Today, Hawkers Co. has sold millions of sunglasses at impressive margins, but its origin story is far more humble. In fact, much of the company’s financial success came down to bringing the right people into the mix. Alejandro Betancourt Lopez is an investor with vision — one who brought plenty of ideas to the founders of Hawkers just in time. Learn more about how he got involved with the brand and the tactics he used to get the company on the fast track.
Starting in Spain
Hawkers Co. began with four friends in Spain who originally had the idea to start their own version of Craigslist. This project had difficulty getting off the ground, though (largely due to cash flow issues). Instead, the friends found unexpected success by selling a few pairs of sunglasses purchased from California. Pivoting to retail sales would mean that in just four years, they’d be selling €60 million in product.
Where Alejandro Betancourt Lopez Comes In
The original sunglasses the friends were peddling were called Knockarounds, and this brand proved popular from the very beginning. As more money came in, the friends wanted to expand their reach, and they could only do this by spending more money. This caused some trouble with the books. Even when they were selling more than ever before, they found it difficult to retain their profits.
This was around the time when the friends got in touch with the current President of Hawkers Co, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez. As an entrepreneur who had already found success with O’Hara Financials (now O’Hara Administration), the founders asked Betancourt Lopez to manage the finances without impeding the company’s growth.
The Success of Social Media
One of the ways that Hawkers excelled was in marketing, and it’s known as an Instagram success story as much as a financial success story. This is because Alejandro Betancourt Lopez saw an opportunity in the mid-2010s that few others did. Rather than rely on traditional (expensive) tactics, he looked at how social media could spread the word at a better ROI.
He may not have been the first person to recognize the value of influencer marketing, but he was one of the first to pull it off on social media. Betancourt Lopez looked for trendy fashionistas who loved the sunglasses already. All he had to do was partner with them and offered a few incentives to get them to share their favorite styles with their friends. The financial results were undeniable.
Balancing Growth: How Hawkers Was Able to Come Out on Top
Growth can be a double-edged sword for any new company, especially if they start with limited financial resources. The founders wanted to manufacture their own sunglasses and expand in different markets, but it’s not easy to scale your resources even in the best of circumstances.
Luckily, Alejandro Betancourt Lopez had plenty of experience working with various businesses and understood how to make the leap from one level to the next. Besides savvy media strategies, he pushed for more transparency in the company’s customer service. If there’s a problem at any step of the supply chain, customers will know if and how their shipment will be affected. It helped encourage more goodwill and return business for the company.
All About Hawkers New Line of Environmentally Friendly Sunglasses
Alejandro Betancourt Lopez is proud of Hawkers Co.’s next initiative: an environmentally friendly line of sunglasses. Made with responsible materials and sustainable packaging, this is the perfect product for the company’s young demographic. As climate change continues to dominate headlines, this is a way for Hawkers to do its part and encourage other businesses to do the same.
When the company looks to the future, the staff and customers take notice. Betancourt Lopez continues to look for emerging opportunities that few others have spotted. Whether that’s in the form of marketing, management, or customer relations, his sight is always set on something just a little bigger.
What Can Other Startups Learn From Hawkers?
There are a few key takeaways from the Hawkers story, including one of the most enduring lessons of all time: The founders weren’t afraid to ask for help. Getting the right investor made all the difference in their numbers. This international success story may have started in a humble flat, but it was catapulted into the spotlight when Alejandro Betancourt Lopez became involved.
Originally published at https://www.tycoonstory.com on June 17, 2021.