Kyle Freedman is the president and co-founder of Car Flo, the startup behind matching idle inventory at used car dealerships with rideshare drivers. Kyle has enticed used car rental dealerships to invest greater than $500,000 per month in new inventory specifically to rent out to gig workers in the New York Metropolitan area. Car Flo uses cutting-edge technology, ride share insurancee, SEO and online advertising to marry used dealerships with gig economy workers.
Kyle is an established entrepreneur who has assisted businesses to develop 7 and 8 figures a year for close to a decade. Prior to Car Flo, Kyle was involved in the real estate technology business building multi million dollar revenue streams. In particular, Kyle lead the marketing and technology efforts for the 3rd biggest corporate housing company, Alternative Business Accomodations. Alternative Business Accomodations controls over 300 apartments and 300M in real estate in the New York City area.
Kyle plans to continue growing Car Flo into a 50M-100M a year business over the next 3-4 years. He sees great potential in helping connect struggling and disadvantaged workers with vehicles to put them on a fast track for success.
Hey Kyle, What is your Company? How did you come up with the idea?
The idea for Car Flo came from the entrepreneur's classic "find a solution for a problem." The lightbulb went off when I headed out to Arizona to explore my relationship with my ex girlfriend. However, I wasn't going to take my car. I didn't want to lose money selling it or pay for storage, so I decided to turn it into an income stream and rent it to an Uber driver. It dawned on me that there are a lot of carless rideshare drivers in New York and that used car dealerships don't use their cars 24-7. Why not connect those two groups?
That is interesting. What is your backstory? Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I'm fascinated by the potential for success that's created when you link a great app with peer-to-peer commerce. If you do it right, you're creating something that's completely new. You're providing a solution to a problem that no one had ever before envisioned. I got my first real taste for this when I was doing marketing work for Alternative Business Accommodations, a company that rents furnished apartments to business travelers, providing them with more affordable lodging than hotel stays. My marketing company dramatically increased their business through new strategies and channels.
What's the most valuable advice you've received that contributed to your personal or professional success?
Never get discouraged. It's a fact of life in every startup that there will be difficult days early on, but you can't let them get you down. You need to keep your focus on the future and know that the good days will far outweigh the bad – but only if you're persistent and don't let the bad days stop you.
What have you sacrificed for success?
Easy. A steady paycheck! But let's go a little further than that. A startup like Car Flo consumes almost all of your time and energy.
What are the top three things you attribute your success to?
Belief, attitude, and care. First, you need to have an unwavering belief in your ability to achieve your goals. Second, you have to have a strong positive attitude; it keeps you going, and it keeps those around you going. Lastly, you need to care about what you are doing. There has to be a soulful, heart connection to your endeavors, otherwise, why bother?
Finally, What are your "5 things I wish someone told me before I started my company" and why.
1. The startup will be the first, second, and third most important things in my life. When you're working with a new idea, new technology, and a new team, your professional challenges ramp up…significantly.
2. Expect the unexpected. You're in new territory so you can't allow yourself to be derailed when something unexpected happens.
3. Be all-in mentally and emotionally. In a startup you aren't someone hired to "fill a slot" or provide a service. You are the company! The commitment runs deeper that simply doing the work.
4. Care for yourself. You can get so wrapped up in creating business success that you fail at yourself. As I said above, if you don't have your health, you won't be going anywhere.
5. Love your concept? Get ready to ditch it! While you must be devoted to your business plan, you need to be rational and sober enough to recognize when it's time to pivot.