Sriracha2Go: Building a Successful Start Up Business that Earned Mark Cuban's Investment
November 18, 2015 91 min read
Building a startup company is a dream that can either blow up or fizzle in an instant. For Sriracha2Go, a company that sells keychain bottles for the famous Sriracha sauce, it was social media exposure and a unique idea that not only blew up their sales, but also earned them an investor named Mark Cuban.
In the Ninth episode of Skubana’s E-Commerce Mastery Series where we invite experts of their respected fields to share their best practices for success, our host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz of InspiredInsider.com interviews Farbod Deylamian and Kyle Lewis of Sriracha2Go.
Some essential lessons include:
- Although the business may be growing, the next few steps are absolutely crucial to ensuring that your business grows and not folds.
- Lessons you learn by working at start up companies.
- How networking and finding the right connections can ensure you develop profitable relationships
- How Sriracha2Go used social media marketing to become an Internet sensation.
Raw Transcript: Farbod Deylamian and Kyle Lewis of Sriracha2Go
"It's something that I highly recommend to a lot of people, because just from working at a startup, you get insight and visibility into a lot more than you would at a company like Oracle, which I've also had firsthand experience with. You get to see a little bit more of a sliver of how things are actually done in a business. And you have more input. You can help build things like sales strategy, marketing strategy, things of that nature."(00:06:08)
"Over-hiring. Over-hiring, I think was like, for me, personally, and I think...I won't speak for Kyle, but I think a big part of that for him as well where you have some success and you obviously have...there's pressure from the board to hit some numbers. But I've been at a few startups and I've noticed...not all of them, but there are definitely a lot out there that over-hire and then they have to scale back, and then that's going to lead to layoffs, and then that leads to morale issues. Leads to people leaving. And then it's really hard to come back from that. I get wanting to grow fast and just hit it out of the park. But once the layoffs start, people are looking over their shoulder and always worried about their job. That...there's a sense of people being scared and sometimes, that works in the benefit, but it also leads to a lot of people looking for work." (00:06:54)
"You're addicted to this funding. And if you don't get that next round, the company's gone. As a result, the leaders of that company decide to invest all this money in sales teams and I think that's what Farbod was mentioning; people end up over-hiring and they kind of go overboard." (00:08:45)
"I think that's one of the best skills you can have as an entrepreneur, is being willing to network and ask people for favors, and ask them for advice. And I think what you'll find most often is that people are really willing to give advice. People who have been through it before, they get it, they understand." (00:25:00)
"I highly recommend Amazon FBA--Fulfillment by Amazon. And if you can find a way to build your supply chain so that it eliminates a lot of the work that you personally have to do, I think that's the optimal way. But it takes time. Basically, what that means is trying to get the product to Amazon as quickly and easily as possible. And leveraging...like Farbod was saying, leveraging their reach and their network is great. And Amazon Prime FBA gets you more visibility within their ranking system. Something else that's also worked really well for us is Amazon Promotions which is basically like an ad-buying platform with an Amazon system. So that you can target users based on what they're searching for on Amazon. A very simple example is a lot of people go on Amazon and they search for sriracha. Well, we want to be there when somebody is searching for sriracha. Because if they're buying from Amazon, they're likely buying sriracha in bulk, and those are definitely the people that we want seeing our product." (01:36:20)
We hope these real insights from a real seller can help your e-commerce business grow and succeed. Stay tuned - this will be an ongoing weekly series featuring a variety of e-commerce experts looking to provide you with hard-won knowledge free of charge.
Checkout out our previous E-Commerce Mastery Series episode featuring Jordan Gal of Carthook.com and how to minimize your cart abandonment rate and retain your customers.
Work Smart. Sell More.
Written By Chad Rubin
Chad Rubin is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Skubana, a multichannel e-commerce software the enables brands to unlock growth by unifying their back-office operations.