ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Car Care Cash
This article was originally published at The Clubhou.se
What would you do if you needed to get to work and your car didn’t work?
As a musician and marketer for a local restaurant, Arthur Chapman had to answer this question more times than he wanted. For many people it’s not much of a decision. Take your car to the shop or call for a tow, maybe even get a rental; all with credit or money that has been set aside for emergencies. For many in the underserved community though, this is a much more difficult decision. A legacy of discriminatory and predatory lending practices leaves few options. With finance rates approaching 25%, they can face a choice between repairing their car so they can get to work or paying rent and hoping the choice doesn’t mean losing a job.
Arthur’s solution was Car Care Cash, LLC, an entity committed to providing fast funding for vehicle repairs in an effort to eliminate predatory subprime lending as it pertains to vehicle repair. Raising starting capital for non-predatory subprime lending is not easy though. According to Arthur, “Initially it was an idea for FinTech–an application that lets you sign up, enter information, schedule a repair and sign up for recurring payments until the repair is paid off and while that is the ultimate goal, the StartupLife program and my time at theClubhou.se have helped me to break it up into steps, finding a way to execute my model manually to generate profit that can be reinvested into the business to build the technology.”
These days with the help of his mentor, Arthur spends much of his time “meeting with potential lenders, creditors, or connectors that can help me access funding, and meeting repair shop owners and managers to get their feedback on my model.”
Arthur took some time to answer the following questions which round out more of his business.
What were you like in school?
In school, I was extremely academic and study oriented, always having a thirst for learning new things. I graduated as the Salutatorian of my high school class. In college I was interested in many majors and switched a lot before narrowing it down to one. Even now there are so many skills and subjects I want to learn though I understand the importance of focusing on one thing at a time to achieve some level of mastery. My current focus is the repair finance business.
Any significant experiences/skills that influenced your business?
My ability to brand and market products, services, and talent has helped tremendously. I’m good at speaking to the benefits of what I offer and getting other people enthused about it. I also enjoy enlightening others about unknown topics and products, such as cryptocurrency. I have made cryptocurrency a topic of interest in my circle of influence in a short period of time through creating content and music about it. I’ve been able to do the same with the concept of financing for vehicle repair.
Any previous entrepreneurial experience? Lessons learned?
I have previous experience selling merchandise in regard to my music career (CDs, t-shirts, pins, etc). I learned alot about budgeting, the cost of doing business, recuperating expenses, and the importance of accounting, financial planning, and tracking income.
What appealed to you about entrepreneurship?
The ability to control your schedule, your income, and thus your reality. While you may work significantly harder for security, I know it’s worth it. I also saw entrepreneurship as a way to uplift my community, understanding the social ills and wealth disparity that the minority community faces, I wanted to do my part by creating something to help.
How did you get the idea?
The idea came out of necessity and lack. I am my target consumer. All through undergrad, I never had enough money to keep my car repaired when things went wrong and I see the same problem within the underserved community extensively. One needs their vehicle to get to work but their financial situation does not allow relief if their vehicle fails (lack of financial cushion, no access to credit) and without a vehicle that puts their employment and thus their entire livelihood at jeopardy. Considering the fact that car ownership has crept into the category of basic needs in this country, with so much infrastructure being built around cars, people essentially need a car to live, if not survive. Even the advent of public transportation is not available to all if they live in rural areas where bus lines do not run or Taxi & Uber services are “uber” expensive, this is the case in Augusta-Richmond County amongst many other counties, cities and states. I needed a way to get my car fixed and be able to affordably pay it back over time and I saw that need in the community, so I stopped wishing and created it.
How did you fund the business?
The main avenues of funding we are assessing now are commercial credit lines, grants, and seed investments
How did you market your business?
Our web presence–social media & website, leveraging my community presence and influence acquired through previous PR work, there is also a bit of traditional marketing to come, through musical radio advertisements.
Common misconceptions about your business/entrepreneurship in general?
It’s always extremely lucrative somewhat quickly, but I’ve grown to understand the concept of failing forward and failing fast. Understanding that it may take several attempts and iterations until you get the right model and method.
Where is the business now?
Car Care Cash, LLC is currently in its fundraising phase, working diligently to procure the backing needed to compensate repair shops for their work and fund the consumer’s repair in a timely manner.
How have you benefited by being a member of theClubhou.se?
I’ve learned things that may seem like common sense and easy to some, such as how to setup an LLC or any other business formation, yet these things have been invaluable along my journey through entrepreneurship. Being a first-generation entrepreneur and having little business knowledge, (including financial literacy & business terminology, customs and law) put me significantly behind my peers, but my time at the C has helped me close that gap. I’ve also been able to take what I’ve learned and share it with my family and community to help others that want to be entrepreneurs but don’t know how.
Who are your main competitors and what have you learned from them?
Traditional lenders, payday advance and title pawn entities, third party insurance providers (AAA, Car Shield) are my main competitors. I’ve learned to deliver on the promise advertised. For instance I have seen reviews about consumers diligently paying monthly to a third party insurance provider only to be denied the repair they need when the time comes, so they are left to wonder what exactly they had been paying for. We want to always fulfill our brand promise and execute to the best of our ability.
The Celestine Prophecy, 4-hour Work Week, The Go-Giver, Life of Pi
Documentaries and supernatural thrillers, such as 13th Documentary and Constantine
Any extra-curricular activities?
I’ve been a vocalist and musician since the age of three, I have professionally recorded music available on all streaming sites under the moniker “Art Love” and I’m going on tour mid-October with international gospel artist “Trey McLaughlin”.
Being a musician, I’d have to say Jay-Z, Akon, and Nipsey Hussle. Strictly from a business standpoint, Oprah Winfrey, Madame CJ Walker, and Alfred Edmond Jr.
Best piece of advice?
You are the creator of your own destiny, and good things come to those who create, not wait.
What does theClubhou.se mean to you?
theClubhou.se has brought me light years closer to the fruition of my idea. Without the training and mentorship I have received in this space, I would still be dreaming about a business concept instead of being on the verge of successful business ownership and financial freedom.
What’s your favorite aspect theClubhou.se?
Obviously the Startup Life program! Without this program I wouldn’t even know about theClubhou.se and all of the resources available! Beer & Bytes is pretty awesome too! Interestingly enough, I’ve always been an idea guy, a thinker. For instance, I had the idea for technologies like Soundhound or Shazam when I was a pre-teen but had no idea how to make them a reality, but the StartUp Life program and theClubhou.se have transformed me into a doer, by giving me the tools, resources, and knowledge to take any idea I come up with into a functioning entity and the foresight to research & understand if the idea would even be profitable.
What is next for your business?
Generating enough profit to begin work on the FinTech application.
What is next for you?
Validating my model and growing my company’s valuation. I want to make this business sustainable enough to move on to a new idea and become a serial entrepreneur.
Is there a particular story or activity that was meaningful for you from your involvement with Startup Life program at theClubhou.se?
If not for the program and theClubhou.se, I wouldn’t have met Dr. Gordon Jones who gave me the opportunity to fuse my passions for music with my professional background of PR & Branding. We created a song and music video about Blockchain technology called “Blockchain Movement” to highlight his company, Universal Healthcoin, and during the time spent creating that he’s given me countless hours of mentorship about my own business idea and business in general. He’s also made a few really important soft introductions for me in my business field. I’ve had so much fun while learning and gaining experience.
Why would you recommend someone joining theClubhou.se?
One should join theClubhou.se because it is a vibrant, thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurs, with a valuable exchange of knowledge, networks, referrals, and business lifehacks. Upon entering the space, one is immediately plugged into the startup and entrepreneurial community needed to take your business to astronomical heights. If you want a successful business and the aid and guidance of seasoned entrepreneurs, theClubhou.se is the place to be.