Rick Johnston is the founder and CEO of Autovance, a company dedicated to providing business intelligence to the automotive industry.
LivePlan: What’s the industry problem Autovance solves?
Rick: I think we solve a few different problems in the industry. We originated and we started because we solved the problem of car dealers that had certain dealership management systems. The software they used didn’t have custom reporting solutions. We originated out of that, and then we kind of spawned off and began doing some other things. That’s part of the reason that I got involved with LivePlan.
What’s your new business venture, and how did LivePlan assist you in the process?
The reason that I used Liveplan was because I’m bootstrapping a project to do a mobile app to handle appointments for salespeople in different industries. About five months ago or four months ago, we hashed around the idea; there’s nothing in the market that served that specific need. We set on down the path to do it, we had a developer working on the project, and it was kind of early on that I decided that I need to go back to LivePlan and I need to reengage myself. I just wanted to just throw something together over the weekend.
I started up on a Friday night, and Sunday afternoon I finished it. On Monday morning I was sitting at my computer and I was kind of reading my business plan and I thought “Wow, this is incredible!” I was able to pull this off in less than 72 hours.
I presented it to a few of the people I was involved with and they thought it was a remarkable accomplishment.
What did LivePlan offer you that made this possible?
LivePlan gave us a real roadmap to the things that we need to do to become profitable, and helped us understand and set some realistic goals and targets around when we should be accomplishing certain milestones. It’s kind of like that good-old saying in sports, “you’ve got to see yourself win before you win.” That’s kind of how I feel LivePlan really helps me. In the different times that I’ve used it, it really helped me to map-out my success.
What was your favorite part about your LivePlan experience?
I think the flexibility of the app. It allowed me to put in greater amounts of detail into certain parts of the business plan that were more pertinent to my business. I wasn’t confined to an overly structured system.