How often have you complained about the price of things and felt you’d like to come up with a new price? Under normal circumstances the person serving you might laugh in your face, until now. Three young entrepreneurs have created Acuerdalo.com, a website that allows you to decide on the price of the things you want to buy. And we’re not talking about an auction, or end-of-line products, or second-hand goods, but a limitless stock of new items.
Recently, Beatriz Carretie, Jorge Carretie and Juan Carlos Fdez-Incera, the creators of Acuerdalo.com, won First Prize in the future commercial distribution category of the Pasión>ie awards. A competition with 200 projects concerning business innovation, in which Ferrovial participates in the mentoring and selection of winning start-ups.
We interviewed one of the creators, Juan Carlos Fdez-Incera, so he could tell us what winning the Pasión<ie Award has meant for them, how they see the future of the project and how they are dealing with the experience of being entrepreneurs.
Read the interview with Juan Carlos Fdez-Incera
How did the idea come about? Were you the sort who couldn’t stop bargaining?
Acuerdalo.com arose out of pure necessity. We were at University and we wanted to buy a product that we liked but was out of our budget, and that was tough. Often the prices were just out of range and we found auction sites, wish list sites, but not a system of bargaining which would really allow the customer to negotiate on price. To that end, we created a tool which we loved and which we could share with online users.
How are you agreeing prices with suppliers? I mean how are you dealing with B2B communications and marketing?
The truth is that we’ve been very lucky given that the idea went down so well that a lot of the media has contacted us in order to offer their listeners and viewers the new approach to purchasing put forward by Acuerdalo.com.
With regards to suppliers, we thought it was going to be the hardest task. But now we have been able to see that it is precisely the suppliers who are calling us directly in order to offer their products online using our tool, given that it does not register any price for the product in search engines, which means they can be as aggressive as they want with prices, with the advantage that their brand image is never harmed.
How has the project been going since you won the Pasión >ie Award?
Winning Pasión>ie was a stroke of luck! One of the best competitions nationwide promoted by large-scale companies who have opened up the door to a wide panoply of contacts, experience and opportunities. In fact they have always been very open to possible collaborations with Start-ups from the programme.
Having won Pasión>ie we have noticed that Acuerdalo.com has become much better known. In fact we have even noticed this in the user traffic that has brought us to the website.
I want to emphasize the contribution that the Ferrovial team has made to the programme. They have really committed to all of the start-ups, transmitting the company’s support.
What are the plans for the future?
Coming out of Pasión>ie and thanks to the experience provided us by our mentor Nicolás Rodriguez Cuellar of IE Business School and the programme’s companies, we have been able to progress, successfully applying for the Lanzadera entrepreneurs programme.
From here we are going to make our business grow, reaching the entire domestic market to then be able to go global by the middle of 2016.
What is the best part, and the biggest challenges, of being an entrepreneur?
The toughest thing about being an entrepreneur is knowing how to manage uncertainty. There are amazing days, like winning Pasión>ie, and days when things look bleaker. What is important is to have a solid team behind you and to always look to the future with your start-up.
The best thing, without a doubt, is not that you manage your own time, as your friends always say, but that you have no occupational ceiling. It is true that you are going to work harder than anyone, and also true that you won’t have holidays, but the feeling of being able to grow within your company is priceless. You are constantly inspired with new ideas for your company.
A tip for readers considering creating a start-up?
I always give the same answer to this Question: GO FOR IT. My father is a civil servant and my mother is a banker. I had lots of chances to work for someone else, but thanks to my team I became an entrepreneur. It was what I liked, but I didn’t dare. There is a market for everyone and there are many needs still to be met. If you really have an idea, why not take it all the way? Now there are lots of subsidies for entrepreneurs, and of course we need more, but things are happening. Spain needs to generate wealth, to create employment, to grow through innovation, and for that we need Entrepreneurs. It’s scary at first, and it’s hard, but it’s beautiful and well worth the effort.