, we think about what the article is about. Then we look for. See, is there going to be enough traffic for me to make back the money I’m paying on to get the right article written by the writer?

And if there is now, let’s understand what keywords should we be thinking of a long, the lines of, uh, what we’re, what we’re writing about. And then they get the keywords and I say, okay, great. If what people are searching for, let’s have at least a section based on that in our article. If we’re going to spend time, let’s do it productively.

Talk to another entrepreneur, she’s got a funnels commerce. She’s not a marketer. She decided, you know what, I’m gonna figure this out. She signed up for SEM rush. She started figuring out that there’s certain articles that they should be writing about woo commerce and. I see, I’m not, I told her what to do now.

This is for SEO search engine optimization, but SCM rush helps with everything we’re talking about. Anything marketing related, they will help you. Um, I don’t even want to get into, um, ad buys. I don’t want to get into, um, uh, social media, but they do it. All you have to do is all you have to know is this, if you’re listening to me because they’re testing this out, they’re going to let you use their software for free.

You don’t even have to put a credit card in limited time, use limited time availability. We didn’t even give them the chance to create the landing page is going to redirect you to a code that will work temporarily. If you’re listening to this month in the future, I’m sorry. You missed out. But here it is for people who are listening to me right now, it’s.

Mixergy.com/s E M rush that’s Mixergy, M I N E R G y.com/s E M R U S H. And to do it one last time, cause I know how important and how it is a mixergy.com/sem rush. And if you don’t know anything about traffic, you know, that they probably would prefer that I send people to their site directly and all that.

Yeah. But we need to do as quickly as a test mixergy.com/sem rush, go grab it. Alright, what’s the thing, the first thing you did for Sean to get yourself customers?

Prashant: Yeah. So it was mostly, I mean, Craigslist is such a great tool to get customers for literally

Andrew: believe it still is good. It’s still is great. I can’t believe it. You think that it would be dead by now?

Prashant: Yeah with, um, yeah, they’ve got really good network network effects and on both sides, there’s liquidity. Um, and yeah, so it’s, it’s a great place to start. The quality of leads might not be the, the quality that you need or want, but at least it’s gonna validate all the assumptions, the hypothesis that you have.

So in my case, I use the initial customers from Craigslist to just kind of systematically validate the assumption. So the second thing that I tested was what is the price point for the mechanics to go out and be happy with that for our price. So we ran experiments based off of that, and we figured that this sweet spot is about $45 an hour.

Um, that’s what we would pay the mechanic and they will be happy. So, yeah.

Andrew: We’ll kind of test you do to do that. It’s just you. Well, how did you test? I had some ideas,

Prashant: So we had a few, I reached out to a few mechanics and then I said, Hey, I have these jobs, but these are $30 an hour. And he did not pick up any of them. He said, Nope, that’s just not too much. And then the same thing with 35, the same thing as 45, 50, 55. And obviously the higher you go, it’s going to be easier for them to pick it up.

But the sweet spot was like 45. Um, that left, um, us enough margin to be able to have a business. Um, but yeah, so Craigslist is where we got the initial customers from, but, um, at the same time, we, the mechanic that I was working with was not available. Um, so. I had to get mechanics. And that was the, that was a really strange, and the rejection part of the process, I was getting rejected by mechanics every day.

So call up the mechanic from Craigslist saying, Hey, my name is . I have a business I’ll help you out and I’m not going to keep any money. It’s all yours. They will be like, well, how do you pronounce your name? Like who are you? And then I had to kind of like modify my story, saying, Hey, my name is Josh and I’m from I’m born and raised in Detroit.

And I would love to help you out. Or I would love to work with you. And then we were meeting up at Panera bread every day with every mechanic.

Andrew: Did they believe that you were from Michigan?

Prashant: Yeah, well, or on the phone, they kind of had the doubts, but then when we met in person, well, they are in person so they can just leave.

Andrew: it didn’t matter at that point.

Prashant: But it didn’t matter at that point, it was just like getting them to the table.

Andrew: I gotta tell you anyone was listening to us, even if I didn’t start off by asking you about Mumbai they’d sense that there was a bit of an accent. But, you know, as someone who did a similar test, I used to call up, I used to say, Hey, my name is Shuki clearly, I’m trying to understand about who’s at your office at Morgan Stanley or whatever was Merrill Lynch.

I would call up when I was at, they would not pay attention to me. They would just say, who is it? Shoot me what? Right. And then when I changed my name and I test out a bunch of different names, it made a world of difference. It just stopped being an issue. It’s not like they suddenly said, Hey buddy, buddy, like the old, uh, what is it?

Um, uh, Eddie Murphy, a sketch on Saturday night live where he becomes white and suddenly people hand them dollar bills and cash buck. You know, it’s not like that. It’s just, it’s not an issue anymore. Just all right, Andrew Warner, what can I do for you? What, what are we doing? So I totally understand. And then once you get

Prashant: Yeah, I was just saying, like you got onto saying like these guys as a 50 year old mechanics, they’re in, they’re living in a small town. So it’s hard for them to like, get, like, get orders from a young Brown kid who’s not from here. So yeah. So in the beginning it was a struggle and I had, I tested a lot of experiments.

With the mechanics, just so that I could get them to a Panera bread. And then I used to have coffee, ready sandwiches, ready for them. And I did this with like 50, 60 mechanics every day.

Andrew: Why do you have to do all this? When you’re telling me that when you did the test, after the meetup, people showed up one after the other, after the other, after the other, why is it that now suddenly you have to court them with a new name with Panera bread, with all this.

Prashant: So I thought about that a lot. I was like, if it’s this easy, why is it hard for me? And the, the conclusion or the thing that I thought was. With the mechanics, um, they need to have, uh, have some kind of trust cause they belong to an old school industry. They are not used to this. Uber just click on the funnel and then just sign up.

They have to like, they want to meet someone.

Andrew: wasn’t that an issue for you before, when you were just calling them up and seeing if they would show up at your place?

Prashant: So with, with Craigslist, you could do that as a customer, but if you want to get good quality mechanics who are not from Craigslist, um, then it’s hard. So

Andrew: it. So you you’d be able to get mechanics from Craigslist to say, sure. I’ll show up and go service your customers. Pershant but if you needed to reach out beyond them, then you needed to take them out to Panera bread. Is that it?

Prashant: Yeah. So I’ll give you an example on the, on a Craigslist platform, you can only get so many good quality mechanics, right? And if you want to venture out there, what I used to do was I used to call a repair shop saying, Hey, my name is blah, blah, blah. I’m a customer. Some are, um, can I speak with your mechanic please?

And then they would be like, sure, yeah. Hey Jack, can you speak with this customer? And it’d be like, Hey Jack, look, uh, I, I heard about this company called fix my car and they are paying mechanics $50 an hour. I don’t know if you’re interested, but I, there was a friend of mine was talking about this, by the way, can you fix this?

And this, this, this and this, I was just like, kind of portraying myself as someone who’s heard about fixing my car. And then I was like, Hey, if you’re interested, just go to this website. It’s as easy as three clicks. So yeah, as I got some backlash and some interest from the mechanics from repair shops, um, but yeah, the struggle was basically to acquire good quality mechanics and get them to the table.

And once I got them to Panera bread, then they would, they would work with me.

Andrew: Got it. So that it seems like the difference was when you were first testing this out on Craigslist, you are going after people who are looking for work versus when you were starting to really recruit them for fix my car. You were going after people had jobs who had to leave what they were doing to come to you.

Am I right?

Prashant: Correct because I wanted to test it out that if someone has a job already. Would they, would they maybe, I mean, switching is probably like a, a big step for them, but maybe would they work outside of the hours and on the weekends. So that was, that was the thing that I wanted to best out.

Andrew: Okay. And so finally you had your model go to Panera bread, sit down, get them to say yes, get them on your network. And now you needed to get customers for them. How’d you get customers for them?

Prashant: So, yeah, and then it was just running ads on Google and Facebook. Um, and we got enough customers to be able to, um, have a few jobs a day consistently. And for me, I knew that if I. Wanting to scale I could, but a car repair, like garbage businesses, it’s tough. Like there are so many use cases. There’s so many things that go wrong and you have to have a process for each kind of issue.

And you have to know what are the services that you can provide. And more importantly, what are the services that you want to stay away from? So that’s why we got an issue of customers from Google ads and Craigslist. And our, uh, my thought process was to just have a playbook ready and then go out and raise money.

Andrew: You kind of raised money by accident. It feels like was it your birthday when you were out?

Prashant: Well, it was my friend’s birthday and I was at a, um, yeah, I was at a local, so a bar in Ann Arbor and, um, I, it was like 1:00 AM in the morning. And I started talking to this guy at the bar and we both weren’t in the perfect position to dog business, but, um, we an exchange in. We kind of, since ideas and he got pretty excited.

What about this model? And I started off by telling him the issues that I was facing. So that’s the thing he really liked. He liked the fact that I was honest, I was upfront and I was just having a conversation as opposed to sending something. Um, so, and yeah, he, we met up, I think a few weeks after. Uh, at another bar, um, we spent about eight hours at that bar and he asked me how much money did I need.

So, um, I kinda did a little bit of my research before going to the second meeting. Um, and I said, Hey, so for me to be able to get to this milestone, I would at least need, um, $250,000. And he said, Oh, wow, this is this, this is a lot of money from, um, uh, uh, a single angel investor. And he said, what do you, how do you think, are you going to use this money?

And where will you go after like a year? So I wrote a few things down on the napkin. I had two napkins. I wrote, uh, I wrote the plan for every year with, um, investment raises from pre-state to series B. And, um, the GM we, the gross, um, like the revenue and the valuation at each stage.

Andrew: Like a business plan essentially.

Prashant: Yeah.

Andrew: Okay. What’s in order for you to even do this, it makes me wonder, who is this guy? Who is the person what’s his what’s type of person? Is he,

Prashant: yeah, he’s just a private angel investor with, um, yeah, he has his own business here in South East, Michigan.

Andrew: what type of business?

Prashant: Uh, he’s in the banking industry.

Andrew: Okay. All right. So not someone who makes a lot of startup angel investments. He’s somebody who’s outside the space. So he’s looking for more milestones, more of a business plan. You show them all you end up talking til when that, that day.

Prashant: So that night we started to dark, um, at like 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM. And then we ended the conversation at two 30 and do the guys at the bar, kicked us out.

Andrew: And then he makes the investment.

Prashant: Yeah. And then, um, yeah, it was, um, we were just having a conversation about what we think the space, um, has challenges and how, um, how can we scale faster? What are the things that we need to focus on? And I was pretty honest and upfront with him saying, Hey, look, this is what I’ve tested so far. And this is what I know the market needs on the customer side.

And now I know how to approach the mechanics and we have an idea of what the mechanics want and how do we create this platform so that all they would have to do is to go out and fix cars.

Andrew: Okay. He invest in the company. I’m guessing that he ends up with a big piece of the business because he’s from outside tech and you’re going outside tech. Right. It’s more than 10%.

Prashant: we, we did a safe, uh, we, we did, uh, 250 get on safe with a 4 million gap.

Andrew: All right. You, you end up with this money. Let me ask you then a question that it seems like he was asking you. I went to SEM rush. I put your name in. I saw that there were other people doing what you’re doing. There’s this one company called your mechanic.

Prashant: Yeah.

Andrew: Wasn’t this already a solved problem.

Prashant: It was, but then your mechanic. Um, so my, my whole thought process was speed in the sense, yes, the mechanics want to go out. Um, but if I have a biasness in my mind when I’m doing the market research, um, it’s just gonna kind of direct my thoughts into the competition. So I wanted to do my own independent experiments to be able to find out the results.

Um, and have some insights that my competition has not yet.

Andrew: You’re saying that when you discovered that they didn’t know, is it speed matters?

Prashant: That was one of the biggest things that I saw on the customer side. Um, would the speed matters a lot for certain use cases? Um, let’s say if your car is not starting and you want to get to work tomorrow, it’s not good enough when you send a mechanic, uh, three or five days from now. Um,

Andrew: Okay. And so the difference was, you said, can we beat them on speed? Can we get a mechanic to your house faster than anybody else?

Prashant: Yeah. So yeah, the difference that I saw on the ground talking to mechanics and customers is speed matters a lot for certain service, um, portfolio, or like for certain services. And on the mechanic side, they need. Um, flexibility in terms of time and in terms of, um, um, services to pick and choose from, and also to own the job when they are on the site.

So they don’t like that. So by, by, by owning a job, what I mean, they should be free to create estimates saying, Hey, I saw this issue in your car and this is what I think your car needs as a 30 year old mechanic. So those are the few things we saw in terms of flexibility that the mechanics want.

Andrew: Okay. So now if I go into their site, it looks like the earliest time that I could get we’re now recording on Wednesday. I said, I just want an oil change. I went for something very basic. They and I went with a Toyota, which I thought would be pretty common. It looks like Saturday is the earliest time. And you’re saying for your system for fixed my car, that would be too long to wait from Wednesday to Saturday.

Prashant: Yeah. So you’re in San Francisco. I’m assuming. Right. Okay. Um, yeah, so today’s Wednesday afternoon. So Saturday. Yeah. So that’s, that’s kinda like the, on the earliest side of the speed, but yeah, for us, we want to target the same day. So it was so. I imagine you have to get to work tomorrow. You have to get somewhere and you wanted to get some things done or at least have a mechanic come out and check your car.

So I think there’s a big market for the same day, within a few hours service.

Andrew: And then they’re also giving me a, uh, a quote right there on the side. It would cost me $83 and 87 cents. Um, to do this, you don’t want that you want your mechanics to be able to pick the price. Am I right?

Prashant: Not really. So we wanna, we want to have a balance in a way that we would have certain guidelines, um, in pricing. Um, but we want to be able to empower them, um, to be able to set the price for the job, because here’s the thing, like some of the jobs take longer than what your mechanic pays, their mechanics and the mechanics are not happy with that.

The mechanics are like saying, Hey, you know what? You guys set the pricing. You guys pay me a certain dollar amount for a certain job. But looking at the condition of the car, looking at the mobile site, I think I should get paid an hour more with us. Well, we say is, Hey look, um, if you want to create an estimate, make sure you follow these guidelines.

You can charge a little bit more to the customer, um, to be within a certain reasonable limit. Um, we are here to create a platform for you and have the guidelines with pricing, with sourcing parts, um, with scheduling and after service support. So, as long as you follow some guidelines, you are free to create any estimate you want.

You are free to set up your scheduling and you’re free to upsale services too.

Andrew: Okay. I see the difference now, you and I were introduced by Mike Townsend. What’s your connection to him?

Prashant: Yeah. So Mike and I, uh, I found his profile on clarity.fm. I love clarity.

Andrew: I know it. That’s the service where you, you find people you want to meet and you pay a little bit of money in order to spend some time on the phone with them. I know you’ve got to step away for a second or there you go. I got to tell you, there was this entrepreneur who came to my office in San Francisco.

I don’t know if I could say his name. He said there are all these investors. I wanted me to only cost like 30 bucks. Nobody does this. He just connected with the investors. He wanted to meet on clarity, talk to them, and then they ended up connecting them to the people who, who put $5 million into his business from clarity, which is it’s supposed to be a place where you go to connect with people for help.

But once you get their ear, you do anything.

Prashant: Yeah. So I found his profile and clarity and, uh, he had experienced, um, raising money, running a service based marketplace called home hero. So, uh, we had a lot of commonalities, um, with that. So we had a conversation, I think a year ago. Um, or a little over a year ago and he loved the business and he loved the story.

And, um, yeah, we, we have him as, um, as an advisor, more often hands on advisor, uh, working as much as he can and helping out in almost all areas of the business.

Andrew: It looks like I didn’t realize this home hero didn’t work out. They closed.

Prashant: Yeah. I don’t know the exit of home hero.

Andrew: I got to

Prashant: that will be assets to do another healthcare company.

Andrew: and what he was doing was he was sending nonmedical care providers to people’s homes to help them. All right.

Prashant: Um, yeah, so that was the similarity, cause it’s a, it’s a service based marketplace and the operations and the training and the acquisition, um, has a lot of similarities. So, um, yeah. And yeah, we just hit it off and he loved the service marketplace, which is, um, fixing cars at our mobile site and he loved the story.

So yeah, we still work together.

Andrew: The site is up. It’s fixed my car.io. I freaking love your hustle. I think also right now, frankly, with everything that’s going on with COVID, I think it makes more sense than ever I waited months before having my car looked at in any way, because I didn’t want to go into some repair facility. Now in the end, when I went there, it wasn’t as it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Everything was outdoors. They put all kinds of stuff on the car. Still. I would have preferred, they just come check out the car in the garage. Close it out and then we’ll see. Well, we won’t even use a car for another couple of days, just in case you don’t know what COVID means yet. You know? So I understand in this world that this makes way more sense than it did a few months ago.

Prashant: Yeah, especially what we’ve seen Andrew is, um, the customer has, um, have some kind of reluctance to going to shop right now. So there is that, um, part of this. Sorry, but I think in my opinion, it’s just a bump for maybe a six months. So it obviously helps us, but it’s going to come back to normal. At some point.

What we’ve seen is on the mechanic side is a lot of mechanics of getting laid off from the shops and they would want to jump on an operation. You like this because they get the flexibility. They get the compensation, which is twice as much as the industry. And, um, they get consistent work from us. So I’ll give you a quick example.

We’ve had right now, uh, we have about 20, 25 mechanics on a platform, a big portion of it. Them, um, have quit their jobs and move with us full time.

Andrew: And you were not talking about full time, like full time employees. We’re talking about full time making their money from your platform by hustling for jobs or waiting for them to come in.

Prashant: Yeah, by full time. I mean, they’re available full time and whatever your utilization is for the schedule, it’s worth it for them to not be able to go out and be available for someone else.

Andrew: And. Can I get, I know I could get oil change. That’s pretty basic. Can I have my tires changed at my house?

Prashant: Yeah, DIYers is a separate kind of service and it needs a specialized equipment. Okay, so we don’t do tires. Um, but you can get any maintenance work done. So all changes, brakes, um, um, air filter, change, um, suspension issues, steering issues. Um, if you hear any noises, if you see fluid leaks, if you one, I just do an inspection.

All of these services can be done in a driveway. It’s just that the shops shouldn’t exist. They should only exist for 15 to 20% of the heavy jobs. That’s I think in the next, in the next five to 10 years, the shops are only going to be useful for those heavy jobs, because the first, um, route the customer is going to go or any user’s going to go is to be like, Hey, got to have a mechanic come out.

Only if I need those heavy equipment. Um, should I really go to a shop? So that’s not going to be their first preference.

Andrew: You know what I would almost prefer then that they become my advocate and just take it into the shop. You know, if they’re changing my brakes or checking. And the car and they decide that I, or they tell me, look, you need new tires. I’d rather they say, let me take it over. I know two different shops here.

I know the guy is going to give you the best price. It shouldn’t cost more than that. We’ll just take it over and we’ll come back with it. Let them deal with that.

Prashant: Yeah. So that is something that, which, uh, where we are working on right now. So what we are doing is let’s say if we come to your house and we say, Hey, Andrew, we’ve checked your car. And we feel like we’ve done what we could, uh, in a mobile environment. Um, which is by the way, like 80% of the total.

Services, but just in case, if we weren’t able to fix your car, we will be like, Hey Andrew. So we have these shops that we partner with. Um, you pick any shop and we’ll take your car to a shop, fixed, you get an upfront quote and then we’ll drive your car back to you.

Andrew: Yeah, I would love that you guys do it and then maybe you even have a relationship with those shops so that you don’t have to wait in line the way that I would just take it and move on.

Prashant: Yeah, that would be, yeah, that would be something, um, really, cause we eventually, we want to build a relationship with a customer. Like we want them to feel like we are going to take care of all the car services, um, that they would need. So we would want to be the first point of contact for any car repair services.

Andrew: I love this idea so much. I, I don’t want to have to go into a repair shop. I feel like I don’t know enough. You know what I did learn though, negotiate everything. Um, I’m not usually into this stuff and I always go to whatever the company, whoever makes my car, I take my car to them and I’ve learned just negotiate because apparently they, they have room to negotiate.

And it’s kind of a fun thing to do, but I hate that I have to do it because I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

Prashant: Yeah, most people don’t like it. And there’s a certain sense of, there’s a lack of transparency, which kind of boils down to lack of trust. So we, because we are transparent, people can trust us. So like I said, I saw a big lack of trust in the beginning, and I kind of tried to break the problem down into what exactly is lack of trust.

Like where does it come from and what could we do to have the trust with the consumers? And this was one of the things like when you go to a shop, they give you a thousand dollar bill. You’re like, really like, does my car really need this? How do I even know.

Andrew: And, you know what? I also feel that the other thing you’ve got going for you is in a COVID inspired recession, which I think we’re going into, I think people are going to do what I’m doing, which is I’m driving much more. I, I was wondering why am I suddenly caring about a mechanic? And I realized, Oh yeah, I used to just Uber.

Everywhere. I used to Uber. I would take the Lyft, the car company, the ride share company. They’ve got bikes everywhere here. I was, I would take those Hooters once or twice. That’s not my thing. Now. I’m not getting in an Uber as much. I want to get out of the city and go far out. So I’m driving my car a lot more.

And so now little things are becoming an issue and I feel like you’ve got that going for you. When we go into recessions, people are more likely to. Buy tires than cars. They’re more likely to repair than buy new. And this is, this is right up your alley now.

Prashant: Yeah. Yeah. So you’re saying you’d drive more now than before.

Andrew: I hardly ever drove.

Prashant: That’s. Yeah,

Andrew: I live in fricking San Francisco. Where am I going to go? My kids, they don’t even have big. They’re not allowed. Apparently everyone’s going to look down on us. If I have my kids just cross the street to get to the bus stop, but come on. It’s not that big a deal. So we walk over and then that’s it.

There’s nothing else. If I need to get to work, I run to work. I bike to work if it’s really late and I’m tired, I Uber back home. Um, yeah, but suddenly now I gotta drive more.

Prashant: Huh. Interesting. Um, yeah, I think like the general mileage has gone down, uh, what we saw. Um, but I think like, um, yeah, in some parts of the country, like people start driving more and more importantly, they would want to buy a used car as opposed to a new car. And they would wanna like, look for cheaper alternatives as opposed to going to a dealer.

So that’s where we come in as like, our goal is like, as long as a user look, something up online, we can, we can acquire that customer.

Andrew: The site is fixed my car.io. I want to thank the two sponsors who made this interview happen. The first we’ve been talking so much about SEM rush, but listen, don’t take my word for it. Obviously they’re paying go ask your friends who are into content marketing or into marketing online in any, in any way.

And then once they turn you on to how great it is, then use my URL and go to mixergy.com/s E M rush. And the second sponsor. Who was the second sponsor that I use in this interview? I forget who I, who we were talking about even. Oh right. Launch pier. Launch pier launch pier. You are trying to come up with an idea.

If you’re trying to see if your ideas right, go take them free online course. Obviously, if you need them to build, if you’re a non technical cofounder, you need some help building, go check them out too, and they’ll work with you. But if you’re not at that stage, they want to play the long game with you, help you out.

So when you need them, you’ll know how good they are and the best way to get started just to go take their free online course. It’s at launch pier. Remember, they’re going to be your peers side by side with you. They want to be your peer launch pier. Dot com slash Mixergy to get that free course to help you find product market fit.

They’ll basically do for them, for Sean. What that dude at the meetup did for you said no. Yeah, not really a product market fit. Here’s the key idea. Now go do that. Now come back and we’ll see what we can do next. Alright. I talked a whole lot here. Didn’t I Pershant.

Prashant: Yeah, well, that was great. I didn’t know about launch pass and I think it’s a great tool

Andrew: No, I keep calling them launch pad to launch pier

Prashant: Launch spear, sorry. Um, yeah, it’s, it’s a great tool. Like I w when I started out, I did waste a lot of time, um, in things that I didn’t need to. So I think it’s a, it’s a great tool for someone who’s a first time founder, like me, um, trying to not make mistakes, or just trying to like, validate the hypothesis, which is critical to the model, as opposed to just building the product, which may or may not be needed.

Andrew: And they’ve worked over with over 300 entrepreneurs over half a decade, by the way. I’m so freaking hot here. I spent the whole day doing nothing but recording interviews. I now have my kids back at school. So I’m recording from the house. I prefer to be in the office, but okay. We’re in the house. I got lights set up here because I realized that you should be able to see me, but I am in a room with no windows, no air conditioning, no fans, and nothing makes any noise in the house.

There was a little bit of a window open, but somebody was doing some construction here and no Medallia. I said, I gotta close that. Basically I am as hot as a guy in a Mumbai train right now. I am sweating. I can’t wait to get comfortable. Plus I get so worked up in these fricking conversations. All right, Sean.

Thank you so much for being here.

Prashant: Thanks so much for having me, Andrew.

Andrew: You bet. Thanks everyone. Bye.

Published at Mon, 21 Sep 2020 13:00:17 +0000

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