0013: From Quitting His Teaching Job To Market 4WD Accessories Online, Growing the Business And The Business Collapsing, To Pivoting it Again, Starting His Own Online Business, and Turning it into a Multiple Seven Figures Company (Dan Kozaris)

Presented by Troy Trewin

Troy has worked intimately with 26 businesses in 20 years. He knows their numbers, understands their growing pains and people issues and has helped with most financial aspects, as well as having coached on leadership and management.

March 23, 2020

In this episode, I’ll have a conversation with Dan Kozaris, the owner of KPD4⨉4, a successful Australian four-wheel drive (4WD) accessories company. At age 26 in 2008 as the global financial crisis hit, Dan decided to pivot from the safe job of school teacher to become a marketer of four-wheel drive (4WD) accessories online for someone else. In 18 months, he helped grow that business from $3 Million to $5 Million in annual sales. 

Soon after, the owner took a chunk of money out of the business and left it to collapse, leaving Dan owed a lot. Vowing he could grow the same online business, but manage its finances better, first-year sales were $250,000. After four years working on his own, a six-week bike ride through Siberia with a mate, with barely any internet access, was the catalyst for Dan honing his first team member, and growth really took off from there. 

Now at five full time and one part-time team members, and sales growing between 30% and 60% per annum over the last ten years, they now have a multiple seven-figure business. Growth has been funded from profits with no debt or investors needed. Dan believes the hardest thing in growing a small business is identifying the most important tasks which make a difference to your growth and actually getting them done. It’s going to be a super insightful episode for any small business owner, so don’t miss out.  

This Cast Covers:

  • The two main functions at KPD industries and how they make money.
  • The challenge of managing the business remotely to get more time and lifestyle freedom.
  • His journey from education teacher to marketer and business owner.
  • The gold rush era of the online four-wheel drive (4WD) market.
  • Starting the business from home as an online business to diversifying into manufacturing.
  • Doing $250,000 a year in revenues in 2010 and growing at 25% to 45% per year on average to reach multiple 7 figure revenues.
  • Getting 70% of their revenues from their own branded products.
  • The moment when Dan felt he had succeeded and what success looks like to him.
  • The Coronavirus lockdown and the value of working online.
  • Funding the business internally despite starting from a negative financial position.
  • The headache he had with bookkeeping and accounting as the business grew.
  • Building confidence in their brand by getting the product right and making sure their customers were extremely well serviced.
  • Bringing in software to help them manage the increasing customer inquiries.
  • The challenges of managing people, and keeping them productive and focused.
  • Understanding the actual potential of the business in the future.
  • The importance of a small business owner making sure the tasks they’re engaged in are making a net positive growth difference in the business.
  • How he brought on team members to increase the business’ overall capacity and the hiring mistakes he made.
  • The value of maintaining a regular open line of communication with employees.
  • Investing in personal development and how it impacts him as a business owner and leader of his team of employees.
  • Identifying the most important tasks which will make a difference to a business’ growth and actually getting them done.
  • Aiming high and how it can help a small business owner do everything they have to to make things happen.

Additional Resources:

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Quotes:

“It’s extreme vigilance in many aspects of the business” – Dan Kozaris

“If we offer that flexibility we get good returns back from the employees” – Dan Kozaris

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Music from https://filmmusic.io “Cold Funk” by Kevin MacLeod (https://incompetech.com). License: CC BY (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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