Andy Eastes is an entrepreneur with a passion for e-commerce and process improvement, and is five years into his most recent startup, SkuVault. He grew up in Louisville, KY and started selling products online in middle school. He attended the University of Louisville for Industrial Engineering before starting a consulting and custom software development firm that focuses on inventory management for manufacturing companies. The next step was combining his passion for process improvement with inventory and warehouse operations into the e-commerce realm with SkuVault. Follow him @skuvault.
Who is your hero? (In business, life, or both.)
Jason Fried, the co-founder of Basecamp. In a time when everyone was “following the norm” in project management software, Jason diverted from that path to create the anti-project management tool, which proved to be a great success.
What’s the single best piece of business advice that helped shape who you are as an entrepreneur today, and why?
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in — every business is a people business.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in your business, and what did you learn from it that others can learn from too?
I have found that goal-setting is key, and is one of the most overlooked components to become successful in anything. Setting goals both high enough and clear enough is crucial to scaling successfully.
What do you do during the first hour of your business day and why?
I begin each day by working on a specific, larger project. Mornings are the best window of time to make progress without interruption or distraction. This is also the part of the day when my brain is most suited for solving complex problems.
What’s your best financial/cash-flow related tip for entrepreneurs just getting started?
Identify your key metrics and measure them religiously every day. If you have people on your team, have them measure the metrics that they can influence directly every day.
Quick: What’s ONE thing you recommend ALL aspiring or current entrepreneurs do right now to take their biz to the next level?
Narrow down your target audience. Segment niche audiences; this allows for much more successful (and less expensive) customer acquisition.
What’s your definition of success? How will you know when you’ve finally “succeeded” in your business?
Success, in my eyes, is when the company has a culture and organizational structure that allows me to take a step back while still maintaining a high growth rate, quality, product, service and culture.