Want Startup Success? Keep It Simple, Stupid!

A Case Study of What to Do

We recently acquired Restaurant Furniture Plus. When the entrepreneur was pitching their business to us, their communicated mission was very clear: we are the leading ecommerce seller of furniture to restaurants. And, they differentiated themselves with a “free furniture sourcing service”, to take work off the plate of busy restaurant owners that didn’t have the time to research furniture themselves.

Why did that pitch resonate? First, the restaurant industry is large, at approximately $800B a year, so a big business could be built. Second, all the competitors lead with products and prices, and this company lead with service, as a clear differentiator. Third, given the heavy B2B services nature to the business, it would be more defensible versus the big ecommerce-only players in the industry, like Amazon, that are not deep in services. And, the company’s clear focus showed in their financial metrics. The business was growing very quickly, with a very high conversion rate and many happy repeat customers, both data points which spoke to the high quality of the service and its appeal to customers. All in all, it was very simple in its design and execution. And, guess what? We bought the company!