Running the Bases with Small Businesses

HomeRoots - B2B Online Shopping

February 20, 2023 Randy Rohde & Gill Bar-Lev Season 2 Episode 31
Running the Bases with Small Businesses
HomeRoots - B2B Online Shopping
Show Notes Transcript

Running the Bases today with Gil Bar-Lev from HomeRoots. Gil Bar-Lev is a serial entrepreneur specializing in e-commerce, technology, and software engineering. He had the opportunity to work for Toys R Us and Amazon, and was awarded the most innovative web store award from Amazon in 2013. Growing up in a family of CPAs, he was always interested in coding and software development, which led him to start the Home Roots platform, a digital B2B wholesale solution. Gil advises entrepreneurs in the DTC and B2B space to have a killer product and invest in marketing to stand out in the competitive market.

Key Lessons

  • Gil Bar-Lev is an experienced serial entrepreneur in e-commerce, technology, and software engineering.
  • He was awarded the most innovative web store award from Amazon in 2013.
  • He advises entrepreneurs in the DTC and B2B space to have a killer product and invest in marketing to stand out in the competitive market.

After attending a trade show in North Carolina, Gil went from a career in e-commerce to creating the HomeRoots platform, a digital B2B wholesale solution. HomeRoots is a platform for small and medium-sized businesses selling furniture and home decor items to enter the American market.

It works with factories worldwide to get its products into the US, and then lists them on its platform. These products can then be sold to retailers and end consumers. HomeRoots is a B2B platform that makes it easier for companies to purchase wholesale goods.

They have three fulfillment centers in New Jersey, Ohio and LA, and are raising $12 million in new funding.

Gil’s thoughts for entrepreneurs 

  • Passion, Listen, Pivot, Don’t be defensive - Better to raise prices than compromise value or product integrity
  • Leverage Relationships - Don’t do everything yourself
  • Get Feedback - Find out what they like and dislike about your product

To learn more about Gil and HomeRoots visit:

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and then I'm just gonna do a simple countdown from three and then and then just a moment there and then we'll do Do the pre-roll and then we'll get going all right? Sounds good three two one Rody and I'm fascinated with entrepreneurs and small business owners plus I love baseball Every show I sit down with a small business owner and we discussed there running the bases of Entrepreneurship we throw the ball around on strategy management execution and innovation Plus a little fun baseball tug Hey, thanks for joining us today settle in grab your cracker jacks and you know what they say Playball and it's a great day for a ball game Hey, thanks for joining us. This is Randy Rody with running the bases with small businesses and Today our guest he's quite something actually. He's a serial entrepreneur He's found his passion at the intersection of technology and e-commerce Born and raised in Israel. He's a software engineer by trade receiving a BS in computer science from HIT Israel in 2002 he relocated to new Jersey That's quite a hop to lead a major financial project for toys are us Networking their physical stories around the globe with headquarters This project coincided with the beginnings of online e-commerce Our guest strategized and led toys are us's word Technical integration with Amazon and then since his departure from Toyser us He has launched and sold multiple e-commerce businesses and is consulted with companies in the wholesale retail and e-commerce Verticals He's pretty good at what he does he was awarded the winner of the 2013 most innovative Web store by Amazon and in 2018 he founded his latest company home routes and for the past four years has been combining his passion for furniture e-commerce and technology to disrupt the B2B furniture wholesale platform Very excited. Please welcome to the show Gil Bar love my pleasure being here today with you. Thank you very much for your very kind words during the introduction Wow, you you're pretty impressive I'm gonna I want to hit you up about that Amazon word, but first I Have to ask because my kids were like really he was with Toyser us and I'm like well, I think you know I don't know if he was an actual employee of Toyser. I see did a lot of work for Toyser us and they're like did he meet Jeffrey? Actually, I did yes, so their headquarters Used to be about 20 minutes drive from where I used to live Wow, yeah, and so I used to go there every time and Jeffrey was at the entrance Obviously into their into their it's headquarters. Yeah, which headquarters in it was in Wayne, New Jersey Yeah, and then of course within the building itself as you move between the buildings You would see it You would see the puppet Jeffrey Jeffrey and also every almost every cubicle used to have a short, you know, small version of a puppet of Jeffrey to the trust. Oh my gosh. How fun playing out there. Yeah, my kids and would see the puppet Jeffrey Oh my gosh. How fun playing out there. Yeah, my kids love Jeffrey Yes, yes, yes, so that was probably quite the experience I think with Toyser us at that time and they still live I was you know when you were coming on I wanted to go like you know, I know I've read something even more recent and I think just within the last couple of months They've announced a partnership with Macy's to set up boutique shops in the Macy's stores You can still shop at Toyser us online. I know if some of your Handy work is still amidst the code of What you see online at the moment, but what was that experience like doing work for Toyser us? Especially at that time when e-commerce was really starting to So so first I'll touch upon the fact that I'm actually I heard about the news with Macy's and It's fun because I had this in conversation with my with my wife a Couple weeks back about how us as kids, you know, it's very sad actually is many different retail stores are You yeah from the world and it's a sad because I do remember for us as kids and as we you know grew up and even in Israel We've said to Toyser us we had that you know, when you go into a toy store and you had this wow effect of having all those games, activities and everything. So, wow. And now we're looking and I have kids, I have three kids. experience And, you know, looking back at them, they're missing some of that experience, right? Or I'm thinking about the future kids, right? It's not the same. you know, the world is evolving, but still you have this legacy thoughts or, you know, you can do great for something that was there in a past experience of touching the goods playing with them, shaking the boxes a little bit, finger out maybe what's there or what's the lights are. It's missing. So I'm actually very happy for them doing this partnership with Macy's. I will candidly admit that my doing with them back in the day, I doubt that it's still alive. I would love to say that it is, but I don't think love to say that it I would doubt that to just knowing how evolves. I doubt. But the experience was, I tell you what, so my first experience with them was actually was not even related to more of the e-commerce, this was really more related on the financial space to things and how do you really put together stores from different places in the world together in a one single financial system, which was a very challenging task. can imagine different currencies, different way of payments, different economies, languages, altars, the way they see money, and it's very much different than how you track that. But then I was lucky enough that my manager at that time was very happy and very entrepreneur and spirit. I submitted again, again, in opposed to some other leadership members of the leadership team, but he actually was pushing me for innovation for the terms of us. what else can be done in the e-commerce world? Now, they're a very hesitant to move forward by themselves or to open up their store, which is something that later on they've done, but at the beginning, they're a very hesitant and they were looking to find a different way to get engaged. Again, that was post the bubble that burst in the 2000s and the internet, everybody was pretty much afraid about this, what's going to happen, and even though I started a little bit later, but the trauma was already there. So the experience was to work there with people, it was amazing. Amazing experience. can imagine you have toys all over the place. Oh yeah. And I'm not kidding. literally toys all over the place. You can't even be, you know, it's hard to get into an argument where Jeffries looking at you from the back of the person or to you know, you have no candies, you know, walking around in the building. It's tough to get. a feel good. Yeah. Yeah. very tough. But on the other hand, it was an amazing experience for me because I got an opportunity to pretty much do something from scratch that they did not have any touch with up to that point, which is to reach out to Amazon getting it, getting it with getting the the the conflict person, get this project, this partnership up and running and leading that partnership up to the point that it got cured. And it was also a good experience for me on a couple the And know, you tough to get. It's a feel good. one because I learned a lot of things from Amazon. Right. I don't need to tell you Amazon does a lot of good things. I don't always have love relationship with Amazon, but they do a lot of things right. They're good for I for them to have, right? In the you know, business. You know, business. You don't want them to do anything. Yes. You can tell you that, but you know, it's a I've learned a lot of techniques of work from them, and the way that they think and the way that they approach you're definitely there's a lot of learning that I have from from that engagement. And I think it's that really exposed me into the e-commerce world where I knew a lot about internet development, you know, internet development. That's why I was pretty much tasked with that. So they knew that I'm I know how to build websites. I know how to do all that. That was really my e-commerce was like the next level. Right. So I got myself engaged with that, learning a lot of things. And I will say that I'm very thankful for those times because without that's what I've been doing in just 20 years, most likely would have never happened. Yeah. Well, tell us about tell us about the that incredible award. So this is going back like nine years or so. I would think, you know, to be recognized by Amazon in 2013 because by that point, they were beast to to reckon with, right? You know, and for you to be recognized as having the most, what was he have to go back exactly to title that most innovative web store out of all of the web stores that had to be out there at that time? And what an incredible to your talent and vision, I guess. What were some, I guess, what made it so innovative at the And really a test. Yeah, so first thank you for that. So I'll give the audience a little bit of a background what was the web store, but Amazon around 2011, 12, 13, thinking even up to maybe the 15, 2015, if I'm not mistaken, with the dates, they used to have that technology that they can launch, you can launch website that sits on their platform. Like similar to what Shopify is today or big commerce, but Amazon actually did something similar to that to whoever sold on Amazon at that time, and also whoever wanted to sell online, but wanted to use Amazon infrastructure, right? So I wanted to obviously have my own website at that time, wanted to push, you know, merchandise to the consumer, so I came on board to Amazon. But because of my experience in the past, with Amazon, you know, a decade earlier, and my own experience in ink commerce, and I helped different brands, actually found myself continuously working with their tech team, side by side, by introducing more and more features, that actually got implemented throughout, you know, different iterations. Right. And I think they recognized me at some points, as the person who maybe have fed them with the most amount of feedback and features, and things that eventually rolled out to my own website at that time, that they said, okay, there's something going on here. And I pretty much had an open dialogue for close to two and a half, three years, just on the web store. And I was there like, well, they had open channels, communication, feature requests, everything, pretty much they acted, almost like an open door, like an immediate access, their technological and business development team, and features were rolled out and deployed relatively quickly, based on the feedback that I kept on giving them. And I kept on doing that for two plus two and a half years. And I think that's really what triggered that. Again, it was built upon some of the relationship that I built a decade earlier with Toys of Ross. Sure. And the people kind of moved that along, and that's what triggered that eventually, and one day they came forward and said, okay, we want to give that a word. Yeah. You had something to do the marketplace? Well, good Well, good for you. Congratulations. Yeah, no kidding. That is awesome. I am curious. So was the web store that you had at that point, imagining it had to be successful, because I can't imagine that they would continue to, you know, support you if you were selling something crazy and weren't selling anything. So had to be in a great successful venture for you. Are you still have that particular venture or a Oh, that particular venture I exited. I sold out my part of it. Amazon also in time have, I think around 2015, or 16, a little bit better, they sunset this technology. They actually moved it right out to something else, and they move it to be all part of their AWS, like a bigger thing, and they kind of sunset this one specifically, and move to something else. So that was the business of that time was housework. So I got a lot of experience in the housewares, a little bit things for the home, the core, who were helping different brands. Nice. Yeah, their brands in some line. It was an amazing experience for me personally. A lot of what's called DTC, like direct consumer sales. And actually that was what planted the idea, the beginning for what I've been doing since 2018, which is home-roads. a Yeah, very exciting. So you grew up in Israel. I am curious. Always interested with entrepreneurs and a little bit of their background, because I'm always wondering, is there a common gene, right? Some kind of genetic code that's in individuals that make them entrepreneurs, make them successful entrepreneurs. Did you come from an Not necessarily my two parents were CPAs. I came from a very standard family. Parents that are CPAs, four brothers, some of the youngest, so two of my brothers are lawyers. And another one is a police officer slash also, some type of CPA. All right. You do in CPA on the side. Very standard. Nothing. I won't say anything into Perno or in that space. But I was always fascinated with coding, with software development. That's one of was maybe 10 years old, 11 years old, even earlier than that, that I wrote different programs in All things I've done when I was. was just going to ask you that time, what language my son loves coding. That's where he is going to pursue a career. And you know, he's learning all different kinds of codes now. They have so many different things that I'm like, I've never even heard of that. But in the day, it was basic C++ and Pascal. Yeah. All those things. I started this world, heaming to this world when basic was there. The punching cards were already long gone from the world. Heaming to this space when I was doing basics. And I just remember just buying myself a book. I was like 10 years old or something like that. Well, maybe I got a book from my parents at that time. And I remember just writing the through the scripts, typing it in and just seeing what happened, what happened, what happens. And then trying again, then try to change something. And I remember loving it. And then he was actually could not afford myself a new computer. And my teenager days and I kind of moved away writing code and computers and computer games and all that. And so when I came back. So when I first came back into the computer world, if you want to call it, actually did not come back necessarily as a software developer. I came back as a graphic designer. So I learned how to play with Photoshop. Right. At that time was also freehand. But I must admit that I was just, okay, I was not talented. That was not my talent. But I kind of knew how to do things. Yeah. I knew how to move things around until the point where I realized, okay, that I need to go back to software development, start learning it by myself for a couple of years. And then I have to finally love. And then the passion drove you forward to do. Yeah. I love I love that. Now in Israel, when you think about, and I'm not saying everybody's like that, you know, everybody's an individual is its own being, right? So they have their own background. But there is, there is something about coming from Israel with the center of manure spirit. Because they, it's starting. It's actually maybe not that flattering when I'm going to say it, but they don't teach you order in school. They teach okay? And what I'm trying to say by that is that they, like almost everybody does what they want. But you have a certain framework in which you work with, but you're always in the courage to break through, to change it, to challenge it. Always. That's like you've been, you're sitting in a classroom and you said you need to sit in a classroom, but you always encourage to find ways or find reasons why you should not be sitting in a classroom. Do you think you should not sit in that classroom? And if so, what are the alternatives that you propose for learning? What are the options that you feel that you can do? So you're constantly encouraged to think outside the box and change the existing reality of things. And this is, and this is something that So Israel, but at least from the countries that I've been exposed to over the years, it's very unique in just the way of life, right? It's a small country. Yeah. And everybody, a lot of people have their trauma from their, you know, whatever happened in Europe, the hall costs. So everybody's sometimes, sometimes even a different mode, they're trying to do, trying to get the best of whatever they can and trying to protect themselves. So you're constantly in do I improve myself? You're never, you're never in a point where you sit still because looking to change, innovate, think about, promote yourself, think outside the box. Where else is going to go? Just that type of whatever happened in that, and that will say Jewish history really caused. Punted a certain gene, people thinking outside the box. Yeah, yeah. Just do it. And Israel is. With all the love, it's not an easy country always to live in. And if that's security issues, you got that issue, not in the tough, it's not in the pleasant neighborhood. And so you're, you're at that historical aspect, along with the court reality. And it's just creates a certain melting pot that something constantly comes out of it. And so I think I was. Who of my first jobs after, you know, after the graphic designer engagement for me was really in the startup world of Israel. I started off. My first job was a software developer. And I in Tel Aviv and semi in LA. a company that was Step was also what got me exposed to more the American market at that time. And so I've learned really from the bottom, you can say of the organization of how startups operates and what are their expectations and the way of life of the startups. And then my next job was more on an management level of a startup where I was still doing subcoding, what's it doing, but I had a staff of developers, staff of project managers, staff of team leaders, and I had to manage them all. You know, also traveled a lot in Europe at that time for that job. And so I had to work with other startups pretty much all over Europe. Right? A lot of big organizations, small organizations, startups, and I got a lot of that. So I was really groomed in that environment. And when I relocated here, I brought something with me. Yeah, yeah. I hope I brought Yeah, issue, not in the yeah. I I love how you explained and kind of detailed the educational focus in Israel. Because as you were saying that, I'm thinking to myself, I've had this exact conversation with one of my friends who's from another country as well. And we talk about the education system. We both have sons that are in high school here. And we talk about their education experience. And it is, I would say almost the exact opposite. You will think this way. Here's the box. This is how you do this math. And there's no other, there's no encouragement to, as you define what was happening in Israel, there's no chaos. It'll one chaos. They're doing everything they can to kind of stop down chaos. Right? very unique. It starts off. Again, it's for good and for bad. Right? I mean, I'm not saying that only a perfect thing. But it's just a way of, it just starts off for the, I want to describe you a situation where, you know, here I have, that kids went to school here. All my kids were born here. So I have three of them, I love them. And, you know, when I remember going to stick in them to school in the morning, and you know, they need to form a line. Right. Right. And then the line is very clear. You don't push you, you stay where you are, and wait until the teacher calls you, and then you walk in very nicely, politely, and then organize them. And Israel, forget, forget about it. You don't play in the world. Listen, if you're not going to push yourself into the classroom, you're not going to get in. And you have a time to get in. In other words, the door is going to get shut, and you won't get in. And then you got to, then you got to come up with the reason why you thought that you cannot be in the classroom by that time. But you got to push and pull. And you got, there's no lines. There's no waiting. You just, just take charge and find your seat. And it just, that's, that's what I'm saying by this chaos. Right. Right. Right. It starts off from this young age of, you got to push yourself forward if you want to get where you want to go. Right. And I think this is very, mm, it's, it's, it's, it's, as a parent, it's different from what I've seen and experienced as a child. Yeah. Versus what I'm seeing here in, in the States. Again, I live in New Jersey. So maybe it's not like that in every state. I'm not saying it's an don't play Right. And maybe it's only in my school where I live that it's a single as, but it's, it's very much of a difference between the two places. Again, I'm not saying what's better, what's worse. Just, this is the situation. Yeah. A lot of people, I guess, make their choices, but definitely the encouragement to think outside of the box is, I think a benefit. I think that is incredibly important because, and what I try to tell my kids is because the world they're growing up in really has no boundaries, right? I mean, they are competing and will be interacting with people in Cleveland, in Tel Aviv, in Baghdad, in London, everywhere, right? And so their world really has no boundaries. So you need to be thinking outside of your little environment here and really begin to question why and how can you and where can we take this and really get, whether you're being entrepreneurial or not, I think it's not really the point, but it's encouraging that real independent thought, because from that, this is my belief, anyway, is that from that real innovation will begin to take hold in thought and ideas and And I can tell you, for my own personal experience, through all the companies that I've worked for or the companies that I was the owner. I've always used global workforce, always. I mean, since whenever I remember myself, 20 years ago, 25 years ago, always use global workforce. Again, there's different regions in the world where it's better to use certain skillset than others. But it's, so for me, it was more like a small village. I love the world. And you can use talent from different places in the world and utilize them for your needs. And this is something that I had a lot of conversations about that with friends, family, with other coworkers, with other people in the past. Everybody's that advocating for remote work. I know that there is a lot of debates online and social media, remote versus hybrid versus in office, versus just where's that. And I'm not going to start the debate here. But I just want to say one thing about the remote work and people have to keep that in mind, right? That it's all good to work remote. But just keep in mind that this world keeps getting smaller and smaller. You've got to be the best that you can be in the field that you are operating in, because if you will not, or someone that is back and make, especially, let's say, especially in American market, OK? And especially where we are right now. If you're not going to be the best that you can, or the best there is, if there is someone that is just as good as you are, or even better than you, and is in a different place in the world that their cost, their compensation is less going to have a hard time. Yeah. You're going to have a hard time. And especially, I tell you, we are in the trusted area. It's one of the more expensive areas in the states. Even if you find someone from, I don't know, more in London than yours, you can find people that are the cost less to do the same type of a job and to do the same quality, or even that. So you've got to always, so if you are into this remote, remote aim, just keep in mind, you've got to be the best of the best version of yourself. If you want to be, or if you want to stay relevant in the market, of a different work mode that brings some other qualities that the remote work and not that brings Yeah, well, that's what I try to tell my kids as well. You're competing with millions and billions of people. It's not people in Cleveland. It's not the people in your high school. It's, you know, you are, it is a worldwide adventure. And you've got to set yourself up so that you would be distinguishable from others. E-unique, you have to be, and I think to your point, you have to be the best that you can be. And make yourself stand out in whatever way that that can be. So see, if we could talk just hours, I'm so fascinated about your experience in Israel. I was a Yeah, I could, I could go on and on about that. Well, let's talk about, so let's fast forward to today, or really, I should say, 2018. You came upon, and I think you even mentioned this when you're describing your award-winning website with Amazon, that's probably really where the seed was planted in regards to home furniture and machines and home goods. And then it really kind of blossomed in with home roots. And people, you can go check it out, That' And so tell us about home roots. How did you decide, all right, let's launch this thing. And what is it, because it's different, right? It's a little different Yeah, so since since I started my employment, my project with Toys or Us, up to the point of home roots, I was a lot in the, I was mainly operating or living and breathing in the e-commerce world of E2C business to consumer, D2C, direct to consumer, it's basically the same thing, just different acronyms. So I've been operating a lot of this. But I always thought, and especially after this web store came along, I said, OK, I get the direct to consumer world. I get the solutions that are out there. But now I want to do some wholesale. After doing, it's almost doing 15 years of direct to consumer, I feel like I want to do more of wholesale. I really want to do more wholesale. I wanted to go one step backward in the supply chain. And I was looking for a platform that I can actually sell my product some. And I came to the conclusion that There isn't such a platform. And the only way for me, if I want to do wholesale, is to go to trade shows and exhibit there. Now I've attended many trades. those I also done exhibiting in the past myself. But I was looking for a digital solution. So I knew that I want to get into the B2B world. I knew that I want to get into the wholesale. The question was, okay, what will I go next? What will I do? So the first I started more on the house, where sports, beauty, all those other things that I had experienced with in previous lives and previous that I've worked at. But I remember one day, a good friend of mine had invited me to High Point Show, which is in North Carolina, and said to me, okay, listen. And he knew me from the e-commerce world. So, listen, you know, I started this new business. I started as a VP of business development in this new company. I want to do a lot of wholesale, but everybody's here, our sales reps. I feel like they're gonna retire soon. I don't want to rely on them. There's no, just come over, just tell me what you think. And I remember flying over, and I said there were more like a fly on the wall for like five days, actually, and I don't know if anybody been in High Point, North Carolina, but the show there is not like the typical trade shows. It's like you're literally walking and blocks in the streets. It's just, it's like a city. In every showroom is, every company has its own showroom. So you walk between stores in a city, and that's how you walk the show. You use, you know, they have golf carts, they have like, shuttles. It's a whole thing. It's a huge, huge, How is it gonna say, how big is that? The floor must be It's huge. It's not a typical event that you go through. So I remember spending them, and we went to different conversations, you know, through different exhibitors, one after the other, and pretty much a conversations were the same. Between the reps, between the designers, between the store owners, e-commerce folks, everybody had the same conversation. And you could see how the younger generation, younger by younger, I'm saying my age that time, and the little bit younger, maybe even two, three, five years older than me at that time, how they were very frustrated. Because we grew into, we were in a hybrid, well, I'm calling myself the hybrid world, when we grew up in a non-digital environment. So we know how to operate in a non-digital environment. The younger generation, they only know digital space. They don't know how things work, otherwise they don't, they didn't grow up into that. And you got the older generations, which more like my parents generation, which for non-digital space. So how my generation really not find themselves in the space and they were looking for a change. And I remember coming back from the show, and I said, okay, I know I want to do B2B, I just found my vertical. I just found the industry that I need to get involved in. And actually I planted it, and I worked on that for three years before I actually launched the platform in late 2018. So I did a lot of work on the back end with research, market, the vetting suppliers, vetting buyers, trying to prep things on the back end, building up the platform. Initially I coded it myself, and then after a while, I brought on board offer developers to help me out. And then we launched. And so the whole purpose of Hubroots is to provide a platform for small business, medium-sized businesses around the globe that are selling furniture and home decor items to get into the American market. And give them the platform to start playing and selling and obtaining a market share in North America by getting their products sold by retailers locally. That's the essence of it. And of course there's a lot of other things in between, but that's the major essence of So it's interesting because as I'm listening to you describe Hubroots because I guess maybe dig into the platform a little bit because I know you have customers. And so when I say you have home roots customers that are estate developers, but you also have like other big retail store, like Home Depot and Loves and Ashley Furniture. And so can I go to Loves and like, hey I want to buy, I don't know, outdoor, the patio set maybe for my space out here. Would I find products by a home roots that are listed on Loves? Yeah, you can actually go now on or Home and you will search for home roots, you will see your products. They're being, they're being sold. And there are actually products that are manufactured. Many factories basically have basically offered us to sell to those retailers. The whole thing about our platform is that we work with factories all over the world. Right. And we give the platform for the factories to get their products inland. So we get their products brought into the US. Right. And then list those products on our platform. So they have like the back end system where they can actually upload all the specs of the products. So they do that. And the moment once they've done completing it, we're then taking all this product information, specification, and then we syndicate that to different retailers. then those retailers then offer that for sale to the end consumer. And of course, if those, we also deal with a lot of companies that they don't have retailers, you know, websites like home stages, designers, property management, they don't always have site, but they can still come to our website, register or apply to become a buyer. We just make sure it's a legit, you know, registered company in the state. And then they can browse our site very similar to any other consumer site. So our goal is really to make the shopping experience, the B2B shopping experience, similar to B2C. That's really the thing. Nice. Nice. Okay. So it's also lacking in industry. You can imagine like how, Nice. Nice. to be and to large extent is still, if you want to buy a wholesale, the whole purchase order, RFQ, this whole process is just very daunting. So we're just, you know, you've got to buy, you need to buy something, not a problem. You log in like any other cost on the any other website, the Amazon or whatever. You go, you search for whatever you want, you add it to your card, you check out, and boom, and just say, you know, you know, when it's coming out to, it's going to get delivered, you know, the date, the range, you know, right, right. Very, very simple. Interesting. So if I, Randy was in a factory and building some great rocking chair, I could list with you as a seller, and then you're going to help go pitch it or make it available, I should say, to the other, the buyers that are your clients or home root clients, right. Yeah. So I could still end up in home depot or lows if I, yeah, if I worked at it. So you have, then through your, this model then, and as we were talking, even before we started recording, so you have your own distribution centers, home roots, you have one in Cleveland here. So I said, hey, this stopped by Cleveland. We could have gotten together. Well, yeah, of this distribution, how many centers do you have? I could still end up right now we have three. So we have one in New Jersey, one in the Ohio, Cleveland, and we have one in LA. Yeah, what's going to we to say? At least one in the West Coast. I'm sure. Yeah, got to Yeah, got to be there. Yeah. I love Yeah. I love the idea that you have your manufacturers that they have to have their product in the US, certainly for a lot of different reasons. So that is terrific. I think we had found as well, and this was from, I think, a news article, a news release from New Jersey. So this is back in March that says, home roots is raising, I'm looking at this number, and I can't decide whether it was a mistake, and I didn't ask our team whether it's like, was that? It's either 12 million or 12 billion. I can't figure out that I've got a lot of zeros here, and I'm like, is that missing a zero? Or is that supposed to be the sense number? team 12 billion. So you're we're raising 12 million than in New funding. started the process. Okay. All Okay. All right. So how's that going? I guess. So this was back in March on the announcement. Here we are in September. Yes. So we're halfway there. All right. Way to not entire complete. We still got work to do. And we actually, as we went through the process, we realized that we don't need as much right now for our operation. So we scaled it back. again, the whole purpose of that is to fuel the company and move faster. And get to our get to, you our dreams soon and then later. That's pretty much what what it's all about. But yeah, we actually scaled back. We didn't we realized we didn't need that much of money after certain development. It took place between June of this year. Well, that's pretty exciting, though. So it can great. Relations for even for getting halfway and kind of wrapping that wrapping that around I am kind of curious what led you to I guess maybe this specific category so you've You've You've kind of been in this home goods home furnishings for long before Home roots, but why that particular one was it? You know, was there something that you to that or you just kind of happened to fall into it? You've stuck with it because you've learned for learned it So So mentioned something but planted the seed for me what put it as as one of the candidate categories was I first visited the high point right so that was the first thing that kind of made me think more about that category And as I was researching that category more and more I realized that this is really a problematic category One because it's very antiquated or more More antiquated most other verticals retail verticals that exists out there, right? The way it's been sold In to the mass or the way it's been sold to the retailers in such a way that one it's not it's there's there is no Standards that the industries fall and everybody does whatever pretty much they want. It's very fragmented Meaning you you cannot really identify a leader or a group of leaders in this industry So there's no common leader no one no one really leads that organization or holds a majority of the market chain And then it's a very difficult industry to operate with operating that many companies actually don't want to deal with And mainly it's because of the logistics Right logistics of it is difficult if you just look at warehouses Not every warehouse want to deal with furniture actually majority of them do not want to deal with furniture Which makes it very difficult to To Operating then you got yourself the logistics aspect of shipping transportation. I ask you can I interrupt just a second Yeah, well, I wouldn't they want to have I'm trying to think of like well, it's big But what do they care if it's a warehouse? It's you know, you're paying per square foot So you know as the seller or the leaseholder of Warehouse you're like, you know, I've got a couch and it's taken up a lot of space in my warehouse that I'm paying X You know per square foot But why on the other end? Why wouldn't they want furniture? Sometimes it's the equipment sometimes the number of people that needs to handle it There is more tendency to cause damages if the warehouse personnel is not equipped or not trained to handle it and Just it's very hard to store furniture on On multiple racks. I'm gonna start throwing a furniture on the fifth or a seventh, you know Level with a forklift trying to kind of you know ticket right now that is just not something that You're risking that causing damage through the merchandise. There's a lot of risk So if your warehouse is not equipped for that you usually don't want to deal with that, right? I think at the past it's bulky. It's heavy Sometimes if you something get returned back Now you need more than one person, right carry this furniture and what you do with that It's just it or even if you need to dispose it. not where you're gonna dispose it. It doesn't go into your average dumpster In some cases you you're not allowed because of certain material in the furniture Not allowed to dump it regularly like other things This is to go through special dumping Many were just they just don't want to deal with it. It's just too much headache Let them get the case backs of things that they want to move X-Multi side-abs It can palatize them easily. just in and out in and out So I don't blame where perhaps that they don't want to deal with that But that's a challenge. Then you got the trucking industry. I love the trucking industry But I would love more if they can help With more with furniture There aren't that many carriers that specialize in handling furniture Everybody can tell you that they will handle furniture, but I right now like other things This is also a risk of damages. They tend to damage the merchandise because they don't know how to handle it within their own lanes That's one issue the second issue is that it's not that easy or straightforward to book a shipment with a truck It's really not and actually the average e-commerce guy or retail store owner They don't know how to book a shipment with a truck They really don't but they need the goods to move out move from wherever it is to wherever the customer Is it and since you got that gap knowledge With handling the trucks many just say okay, you know what? I just don't need it. I don't want to deal with that So who's who's gonna deal with that? That's a big question on one hand you've got the manufacturers or you got the importers who said I don't want to deal with the trucking because if there is any damages or any scheduling pick-up I don't want to deal with that. So the suppliers, the vendors don't want to deal with that. it's not on me. The retailers don't know how to do it. They're simply majority of them really don't know how to do it. And then you've got a point of, okay, there is a gap here. I don't want to do it. I don't want to touch it. So this is also where Homewood comes into the play where actually our system knows on a manically with the different trucking companies and the warehouse systems. And so we schedule those pickups, we coordinate the pickups, we coordinate the deliveries, and we make it easier for both sides actually to transact. And we also take the responsibility, you know, in case there's any issues with the trucking companies, we take full responsibility for any delays, damages, shortages, misdeliveries, whatever, it's on us. We're gonna take care of it. And so it makes the buyers feel more confident, more comfortable with actually buying the goods from us because they know they don't have to worry about it. And the suppliers are happy because for them, it's an action-on-ball buyer that actually produce something and don't give them the hassle. Right. I don't want to deal with trucks. It's yours. Your merchandise, you're gonna make sure it's delivered. So all this drama is gone, dissolved, and we'll just make it easier for both sides to just, hey, you like the product? Right, right. Well, it Right, right. Well, it sounds like, yeah, it sounds like you really have created solution for both of those sides of the transactions, so to speak, and the B2B, and that allowing each of them to stay in their lane, do the things that they do best, all right. Let the manufacturers make it, let the retailers sell it, and you'll take care of the in-between, right? To the connecting point. So, you know, good for you, for like defining true problem and creating a true solution, I guess, in it. So you've been doing e-commerce for so Yeah, years, 20 plus years. And I can only imagine it. Just had a guest on, I think actually, I don't even think the show has aired yet. And we're talking about, and again, in today's world and post-pandemic, that barriers to entry in starting a business is almost nothing these days. I could start a new business before I go home this afternoon if I wanted to. And I could have a website up. If I wanted to do an e-commerce, sell t-shirts, I could have a website. I could have an LLC, a website up, and selling before six o'clock, if I wanted to here today. The barrier to that is almost not even there, aside from my time. And so a lot of people, I'm sure, have and will kind of jump into this e-commerce pool. Now you are doing it in a much bigger way than anything that I would probably even attempt to do. And I'm sure that there's all kinds of aspects in running an e-commerce brand that tends to be underestimated. I guess is where I'm trying to circle this question around. Can you give an example or maybe explain some of those things that people in your particular experience just don't have a thought about or underestimated the, listen, this is an issue you have to think of some brain power behind Yes, I can tell you. I had many conversations. Many people told me, okay, we're going to start up an Amazon business. Or I like to go on, you know, I just set up my Shopify store. It's so simple. Why you've been talking about how you're saying it's a little more effort, why you need to work hard? Hey, see I got my website up and running, you know, before and the day. And they're right. And you said it's pretty much very much right. It's not that difficult to launch an e-commerce a fully operational e-commerce matter of hours. It's really not that big of a deal. I really not. I'm going to be, you may want to learn some few things. You may tweak some few things, but again, you're not looking at a large amount of effort in order to establish yourself. Right. Right. Yeah, I didn't say I would do it successfully. I just said I could do it. No, whether I. To good No, whether Yes, whether I I sold anything. Now that's a whole nother Yeah, that's all I have a question. Yes. And what many newcomers, what is way, and need to be aware of, is that it's not just about launching a website or starting a business in Amazon. At the end of the day, you've got to find products that sell. And that's a task. It's not an easy task. You're going to find a lot of grooves out there and different Facebook groups that's going to tell you how to find the perfect product that you can make millions of. That's what they are millions of others who are in the same or YouTube or similar Facebook streaming posts and whatever that they're all going after the of watching. not saying you should not, but I'm saying it's not easy as it may sound. It's very difficult and you need to know how to go about it. So that's one challenge. How to find the products that consumers really want. And then how do you promote those products in the e-commerce world? Again, like yourself, there are millions who are trying to promote products. Usually promoting products does not come for free. You need to put in some money aside for marketing. Now, there's different marketing techniques. There's pure advertising, whether that's on social media or on Google or on different marketplaces, such as Amazon or Walmart or whatever. There's the affiliate marketing. There's the influencer marketing. You got to pick your lane based on the niche of products that you're actually trying to sell and be creative about. The thing is that what I do recommend for people who want to start their own e-commerce business. First of all, you got to put some money aside. Put a few thousands of dollars aside for identifying products and spend some marketing money towards trying to promote them into the market and see whether this product has some type of a demand. Is there a consumer that is really interested in purchasing the product? know. It's not going to work. So I recommend for people not to buy large quantities of merchandise just because you like a certain product. The fact that you like doesn't mean that others You mean there's no certainty that my coffee mug with dogs is going unless you want to buy from yourself, there's no. There isn't. I'm sorry to say, there isn't. And it's tough. I'm not saying. And it's easier. It is easier to find products that has potential on Amazon because the way that Amazon set themselves up. There's also some good ways to find Google that have different trends and there's different tools for finding potential products that may sell. But you need to get some few samples when you put a lot of money into the inventory. Get some few samples and test things on a market. Put some money behind on advertisements, and try to promote it and see whether it's can yield some returns. Now, don't expect that you're going to see all the money back. Don't expect that every product is going to work. Actually, the majority of your products will not work, but what you do need, if you're really into it, if you're really passionate about it, then you should not give up after the first, the second, or even the third product. Just keep on trying and you'll find your angle. And it's enough that you find one home run, one back to baseball. It's enough that you find one that you're good. Now you have a baseline where you can actually start. I also recommend, it's also not that easy, but I also recommend trying to get in touch with a wholesaler that their products have produced evidence that they have demand in the market. So if you're able to become a customer of that wholesaler, now you have products that can actually sell and you can win some of the sales in the market. That can give you some money to then go on this new adventure of building up your own products, building up your own brand, and give it a try out there in the space with what sales and what's not. Again, that's in case you want to work in the DTC world. Now, if you want to work in the B2B world and happens to be in a furniture or home decor space, you go to home. Yeah, you just give. Yeah, you just give. You just give if Gill will call in there. Yeah, with the curving. That's good. Oh, shoot. Yeah, with the curving. That's good. Oh, shoot. Yeah, get us a sample. There we go. Well, that's good advice. So that's, you know, and probably to sum that up, even though the barrier of entry is fairly small, you can't underestimate, you know, identifying that killer product and as well promotion and marketing, you still have to sit yourself apart. The world doesn't need another coffee mug with dogs on it. And, you know, and so yes, so yes, yes. I tell you one more piece of advice that I know for many entrepreneurs for starting. And what most of you're going to need to spend your time, again, that's my piece of advice. If someone really want to be on top of it, is to learn from others how to do the marketing piece or learn from others or to identify what potential products may be good. You have to learn it by all means, you need to do it yourself. Right. Don't let others do it for you. They're never going to do it as good as you. And they're never going to be on top of it as much as you want. And the fact that you actually gonna do it yourself, you're gonna become better at it. Every time you're gonna come better and better and better up to the point where you're gonna actually be able to fine tune your offering in the market. You're gonna be able to be successful about that. And then once you have a baseline, then it's also easy for you to bring someone underneath like a virtual assistant to someone that are gonna receive the from you. And they can now do the grant work of the day to day with your supervision. So I really recommend for people to do it hands on. Like learn from others, don't try to learn everything by yourself. I promise because it's gonna cost you a lot of money. Try to learn from others, try to listen in. But at the end of the day, don't let others do the work for you just at the beginning, the first product, second product, do it yourself. And that way you learn the whole scope of what it is to sell online. I right, good advice. All right, for those thinking about e-commerce anyway. All right, so Gil, here we go. It's that And it's time for the seventh inning stretch. Oh, seventh inning stretch. Before I hit the record button, I did ask Gil, do you like baseball? And it's like, well, I've been to a couple of Yankees games. So put you in the ballpark anyway. So that's good. Okay, so here we are. This is the time here. I get to ask you some fun baseball trivia here. And no, I have listeners that tune into the show only for this particular aspect of the show because they're always fascinating. But so the research team tried to dig in, find out a little bit about you, a little bit about home routes. And they came up with this question I thought was actually pretty interesting because even I even learn a lot of stuff. I'm a big baseball fan and I learn a lot of stuff when we throw these things out. Baseball in Israel. Did you know there Yes. Very good. Yes, I did. Yes. But it's relatively a recent thing. Very good. Yes, I did. Yes. Yes, yes. So the first, what we'll say professional, or maybe even semi-professional baseball field, was built in 1979 in Israel. Yes. And I'm not even going to, I'm going to try to pronounce this. So please forgive me. Hold in Kabut, Yes. And I'm not Kabut, Kazer. Is that Kazer? Kazer maybe? Is that How do you spell it He's a good Zor. He's a good G-Zor? Is there? G-Zer. What's good Zor? That is where the Yarken sports Is there? G-Zer. What's Oh, I can tell you. What's in the world? Take a look at Israel. It wasn't as big. It wasn't as big as it was. It was you. What's in the world? Take a look at Israel. It wasn't as big. It wasn't as and soccer. Yeah. And Judo. Judo, I think. Well, right now, right now there are 13 teams in the Israeli Association of Baseball, the IAB. So there you go about that. But that's not your question. That's just a little bit of background. So to give you an idea, right? When we got baseball, it's happening in Israel. It's not that old. Here's your question. Has there ever been an Israeli major league baseball the really don't know the is pretty easy. You got a 50-50 I'll go for Yes. Yes. Home run. Yes. So in the gentleman's name, yes, is Dean Kremer, HR-EMER. Kremer. He's not an Oh, so he grew up in Israel. He played, let me say, give you a little background. In 2015, Israeli senior national team pitcher came the first Israeli selected in the major league baseball draft. So that was in 2015. He decided so he was in, must have been when we say Israeli senior national team. So it was when he was in high school because he was drafted by the Padres in 2015. Turned it down, decided to go with his college commitment, played for UNLV, University of Nevada Las Vegas here in the States. After playing with him, he then was drafted by the Dodgers. And then in 2019, he reached last AAA. And In 2020, Prammer, it is debut for the Baltimore Orioles as a picture becoming the first Israeli citizen to pitch in the major leagues. Wow. There we Yes, so You always seek to find info that's enlightening and stump are. Yeah, no, it's a it's a kid. As a kid, as a in Israel, it was something that we just watched on TV mainly from the, you know, what was happening here, right? The major media. It's a big right. And in Israel, it wasn't that it wasn't played that much. Right. It's listed on the official or professional manner as far as I remember. Yeah. It's good. It's The major good. It's good. It's building. It's coming. It's on a job. Yeah. Yeah. Well, let's get back into it. So I am sure as, you know, small business owners, a small business owner, we have our ups, we have our downs, right? We smacked with the pandemic, right? We have our challenges, right? I'm sure you have had those challenges as well with home routes. Can you tell us a story? Maybe one of those times, those challenges are hard times that you had to face when you first started your journey with home routes. How did you So I remember going back to our advice on e-commerce, right? But you can have the same advice for anybody who wants to start a business and sell something, somewhere, okay? Someone. And the first thing is that you need to find someone who's going to supply you with the products that you were interested in selling. Right, someone who's going to be willing to do business with you, but on terms that you deemed to be acceptable, okay, or fair or something that you can afford. And the challenge that I had with home routes at the beginning was that I got a lot of nose. And every time I went to my business was different. Like you said, the world didn't need another month holder with, I don't know, some puppy dogs, puppy eyes on it, right? But it's just I was looking for, have a different business, a different business mom. And when I went to pitch my business to suppliers domestically overseas, I got a lot of nose. No, we're not interested. No, thank you, not for us. No, we don't understand what you want. No, we don't understand what you do. Thank you. Bye. Bye. No, no, bye, bye, bye. That was pretty much majority of my, to the beginning. It was just to know. It's pretty deflated. It is. It's, I could tell you that if I was not doing it for the passion and for my belief in doing it, I would most likely break already. You're thinking, okay, you know, you start off, you will launch in your business, you register, you're so happy. You keep the registration of the company, you're kind of framing it. You're proud of it. You are a business owner official. And then reality hits you. And then you need suppliers, doesn't matter. You need customers, obviously. You need suppliers. And you're only going to be as good as the suppliers that you work with. And you need someone who's going to be willing to supply. Assam in the streets, some verticals, it's not that big of a deal, right? The suppliers that you need, you know, in the software industry, suppliers that's really more whoever's going to be willing to view the cloud, host your computer or your host beer website or it's covered or whatever it is, it's easier to actually get it going. But if you're in the CPG world, you really need tangible goods. And so it's tough. So you got to be able to perfect your pitch to suppliers. Oh, my nice advice on this, first of all, to explain yourself in such a way that they can understand what you really want. And I realized that the problem was not with them. At least I want to say that, that it wasn't with them. It was about more about my pitch. And how did I or the way that I explained the business to them? It just didn't understand. Word that it was too early for that time, right? And once I started tweaking my pitch and once I started tweaking the audience that I was pitching it to, business started flowing, suppliers started to come onboard. So it's about what you say and who do you, who are you going to say it to? Two important things. Yeah. Yeah. And then so that was my experience at the beginning. Yeah. And third advice is don't give up. Right. Don't give up. As long as you've got some money in your pocket, don't all good advice. Absolutely. Keep pushing on. Let me tell you. Inwards e-commerce, doing business online. the về zdäbother, to quit. are so accustomed to seeing reviews, right? So I could go, I could look up a business, I could search for a business, they pop up with a little map, and they got 35 five star reviews or whatever, right? Two one star reviews. Believe in comments, all over the left and right. And it's a challenge. a challenge for the local small business because they get these things. They want clients, customers to leave reviews. At the same time, they always struggle like the negative review or a one star review. I imagine in your world, and as you are massively, you know, platform that you are distributing from an online sales platform, how do you handle reviews? How do you handle, I guess, you know, if you look at them, how do you respond to them? What kinds of thoughts do you have with that that you might be able to share with other folks just, you know, that are, I mean, their local small businesses and handling their the first couple of reviews are the most important ones, right? That will start off with that. So I think, I think whatever you sell, you got to make sure that you got to think in the future mindset, not just scoring mindset. For example, if you know that you got a customer who's upset, that's something, it really doesn't matter what, go what you can, just to satisfy their needs and what they're asking for. Because if you're waiting on reviews, and those are among your first customers, if they're going to bad mouth view online, it's hard to recover, especially the beginning. You know, if you're already 200 reviews in, or 100 reviews in, and then somebody says something not the end of the world. I'm not going to bring it down to me. But if you get your first one, two, three reviews and they're all bad, that's, that's, that's hard. tough to recover. It's very, it's almost in the past. It's very tough to recover. So you got to go beyond and beyond, you made them to be even fair. There's no fair. You got to, you got to make the customer happy. If it means that you lose money, lose money. Think about that as, as done, certainly as losing money, think about it like a marketing investment. that's hard. It's Right. You really have to think long term, not just the short term, one transaction, one review, you really have to think long term, am I in this just today, or am I want to be in business a year from Yes. And I have to, especially in the beginning, while you're still small, you're still most likely you texture the customer directly. And if it's not you who takes care of the customer directly, and you just launch your business, then I recommend you to do take care of your customer by yourself and not let somebody else do it because the first couple reviews, the first couple feedbacks are the most important ones. if the customer are going to be happy, they're going to tell their friends. But you don't want them to tell their friends. Somebody once told me, I remember when I was in an economic class, or I don't know what social study class that I remember white was, but I remember the ratio between somebody says something good about you to something sad about you is one to 10, which means on every one, on every 10 good customers that are happy, it's enough that one will not be. that just wipes out all the 10 good ones. That's it. And so you don't want that one, you don't want it. you got you got a handle your customers reviews are so super important. Tell in our case, in our platform, if we do get bad reviews on specific products, we tend to take them down. And we take the product down. We take the product down. Yeah. We take we completely take it offline. then we give the supplier, we give them an effect or an opportunity to address the concerns of their reviews. Right. Maybe sometimes it might be just misunderstanding. we give some room for a dialogue. But at the end of the day, you know, if it's a production issue or whatever it is, then we may need to take the product down entirely and keep the customer happy in different ways and maybe offer some alternatives to them. That's the way that we tackle that in our platform. Right. But if you operate outside of our platform, I will say that if somebody left product down. We take the product to reach out to them, try to listen, try to reason with no guarantee that they will ever change it. But at this regard, try try to Where it's open for you. Just emphasize this. all the points making is just have to think long term, not just this particular instance. So, um, so you've got all this new money flowing into home routes. You've got great ideas, obviously, passionate about what it is that you're doing. What's on the horizon for home routes? What do you see around the corner? What's the next great Okay. So there's a, there's a couple, there's a lot of things, not, not everything I can disclose. Sure. One of the things that we do want to help, we want to make it more affordable for factories to bring their goods into the US. Very simple. We want to bring the merchandise here and spare the needs for retailers here to go overseas. We want everything here as much as possible and bring the markets here. And we want to let the people and the companies operate domestically as if they were originally a domestic registered company. But that's, that's really one of our major initiatives right now is to make sure that factories can import their goods in an affordable way, dimless way, and just make it easier to, for, for factories to operate here. We believe that, you know, as far as there's a lot of, you know, there's obviously some factory manufacturing that is done here in the States, but it's still very much small. And I predict that it will stay relatively small just because of the workforce, the cost of living, everything else, and also the materials at the raw materials, majority of them are not in the US. They have to be imported elsewhere from elsewhere. Yeah, there are some few, you know, wood material stuff in Texas, for example, there's a few farms and stuff. The majority of it is really overseas. So we're working on that initiative, something that can tell you that we're putting a lot of efforts into it. And then the next thing is we really want to help manufacturers that are having challenges with English, still do business in the US. So imagine that you do not speak English that well, you still want to sell your You know how to sell your products, and you got great products. Why should that be a limit? Why your language or the lack of knowledge of language should be a barrier for you to operate in here in the States? I mean, I'm coming from, you know, I'm not, I wasn't even great myself, right? Been a while, I've been here more for more than 20 years, but I know the issues, I know the issues have come from different country. And the challenges of getting acclimated, I'm thinking about a person who doesn't even leave here, doesn't understand the local culture, doesn't understand the Do you want to make it easier for them? They're still room here, they're still the men for their products. And if there is, I can't believe there is, let So it's like a, yeah, some good a, yeah, some good initiatives, yeah. In the future, it's going to be on a global scale, and enable guys who are operating here in the States, go elsewhere and do the same. Other continents to other countries, to other regions in the world, where they don't have access to right now, because they don't understand the language, they don't understand the culture, they don't even know how to start. They don't know, they don't know where to go, not a problem. You're going to bridge it for them, you're going to make that bridge and we're going to make it easier. So it's not just inbound into the US, bringing everybody into the US, even though that's what we're focusing on right now, but in the future, it's going to be on a global scale. Everybody can sell anywhere. The talent will prevail, the quality will prevail. And if you got a good product with a good demand, a good price, wherever you come from in the world and wherever you want to sell, there's no have no limits for At the bottom of the ninth, and you've talked about so much in so many different kind of aspects of operating a small business, but at the bottom of the ninth, this is where we kind of ask all of our guests, but advice do you have for rookies in the game, right? Or those who have already have their business up and running, looking for some guidance, you've given so many nuggets of gold, that you have more words, you Okay, you can send some advice on the marketing about how to start business, the products, what you have to the suppliers, everything else I've given something by Sunday marketing about how to start business the products what you have to the suppliers everything else I'll try to touch up on something totally All right there we go. All right. Let's touch on their counting side of things. Okay. back to the family roots to CPA's. Here we are. This is how it was brought. So I'm bringing all of that in. Yeah. or out. Full circle. Look at that. Pay attention to your books. I know. and really serious about it, you know, at the beginning of it stuff. And what's more important is sales. You want the sales before anything else. But always keep in touch and keep a close look in what's happening in your books on your own personal expenses, the company's expenses, different programs that you register with and over time you don't pay attention, you're not using them anymore, but yet you still pay for them on the subscription fee or whatever, all those things, then they take away from your bottom line, which takes away from what you take home out of this business that you're building. So my piece of advice is on the books, record whatever you can. If you don't have the time, then again, you can always hire someone even overseas. There are marketplaces such as pork or, other different platforms like that that you can find a global workforce and they can help you with some of the bookkeeping, some of the recordings, so you don't have to spend the time, it's not an expensive workforce. It's super important. You've got to pay attention to your expenses, you don't go over a budget. Sometimes you don't pay attention, you say, okay, it's only 50 bucks a month. And that's also another 100 bucks a month. Big deal, I'm selling $5,000 a month already. It gets to Yeah, thanks Chris. It's like a little nickel and diamond, all of a sudden you got Yeah, exactly. It's the small thing that you don't pay attention that takes away from your own profits. And sometimes you don't even need them. You don't really need them. So that's my piece of advice. Just pay attention to this, record it, make sure that you look at your P&L, look at your reports, understand the reports, know some financial acronyms that's super important. And my opinion, again, it's second to gen sales generations because that sales, they're nothing else. Right, it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. But once you get through sales cycle into a motion and you've got it going, go back. This is what I collect the back office, protecting your base, making sure that it's solid. And you're not... Right, it doesn't any tension, you think that you're making a lot of money and then you start looking at the books and say, oh, sure, I'm actually not. So, and it's super good. Why? And why am I not picking my subject fat salary at the end of the month? I own my own business. I don't have employees or maybe I have one to hook up the disappointing surprise. Like, what? Wow. Very practical advice. I don't think we've ever had a guest that said, look at your books, keep track of your books. Yes. I love that. That was great advice. Well, listen, Gil, it's been so fun having you on the show. I've truly really have enjoyed the conversation. I think I could talk with you for another hour, just about growing up in Israel and education and entrepreneur as a whole. So maybe we'll have to do part two of this conversation another time. I'll be more than happy to. Yeah, yeah. But thank you for being on the show. And folks, you can go connect with Gil. You can reach out to, which is their website. And they've got contact information there. Also, you can hook up with Gil on LinkedIn, either on the homeroot's profile or Gil. And what would you have a, do you know off the top of your head, your LinkedIn another time. I'll be more Yes. So after LinkedIn, if you have Gil Bar Dash Lab, you can. And there you there you are. There you are. All right. Again, thanks, Gil. Really appreciate it. It's been a lot of fun. And, folks, that's the ball game. Thanks for joining us today. If you like our show, please tell your friends, subscribe, and review. And as we like to say, we'll see you around the ballpark. Running the bases with small businesses is brought to you by 38 digital market. A digital marketing agency committed to client growth with lead generation, higher conversions, and increased sales. Connect with us today at