ARLL is not a company – it is a beautiful story. We haven’t raised funds from venture capitalists to set up this company – on the contrary, I have borrowed £200 from a friend – the same friend who filled up the forms for setting up this company and then told me – “Go on, you are an entrepreneur now – go and make money!” I took my “luggage” full of bad experiences and I promised to myself that I wouldn’t make those mistakes I’ve seen in the other companies. I will have my own rules – and I will build a company based on those values my nan put into my head since I was a child: honesty, openness, trust, care, empathy, respect, common sense! How naïve!!
I start doing what I knew – selling! I went to different companies and asked them to give me what their sales department doesn’t like selling! And I was paid only after the sale was concluded a small tiny commission. The clients were placing a small order initially and the major purchase was being done afterwards behind my back! Bootstrapping was the keyword those days! Slowly, I have added more staff and we were selling more – but I kept only those vendors that were showing same values like us – and were smart enough to realize that my commission was not an expense for them like the cost of their sales department (wages, commissions, training, etc)!
One of the first employees was a dear friend of mine – that was living in Romania and couldn’t relocate to UK since her ill old mother needed her daily care. So she started working remotely from home. After that, another one joined the team and she was a young mom with a little girl – so working from home – was the ideal job. Soon, I’ve realized that rather than paying a high rent and utility bills I can adopt this model of business and offer my team the highest commission possible in any company – so they are motivate and work hard for the company. Once a sale concluded – the salesman is happy, the company benefit and so the vendor and the client – so it was a win-win for all parties involved. The bonus and commission scheme is tailored to be clear, easy to understand and more important – a motivator tool.
The beauty of working remotely is that I can attract the best salesmen in the world – they do not have to live in UK, where the head office is. If I want to sell something in Italy – I do not hire an Englishman to do it – but a local Italian sales person – that speaks the local language, has a local market know how and knows instantly if an offer is good or not for her market. That is why, we are able now to provide instant feedback for any stock we have on sale!
If you look on our website on the team page – you will notice that mainly ARLL staff is made by women! There is no sexist policy here – it is just that my opinion is that a woman is a better B2B salesman than a man. She is more caring, more empathetic and she is looking for a long-term business relationship and not just a transactional one-time deal. We like to talk to the clients, to find out how their business is, what are their problems and to share advises from more successful ones. There is no other satisfaction than a call from a happy client – and if you read ARLL reviews – they will show exactly these- pleased clients that find in ARLL staff a business support not just a one buy solution for the stock they need.
Maybe some of the offers are pricey – according to some clients – but we do try to achieve the sales value imposed by the vendor as well. We do our best to identify that market, where the stock we sell can be purchased at that cost and still leaves room for profit to the client also.
There are couple of B2B platforms, or different companies – offering surplus stock, customer returns, or refurbished products – but they force you to set up an account (in 90% cases you can’t find someone to talk to) and you bang your head against the walls trying to collect the goods you have purchased from them. This is one of the mistakes I was talking about. Here, we take the client and go though every single phase of the purchase flow – helping him with the logistic side. We do this for free – calling to different transport companies, asking for transport quotes, getting back to the client with them – so he can chose the best one – and keeping in touch with all the involved parties – until the stock get to his warehouse and he is happy. There are hundreds of hours spent on this side of a deal – time that is not paid - but we will do it because we care about our clients. If we would have some investors behind us – they would be jumping and screaming in the board of directors on this waste of resources. And guess what – there are clients that get this service and our willingness and good will – as weakness and we get bullied and harassed – just because we are women and they feel that if they send 100 emails per hour and threaten us we will give up and offer them stock for free or whatever!
In 6 years, we have sold over £12milions worth of stocks, thousands of trucks and we supplied many many clients all over the world. We work with 30+ vendors: manufacturers or retailers from UK, Germany, Italy, and France on behalf of whom we promote and sell the stock. All the team works remotely – even me – I’ve moved in a nice cottage in the middle of my beautiful loved Carpathians mountains! This is the future – in US –over 35% of workers are commuting, so why not in EU?
Where we aim to get in the future? To have over 100 salesmen all over the world, to access new markets and new vendors – and to have as many happy clients as possible as we cannot please everyone!