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A challenge of launching and running a new business is managing growth. Paul Davis and Jim Meyer of the car-sharing company Hubber shared with me their advice to entrepreneurs in the start-up phase.
Jim: Grow first and create a system second. A plan can look great on paper but you need to get the business up and running. It’s only when you’re in operation that you can figure out whether or not the business is going to work.
Will expanding be relatively easy and low cost for you since your overhead is low and your website is scalable?
Jim: Yeah, one of the questions we’ve wondered is what does it cost to open in a new city?
When you actually do it, you may say, wow, this will cost a lot less than what we thought. We’ve worked out the kinks of being on the ground here and not in-housing everything and not staffing 24-7. And finding uses of technology to allow us to be efficient.
Most rental car companies don’t do that. They’ll have the counter and they’ll have the 10 guys and that’s their business model.
The industries that are out there to support rental car companies reflect how traditional companies operate. That part of it is part of the experiment to allow us to expand quickly with limited capital.
We’ve stubbed our toe a lot getting here. It didn’t just fall in our lap.