In this week’s episode of Dadages, host Chad Hagle continues his conversation with Ryan Lawrence in the first installment of Entrepreneur’s Corner. Chad and Ryan are in Santa Clarita, CA, at Ryan’s Vintage Chariots retail location.
The discussion begins with the topic of capital raising for early-stage companies. Ryan gets Chad’s insight on how to navigate the world of venture capital and seeking investments, who to approach, how much to ask for, and ways to spend money from investors effectively. Chad emphasizes the importance of confidence and knowing how to tell your story in a compelling way that shows potential, as this relates to success with investors as well. Chad also offers advice on protecting your brand, keeping it clear, and how to use trademarks and intellectual property correctly as a company grows.
The talk continues with an important topic for any business: money. Ryan asks for Chad’s opinion on how to manage inventory and keep costs down, specifically in apparel. “It’s very unpredictable,” is how Chad describes it; therefore, it’s important to create a good relationship with suppliers to negotiate reorders in a way that allows the business to identify what specific products are successful without amassing inventory and maximizing the cost, or even coming up with alternative methods of production for the top products. Chad also offers tips to increase sales in the store and engage the customers and strategies to deal with excess inventory while still generating value.
The next topic the interview touches on is scalability. Ryan shares his concerns about possibly cheapening his brand as it continues to grow. Chad’s fundamental piece of advice regarding this is “grow cautiously.” This means growing while preserving the integrity of the brand and what makes it unique. He mentions the fact that he favors incremental businesses in his own investments, those that get profitable and then get big.
Ryan then talks about some of the specific aspects of his business, like his margins, prices, his customer base, and quality of his products in the industry. Chad and Ryan also discuss the changes the business can go through as it scales in the future. Chad once again advises to stick with what works and continue doing it. Finally, Chad gives guidance to Ryan on how to delegate. Ryan has handled all the details of his business so far, and while he wants to maintain his creativity, he recognizes that he needs help sometimes.
This is the second part of the first series of the new Entrpeneur’s Corner format, where the script is flipped and the guest asks the host questions. Make sure you tune in to learn about all the different aspects of business from experienced entrepreneurs.