Welcome to this week's Startup of the Week blog post. Today we are hearing from Luke Willmott, Co-Founder and COO at AutoCoinCars. In this piece, we will not only learn about AutoCoinCars, but also take a deep dive into Luke’s professional journey.
AutoCoinCars is an automotive marketplace that buys and sells vehicles via cryptocurrency. By founding this business with his co-founder and CEO Mustansar Iqbal, Luke has not only been able to combine his two passions, but also convert the intangibility of crypto into the tangible. As Luke says, “Mustansar and I saw a perfect marriage between the two, where crypto holders would finally have a real-world offramp service where they can turn their digital assets into physical assets.” To learn more about AutoCoinCars, check out their about us section of the website.
Being an Advocate for Cryptocurrency
In order to make AutoCoinCars what it is today, Luke has had to be become an advocate for cryptocurrency. The volatility and technicality of the field can initially intimidate users. Luke’s goal is making the field accessible. So far, he has been successful. As he says, “AutoCoinCars has been trading for over 4 years now and we have been growing every year and have achieved thousands of cryptocurrency sales. A number which is increasing thick and fast.”
In addition to being a spokesperson for cryptocurrency, Luke has also readjusted his lifestyle to meet the rigors of running a startup
The Restless Mind of a Startup Founder
Luke is most accurately characterized by the following phrase: a people oriented, initiator who never stops thinking about his next innovation. As he puts it, “I have a mind that struggles to sleep. It is constantly coming up with new ideas and thoughts.” He found entrepreneurship as the ideal venue to apply his restless mind. Instead of being intimidated by the lack of an existing framework, Luke thrives when he is given the freedom to create. As he says, “it gives me a great sense of pride to be leading a business that is pioneering the way with such a new, innovative business and that also solves the issue of having a way to spend cryptocurrency for consumers.”
Luke would tell you though that being creative isn’t enough to run a startup. He says that all budding businesses also require strong relationships with customers, providers, and staff.
Perfecting Demand and Supply
Luke rightly says that building rapport with clients is the foundation of a thriving business. This is not necessarily easily achieved when you don’t have a physical office space where clients can come to. Nonetheless, Luke has been able to create rapport with AutoCoinCars’ customers by cultivating a strong social media presence and a smooth customer experience on their website. It turns out that satisfied clients who write reviews about their experience with AutoCoinCars have been a key factor in the successful promotion and expansion of his business. Establishing good customer service also made AutoCoinCars more resilient to external hardships, particularly during the pandemic.
The lesson here is clear: founders should invest in creating a solid reputation. While online businesses have to work twice as hard to attract their clientele, it is possible to nurture loyal support in a remote environment. It’s a labour intensive, but necessary step to running a thriving online business.
A final critical piece of running an online business is creating strong partnerships with suppliers. As Luke would probably tell you himself, having reliable suppliers is equally as important as creating a strong consumer base. In other words, founders should ensure that both supply and demand are growing in tandem.
Advice for overcoming challenges as a Startup Founder
Despite being passionate about his work, founding AutoCoinCars has required Luke to readjust his lifestyle on several fronts.
First, being a founder has meant that he has to become someone his staff can rely on to make the right decisions on big challenges. He has also had to become comfortable working outside of typical office hours. Luke’s words of wisdom for founders who are leading teams and building a business from scratch is to be prepared to fight for your dream. He says, “if you come across a problem, or feel stuck, think completely outside of your field, get creative, go back to the drawing board. There is always something more you can do to solve your problems and to elevate your business to a new level.”
In closing we want to thank AutoCoinCars for participating in this project, and Luke Willmott for sharing the story of his professional journey. Your advice and experience will undoubtedly resonate with our readers. We also want to express our gratitude to Becca C., Marketing Lead at Auto Coin Cars, who helped bring this piece to fruition.