This week on Xero Gravity, we speak with Andrew Sharp, CEO of global shoe brand Bobux. He’s also the co-founder of car tracking software Blackhawk. But don’t call him an entrepreneur – he doesn’t consider himself one. He believes the term gets thrown around too freely and explains his reasoning on this episode. Also discussed? Selling products in the age of Amazon, and why philanthropical business models aren’t always the answer.
When others are trying to find their purpose and make an impact, Andrew Sharp believes that a business’s first priority should be survival. He isn’t afraid to admit that sometimes it IS about the money – pointing out that “If you’re not making money, then you’re going to go out of business. So what kind of impact can you actually make if you’re not here?”
And although Andrew is results-driven first, he’s carried over the core values he learned as a child to the way he does business. Choosing the path of honesty and integrity every time. “You’ve got to make sure you stand true to your word. That’s a big part of leadership. Your actions have to back up your words, or else your words become meaningless,” he says.
As we get deeper into our conversation with Andrew, it’s clear that the changing environment of retail is a tricky subject. Where should your beliefs sit when your customers are retail stores – smaller mom and pop shops, bigger retail chains as well as online markets like Amazon?
“These guys [mom and pop shops] need help on how to talk to their local markets better and how to use social media. Someone to say ‘Here are some other tools at your disposal to help you compete against the bigger guys coming in.’”
And according to Andrew, there’s sometimes a disconnect among consumers choosing a product only based on price and their desire to support the store down the street.
“I have a problem with the way that people are discarding what they value in a service to get a cheaper price,” he says.
Tune in to hear more from Andrew Sharp on Xero Gravity #96. He’s talking about the days he attended functions solely because there was food, and the effect Brexit had on Bobux. And you don’t want to miss Andrew answer the age old question: Are feet bigger in Germany or Australia?
- Start with Why – Simon Sinek
If you enjoyed this episode, join us again next week when we chat with Hans Frauenlob, the man who introduced curling to New Zealand. And it turns out, Hans is one of the country’s most inspiring entrepreneurs! Be sure to check out all of our previous episodes for more small business tips, resources and insights.
What would you like to hear?
Got a topic you’d like to hear discussed? Or a business expert you admire and would like to hear from? Let us know in the comments below!