Jermaine Brown is a local Atlanta-based entrepreneur who bootstrapped his B2C automotive e-commerce company, CCAW Automotive Group, to more than $10 million in annual revenue. He is currently a partner at Outlander Labs, an early-stage investment firm that specializes in companies with an outlandish vision.
Jermaine recently teamed up with Saltbox for a Concrete Conversation to talk about raising capital for your business and strategizing exits for e-commerce startups and creating the right environment for entrepreneurship.
Here are a few of the highlights from our discussion with Jermaine.
RAISING CAPITAL FOR YOUR BUSINESS
If you are considering raising capital for your business, begin by asking yourself three questions:
- How big is your market?
- How big do you think your company could get?
- How quickly do you want to get there?
If you identify that the market is sizeable and you’ve determined that you need to grow quickly, you may want to consider a fundraising round.
If you’re not sure about an exit strategy, remember that lucrative acquisitions are possible for e-commerce companies — even very niche ones.
- Companies like Quiet Light Brokerage and FE International are great platforms for e-commerce M&A. You can reach out to them for a free evaluation.
- A good rule of thumb is to start working on selling your business 18 months before you want to sell it.
Some advice for new entrepreneurs from Jermaine’s work:
- Know and lean into your strengths! Tools like StrengthsFinder can help you identify them.
- Always have an entrepreneurial support system, like the community of doers and makers you’ll find at Saltbox.
- When you start with the end in sight, the path gets much clearer. Know where you want to take your company and then work backwards.
A huge thanks to Jermaine Brown for taking the time to meet with the Saltbox community and discuss raising capital for your business!!
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