MAP Client Spotlight: Housables
Andy Yang, President and CEO of Housables, a community centered around product design, development and marketing, created the company as his last stitch effort at entrepreneurship. Coming off of four “project fails”, Andy gave himself one last shot, going all in as an importer/exporter and white labeling service that identifies and markets products people want that are higher quality and better in price.
In a Q&A with Andy, he shares the lessons he has learned along the way and how his tenacity paid off.
Q: How would you describe your entrepreneurial journey?
A: The path as an entrepreneur has been arduous and filled with trial and error, as most business owners would likely agree. Nine years ago, when I started working for myself, I was logging 16-hour work days 7 days a week. I had projects failing one after the other, questioning if this was truly my path. Having those projects fail ended up being a blessing in disguise, as I was forced to laser focus on my last project, knowing I would have to go back to a job I hated if it failed.
A business is simply a collection of people working towards a common goal. I built an awesome team, as hiring is (arguably) the most important function of any business. Defined values were identified, and every single member of the team had to align with those values. We started to get small wins along the way and built off of them, little by little, brick by brick. Our team continued to stay focused, all the while constantly learning and thinking about how we can improve.
Q: How has Housables been affected by the pandemic?
A: We are very lucky that business has boomed during the pandemic. We were already setup for remote access for our communication channels, database, etc. so that was seamless. The one main challenge we encountered with sales increasing at unprecedented rates was the unpredictability of necessary inventory. We’re ironing that out now, so overall I have no complaints.
Q: How has working with MAP helped you as a CEO?
A: Our MAP Consultant, Ajay Kumar, saved our company two years ago. He identified a gap that we hadn’t honed in on, and if it continued for two more months, we would have been out of business. Our cost of goods was inaccurate and the books were showing more money than we were making. Decisions were being made based on those inaccurate numbers, and we would have had zero cash if it continued. We made a quick (and somewhat painful) change and were able to pull ourselves out of it just in the nick of time.
The MAP Management System™ is not an easy process, but it’s wonderful and necessary. The instilled accountability has created a culture of discipline based on the most important metrics for our company. Everyone is on the same page as to our overall company goals and are held accountable for their individual goals. Before MAP, it felt like I was the sole leader with many helpers – now it is a collective with amazing engagement across the board. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and the improved contribution from every team member is very noticeable.
Q: What piece of advice to you have for fellow entrepreneurs?
A: FOCUS. When things started to change in my journey towards success, it was because I was focused. I had discovered one unifying concept to get behind and was passionate about. Find your direction and stay on the path.