Sales & Startups Interview — Glenn, Co-Founder of Fixir

Couple of months back, I had the opportunity to interview Glenn who runs Fixir, a one stop platform for drivers to find the most cost-effective and reliable workshops for car maintenance.

It was part of my side project to reach out to 100 startups and understand the tough choices entrepreneurs face, and to find out the strategies that have worked for them.

Check out the interview here!

Tony: Hi Glenn, so what does Fixir do?

Currently the usual process is that either you ask your parents, you ask your friends, or you go to Google, you search on forums, you look at different things.

There is a lot of time spent and effort spent, and even at the end of the day you are not too sure whether you can trust the particular workshop.

So, I think the main proposition we are giving is time-saving for people, convenience, and this is what our customers have been telling us also.

Tony: Awesome. Could you share how did you come up with Fixir?

I would like to tell you a bit of a story. Sure, of course. So what happened was that a few months back, my co-founder had a problem with his car. So, he brought his car to his workshop he had always been to, so what happened was that he was quoted 2,000 for a change in gearbox.

So he told to himself, like “hey, I didn’t really want to pay $2,000, so he went to different workshops that specialises in gear boxes and say “how much better rates can I get?” Eventually, he managed to get a rate of $800. That’s actually 50% more cheaper than $2000.

So thats when really, what Fixir is here for. What we want to do, is to solve such a problem, because many a times drivers go down to workshops and the workshops tell them you have to change this change that…everything you need to change, and drivers, you have like a form of asymmetry of information.

You don’t know whether do you really have to change this, so Fixir is here to say like hey, we have the reliable workshops and our workshops won’t be out there to cheat you.

Tony: Could you share some of the ways that you have went out there to find customers?

One of the things is doing flyers, so we gave out few thousand of flyers at carparks, right? And also I think most of the money is spent on digital marketing, in the area of Facebook marketing because at the end (Facebook), we could see what people were liking in terms of the car groups, in terms of what they were interested in, and therefore target people who were more likely to use cars.

Moving forward, we will also be using Google Adwords because sometimes when you have problems with your car, it’s very likely you search for “Google workshops for maybe Audi cars” and then you’ll be able to find maybe Fixir there and realise that hey, there is such a service for me to utilise.

Tony: Could you share some moments where you really hustled, your team really hustled and really got out there to find customers?

Our startup was started probably in August, we really put a lot of effort to talk to workshops, drivers, to understand what they really need.

Over these few months, what we’ve been telling workshops are that “we are not going to charge you, its going to be a pilot testing, it’s going to be free.”

Eventually when we reached December, we realised that we have no money left so we were saying “we need to get some revenue to have some proof of concept” also to get further funding, so what happened was that we went on to workshops, and our story kind of changed a bit to tell them that, we need to get some revenue from you, but this money that we are getting from you, is to do marketing, which is true.

At the end of the day, we want to showcase that the workshops that we are helping that are good workshops, and to be honest I was very skeptical that it would work, because initially we told them that it would be free…and at the end, it’s not free.

But to my surprise, I think the workshops, the workshop owners at the end of the day are entrepreneurs themselves, they started from somewhere. They do realise that starting a business and maintaining it is difficult.

So, I think from there they said, I get you, I get where you are coming from, and I’m going to take a leap of faith. I’m going to give you some money in terms of revenue and then, try your best to bring in customers, and when this pilot period is up, we’ll decide whether to work with you further or not.

So I think that helped us, that helped me to put myself in perspective like, as long as you are providing value, there are people who are willing to pay for that also.

So, that was the moment where I had my eureka moment to say like Fixir is providing value and lets work even harder to make it a success.

From Glenn, I learnt how difficult it can be when convincing your customers to choose you, and how the onus is always to deliver as much value as you can.

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