This is a follow up story for Santafixie. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published almost 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello, I’m Xavi Claveria, the founder of Santafixie. Santafixie is an e-commerce focused on urban and gravel bicycles, and since 2018 we are a DNB with our own products (Bicycles and components). Santafixie is now a mix of a marketplace where we sell third brands and our SNTFX Brand.
Since 2018, our flagship products are our bicycles Santafixie Raval and Born, all of them designed and built one by one in our headquarters in Barcelona.
On average, our monthly turnover is 310.000€. Our main markets are France, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, UK, Germany, and Denmark. International sales represent 85% of our turnover. Being France our main market with 30% of the turnover.
In terms of sales, Santafixie bikes represent around 60% of all bikes we are selling. The rest are third brands on our marketplace.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to! Has the business been growing?
I would summarise in 3 points:
1) For most e-commerce, the pandemic boosted their turnover. In Santafixie, we had the most successful months in terms of revenue during the pandemic lockdown.
We experienced a mix of various positive dynamics:
- People spending more time at home.
- Physical shops closed.
- Impossibility to spend your money on other activities like traveling.
- The benefits of cycling compared to other methods of transport in terms of Covid-19.
2) Apart from that, we started to focus again on improving our SEO just some months before the pandemic, which was a good decision.
In some European countries, SEO traffic represents around 40-50% of total traffic. Organic search represents our main channel of sales.
Our second main acquisition channel is the direct one, and that's because our brand awareness is in a good shape, after constantly investing on it.
3) During that time, at Santafixie we opened two new markets , German and Denmark, that allowed us to reach more potential customers. Our turnover in Germany and Denmark now represents around 10% of the total.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
In October 2021 I made 2 year since I decided to resign my position of CEO.
It was not an easy decision and obviously, I had a tough time before taking this step. Above all, I put myself in the center of the decision and I asked myself what I wanted to do in my daily life. And I realised that after 8 years of being the CEO of Santafixie thinking about Santafixie 24 hours, 365 days per year, I needed to disconnect from the company and fulfil my energy again.
So yes, I resigned my position as a CEO, however, I am still the main partner and member of the Board.
If you hire good professionals, they will work in the company's aim, and If they feel that you trust them they will give the best to you and to the company.
The company CEO position was taken for my co-founder Juan Pablo Alberca, who is managing the company with energy, good direction, and strength.
Nowadays I'm a Financial, Strategy and Operations advisor in several companies, and I'm launching a new project with my wife, it's called Triptohelp.org. Trip to Help is an online platform that promotes sustainable, conscious and regenerative tourism. We offer authentic and immersive once in a lifetime travel experiences around the world, working closely with NGO's, local communities and associations. We act as travel curators, we analyse and select the experiences and the local projects we collaborate with, and travelers always know where their money goes and the projects it's invested in.
Have you read any good books in the last year?
Yes, my last two books that I read are the following:
1) Naomi Klein On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal.
One of my hobbies is traveling around the world. Travelling allows you to learn about cultures, wildlife and a lot of things that at home in the city you don’t. One of the things you realise is how the first world (USA, Europe, China…) is destroying the entire earth. My interest in Climate change has increased during the last few years while traveling to some regions like Pagatonia, Guatemala or Amazonas in Peru where you see firsthand how climate change is affecting the planet, and will affect our lifestyle sooner or later.
2) A confederacy of dunces, of John Kennedy Toole. “A classic” in literature.
I would like to add that one of my favourite writers is Don Winslow.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
A good leader has to inspire and motivate the rest of the team. The theory is easy, but the reality is not. There are millions of tips, but for me one of the most important things is to be coherent. Coherent in your ideas, with your team, and with your company and also coherent between what you do in your daily work and what you say.
If you are not coherent, your team will realise and they will get confused and sometimes quite lost on what to do or what not to do.
Your team needs to understand their goals and the goal of the company. And obviously, as a CEO, you don’t know everything so when you are not 100% sure about something specific, then rely on your team. If you hire good professionals, they will work in the company aim, and If they feel that you trust them they will give the best to you and to the company.
In a summary:
- Trust your team. Work closely with them on their objectives, but don't go in detail and tell them how to do everything, they are not robots, they are humans, and they know how to do their job. Basically don't micromanage!
However, If results are not good, then analyse the reasons and make decisions. The faster you can, don't use time to postpone though decisions: they are, most of the time, crucial.
- Don’t change your opinion or give different opinions on the same issue so often. That makes your team confused and having an employee confused is one of the worst things for a company.
- And negotiate, sometimes it is better to negotiate with them rather than setting big objectives that they do not believe in. Agree with them, convince them they can do something and give them the tools in order to meet the objective. No tools for them means failure.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
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