In recent years, the concept of side hustles seem to be raging, with more and more people trying to start their own ventures on the side, especially with regards to online businesses.
With the Internet providing us virtually unfettered access to the world’s population, more people are leveraging on the reach to worldwide audiences to start their own small businesses.
In this episode, we speak to Ethan and Travis, who started Collaro on the side before diving into it as a full-time job after it gained traction.
Who is Ethan & Travis?
Ethan and Travis are the founders of Collaro, a custom menswear brand that aims to make quality custom menswear more accessible to men of all shapes and sizes.
Ethan and Travis worked on perfecting their craft by learning from masters of the industry and were growing the business on the side alongside their full-time jobs, until they gained sufficient traction and they decided to make the leap into becoming full-time entrepreneurs.
Today, Collaro has expanded beyond Singapore and serves customers from all around the world!
Managing Customers’ Expectations
Over the past few years, Travis and Ethan have met all kinds of customers, some of which doubted their abilities when they first started out. While it was demoralising at times, they learned to manage and convey the expectations to their customers so that they know what to expect.
Occasionally, they would encounter customers with unrealistic expectations, and they have learned that sometimes they might be a better fit for another brand instead of theirs. Part of the reason for passing on certain customers is also because they don’t want to have an unsatisfied customer.
It is definitely something for us to keep in mind, that we should convey the right expectations to our customers, and if we are unable to meet those expectations, it might be better to let someone else fulfill their needs instead.
Along the way, Ethan and Travis have also developed empathy, not only with their customers, but also their corporate partners. They learned how to better put themselves in their customers’ shoes to know what they are potentially thinking of and how they can make things better.
For their corporate partners, they have also learned to be more understanding when certain mistakes occur, and learn how to work together more effectively. These factors have helped them to develop warm relationships with the people around them, which is one of the reasons why they continue to expand and grow.
Celebrating Mini Successes
While they have big dreams for Collaro, Travis and Ethan consistently celebrate the mini successes that they enjoy. Whenever they hit certain milestones, or when a customer gives them raving reviews, they would celebrate these successes, even on a weekly basis.
As they mentioned during the interview, patience is very important and the journey is a long-term one. Therefore, celebrating these mini successes serves as a reminder that they’re on track to achieve what they set out to do.
Some questions I asked:
- How did the two of you end up founding Collaro together? (01:35)
- What were some of the challenges you faced during the expansion into international markets? (08:39)
- Did anyone question your decision to leave a well-established job to pursue Collaro? (11:52)
In this episode, you will learn:
- Taking the plunge from side hustle to full-time job (02:47)
- The need to manage customer’s expectations (16:59)
- Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs (22:48)