One of the most fun parts of my job is that I have the opportunity to meet, interact and get inspired by fascinating Entrepreneurs. So I’ve decided to interview some of them as I believe that their story, challenges, and advice will inspire other entrepreneurs as well.
The first interview is with Austin Rothbard. Austin is the Founder & CEO of TwistedRoad.com, the Airbnb of motorcycles. Prior to starting TwistedRoad.com end of 2017, Austin was President at World Kitchen LLC. My own motorcycle is listed on the platform.
- What is TwistedRoad and why did you start your business?
My business is Twisted Road. We connect motorcycle riders with motorcycles so that they can rent a bike and ride anywhere they want. So if you have a bike sitting idle in the garage, you can list it on our site. Then, if someone is traveling to your area and wants to experience the area on two wheels, they can rent your iron horse through our platform.
We are doing for motorcycles what Airbnb did for homes.
I started the company after being continually discouraged with the lack of rental options. Grand Canyon. Italy. Even Greensboro, North Carolina. Options and convenience were both limited, so I started it myself.
- What keeps you up at night? And how do you try to tackle that challenge?
The biggest challenge is for us to grow rapidly. We are a young company, and we continue to see weekly growth, but in order to benefit from the low fixed costs of operations, our business must scale.
There are two things we do to address this. First, we do everything we can to connect with as many riders as we can as often as we can. The more we can build awareness, the faster we will grow. Second, we make sure that every experience with our company is extraordinary.
- What is the single most successful thing you are doing that is helping you grow your business?
Ulli, this is embarrassing to say, as it’s is both a blessing and a curse. I never stop looking for ways to get better. If the company is growing at 5% a week, I’ll push it to 10%. If we have 100 bikes on our site, I want 200. If a customer emails us, I want to respond within the hour (perhaps within 15 minutes). So I am always on, always looking to get better, and always pushing.
- Based on your own experience, what advice would you give other entrepreneurs and small business owners?
Be humble. Ask questions. Connect. I really don’t know much, but I am good at making strategic connections, listening to people, and asking questions. The more I speak with riders, the more I grow, and in turn, the more my company grows. I’m not connecting with others to grow the business – I’m connecting because I love it. The biproduct is that the business grows.
One more thing – don’t start a business for any other reason than because you see a problem and you want to solve it. Don’t do it for the status (there isn’t any, especially in the early stages), don’t do it for the money, and don’t do it because you hate your boss. Make sure that you are 100% passionate about what you are doing. My life is tough but fun. If I had started this company for the wrong reasons, it would just be tough!
- What is your favorite online resource? (if you have any)
Instagram. But only because it helps me meet new riders all around the world!
You can connect with Austin on LinkedIn and Instagram. And make sure to check out the TwistedRoad site and Instagram page.
If you are an entrepreneur and would like to be part of this series, send me an email. I’d love to hear from you and your business. First The Trousers is a brand strategy an innovation boutique with a special suite of strategic services for Entrepreneurs, start-ups and small business owners.
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