Matt Brown, founder of ThatsUs.com, which was recently named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, developed his business model while operating several eBay retail stores. "I opened a store which helped consumers and businesses liquidate inventory via online marketplaces in 2005. That business quickly grew to multiple stores and ultimately a franchise of just under 100 locations," Brown said. "It was those stores that led us into building the technology which is what we do today and that is help businesses leverage their inventory online, typically in marketplaces that require heavy human capital to manage."
ThatsUs.com provides two such platforms. LotVantage, which helps automotive dealerships manage and control their brand and inventory across online classified and social media sites. "Our technology helps dealerships manage their inventory and brand on popular classified marketplaces such as eBay and craigslist, among several other sites," said Brown. "In addition, the technology also empowers our clients to simultaneously communicate their brand message and marketing material on social media. We take time intensive processes and automate them."
The second platform is Sellervantage. "SellerVantage started as a result of those eBay stores," Brown said. "I was managing the stores using spreadsheets and a home grown database and needed a more efficient process as it was getting overwhelming and expensive to operate without a software. I hired a development staff to help design and build a custom solution which became SellerVantage. This product not only helps small businesses manage inventory, but it also automatically syndicates the inventory to eBay and Amazon.com among other classified websites."
Brown gives much of the kudos to his team for being recognized as a GrowFL Company To Watch. "I'm personally very proud of the recognition," he said. "The reason we're being recognized by GrowFL is because of my team and what they've been able to accomplish, great technology is available everywhere, good people is another thing."
Brown's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to not underestimate the capital requirement of a successful startup launch. "Multiply by three the amount of money (and time) you think you will need," he said. "I've had a number of businesses struggle and that typically revolved around not being able to scale customers and revenue quickly enough before running out of money. Oh, and find good mentors."