We have the pleasure of working with all sorts of businesses that are utilizing technology to create unmatched customer experiences.
Today, we share the story of Oxotic, a Golden, Colorado-based company offering an exhilarating supercar driving experience through the scenic rocky mountains. We spoke with the man behind the business, founder Eric Sandoval, and he gave us the inside scoop about what makes Oxotic so special and how he keeps the fun going. Check out this cool business and learn about how they use ShopKeep and other technology tools to create lasting memories for their customers.
Counter Culture: Can you tell us a little bit about Oxotic?
Eric Sandoval: Sure. Oxotic is a driving tour company in Golden, CO. We provide thrilling driving experiences in modern supercars on scenic canyon roads in the rocky mountains. Our customers can experience the tours as passengers or drive the cars themselves on several beautiful courses. We offer about 75 tours per week, and a bit more during the spring and summer. We have all types of customers, from individuals who are just looking to drive a $300,000 supercar, to families, corporate teams, bachelor parties, and more. Some of the cars in our fleet are the Ferrari 458 Italia, and the Lamborghini Superleggera, to name a few.
CC: Why did you open the business and how did you come up with the idea?
ES: We opened in the summer of 2013. I kind of stumbled into the business, but I was familiar with the industry [the cars] and my partner owned a shop. My professional background is in technology; I worked at several tech startups over the years. I owned a few exotic cars and am really passionate about them. I wanted to share that with people, so I opened the business to offer the opportunity to experience something rare but really enjoyable for me.
CC: How did you discover ShopKeep?
ES: I came across ShopKeep many years ago at an event. While I was developing my business plan, I was invited to a Porsche event, where the vendors were using ShopKeep to sell t-shirts and other merchandise. I saw how cool the system looked and how easy it was to use. When I was ready to open the business, I did some research and went with it. It’s been great for us.
CC: Why did you choose ShopKeep, and did you try any other systems before deciding to?
ES: I did try a few other systems before choosing ShopKeep. I knew that I wanted an iPad system, so everything that I researched was in that category. POS Lavu was one of the few that I recall looking into. In the end, I went with ShopKeep because I loved the user interface and the fact that you guys upgrade the software continuously.
CC: What role does technology play in the way you run your business?
ES: I spent many years as a technology executive, so I’m very familiar with the cloud and SaaS technology. I knew that I wanted the business to be powered by SaaS automation. ShopKeep was our first purchase and is at the heart of our business. In addition to ShopKeep, we also use Google Mail and apps, Box.com for customer video and photo distribution, Full Slate for appointment scheduling, LocBox and MailChimp – with ShopKeep – for marketing and email, and Facebook and Google Analytics for online marketing. We also use My Live Chat for real time chatting, and our phones are VOIP systems. So, obviously technology powers everything that we do, and makes running the business so much easier.
CC: How has ShopKeep helped you run a better business?
ES: ShopKeep helps us with everything involving our sales and managing our customers. We use it to punch in our phone orders – when people buy packages over the phone, to sell our merchandise and take payments for services on-site, and for email collection and customer management. Email collection is huge for us now that ShopKeep is integrated with Mailchimp. I started using Mailchimp after you guys added the integration and now we send out monthly newsletters and emails whenever we have promotions.
CC: What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?
ES: The challenge of working with customers is the best part for me. I always worked in a corporate setting, so never any real customer-facing. Now the majority of my day is spent interacting with our customers and it’s always a new experience. Working with different personalities and types of people keeps it interesting.
CC: What’s the most difficult part about being an entrepreneur?
ES: The most difficult part is dealing with the unknown. This is a unique business, so we don’t have direct competitors to model from. It’s not like an established market where you have the blueprint for everything you do.
CC: What’s your goal with the business?
ES: My goal every single day is to provide that ‘bucket-list’ type of experience for our customers. It’s not everyday that people get to drive these cars. They spend a lot of money with us and are really excited to try this, so I just try to provide the experience they’re hoping to have.
CC: What’s your favorite supercar?
ES: That’s really tough to say. It’s like picking your favorite child or something. I like all of them for different reasons, but my favorites are probably the McLaren P1 and the Lamborghini Aventador.
CC: Any words of wisdom for aspiring entrepreneurs?
ES: Follow your passion, do your research and get to know what your customers want.