This is the first post of our new monthly blog series which highlights awesome companies that use Printout Designer.
And we start off with Hurtle Gear, an inspiring story how two motorcycle fanatics ditched the their desk jobs and set out to build an online store to start their business selling what they knew best – motorcycle equipment. Graeme and Dave manage their business from a beautiful South Western coastal town Bunbury in Australia which is a synonym for their comfortable and flexible style of running the office, sometimes barefoot. Yet with meticulous stock picking and professional approach to business management and with a little help from a couple of online tools they keep their venture growing and five star reviews coming.
What pushed you to take action and start the business?
We were tired of the “9 to 5” office routine of having to be somewhere every day, chained to a desk. We felt that by starting our own business we could have more flexibility, start when we want, finish when we want, and have more fun. Both of us ride motorcycles, so the obvious choice was for a motorcycle related store.
Where and how did you acquire your first customers?
Our business started off as solely online. So our first customers came through our website www.hurtlegear.com.au. Like all new websites, we had to advertise on search engines to get those first initial customers.
After becoming established which channels started bringing in most sales and traffic?
The majority of our sales still come through our website, and those sales tend to come from (in order):
- organic search engine traffic
- paid search engine traffic
- other online advertising such as shopping portals, affiliate links, and social media advertising
Because we are located in Australia, we don’t have access to some of the other large shopping portals from around the world yet (eg. Amazon)
What has been your biggest mishap or failure, what have you learned from it?
Our business is growing rapidly, so a big headache for us has always been stock management. In the early days we often sold something, only to find out our inventory system was out and we didn’t have the item. This led to a lot of headaches for us and the customer. Over the years we have refined our processes and systems to be as accurate as possible. Now, our website shows how many we have of each item, in real time, and it’s almost always spot-on accurate.
What kind of atmosphere exists in the office?
Very, very relaxed. Hey, often we don’t even wear shoes! We are located in a coastal town in a beautiful part of the south west of Western Australia. In keeping with the relaxed Australian lifestyle, it’s not uncommon to come to the office in board shorts (bathers) and flip-flops. We also have pretty flexible start and finish times!
What does the back office of Hurtle Gear look like? Which tools are you using to run the business?
Apart from the physical packing and sending of items, our business is managed almost entirely online. We have a number of online tools that help us run the business, including:
- our website
- inventory management systems (Stitch)
- eBay integration systems (ChannelUnity)
- administration systems (Printout Designer)
- other website plugins including “InStockNotify”
How has Printout Designer changed the workflow in the office?
Printout Designer saves us time by not having to handwrite customer parcels. It lets us print out all the day’s labels in one go, saving us a lot of time. It also lets us customise our own Invoices, including unique product identifiers that help our packers find the right product faster.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of this venture so far?
There’s nothing quite like being your own boss. Although that comes with it’s own challenges, there is a level of freedom that the average office employee simply doesn’t have.
It has taken some trial and error for Graeme and Dave to find out what works best for Hurtle Gear. With maintaining a website which brings in the most sales, finding the apps that help cut down time spent on operations and carefully selecting their employees while keeping the environment light they have developed a business which is relaxed yet reliable.
Printout Designer enables you to create invoices, packing slips, labels and other printouts with a truly customized look, independent of the e-commerce platform you use. You can customize every aspect of your business document creation process without wasting countless hours. Read more about Printout Designer from printoutdesigner.com