Today we want to share an interview with you from the automotive sector. Rick Cebulla, the founder of pkwNOW, gives us some insights on his company and himself.
pkwNOW is a auction-based platform for the automotive sector. Focused on car dealerships, pkwNOW enables users to quickly sign up and open up their car for auction and purchase offers.
FundingSpree: How did you come up with the idea for your startup?
Rick Cebulla: I grew up in the car industry. After finishing highschool, I began an apprenticeship as a car mechanic. Once I finished that, I began another apprenticeship, this time as a car salesman – and so finally became ready for the huge automobile sector. I began as a sales consultant and brand manager in multiple car dealership companies. By chance, I stumbled upon Freelancer work in the car sales business, and ended up doing that fulltime for 6 years, consulting car dealerships and helping out with their reoccurring problems. Thus, I was able to gain deep insights on what moves and shakes the business, and what problems car dealers regularly face. And that’s how the idea for pkwNOW came about!
FS: What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome so far?
RC: The biggest challenge was overcoming myself. I am a perfectionist, I do everything with 100%. If you found a startup alone, you have to cover every part of a company: legal, finance, design, recruiting, administrative activities, etc. – apart from the actual company. You want and need to master all parts, and that takes a lot of energy and time. Sometimes I probably have allocated my time and priorities wrong, and I have made mistakes which I wouldn’t make now anymore.
Looking back, I can say that I was fully able to take on the challenge. So far, pkwNOW has been privately funded. In the medium to long term we can see ourselves working with other investors and partners too though.
FS: Tell us about one anecdote which made your transition to working for a startup worth it
RC:There aren’t really any certain stories I can tell you. The whole project has been that anecdote which makes working for a startup worth it!
FS: Is there any growth hack you use to improve/scale your business or to make some of your workflows more efficient?
RC: Not really. We do not use Instagram or Facebook. We only have a Twitter account, but do not use it effectively. A good Project grows by word-of-mouth – probably that is what pushes our growth.
FS: Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about starting their own company?
RC: The oldest tip in the book – do you have family? And is this family ready to take this step with you?
Your mind will think about your “baby” 24/7 – while you might not be in the office the whole time, you are thinking about your company even when you fall asleep. Your significant other and your family must be able to understand, allow, and support you in your endeavour, and allow you to fully focus on your business. Believe in yourself and your idea! Make sure to see if the market fit is there though beforehand, and if the idea is worth your time. I personally would take this step again and again.
FS: Which sectors do you think have the most potential for innovation right now and why?
RC: This question I can answer quite easily: the biggest potential lies where there doesn’t exist a market yet!
FS: If you will start another company, is there anything you would do differently the second time around?
RC: My next project is already in the works, and I will do everything the same way like I did with pkwNOW. The only difference lies in the fact that this project will be founded with a cofounder.
FS: Thank you for the insights, and keep rocking!