Carcover.com CEO’s arduous journey to master the market car covers

For any business, startup has never been easy, especially for the founder. Each founder has his/her own story on the journey to reach achievement. But the story of Patrick Cohen, the CEO and founder of Carcover.com, has very unique and special features that I want to tell you about below. It took 3 interviews for him to share with me the full picture of his startup. From a Jewish student to a billion-dollar business.

Reporter: Hello Patrick, how have you been?

Patrick: Oh, Hi, I’m in good shape all the time. Despite the fact that I sleep very little every day, I may be fortunate to come from a line of people who are always eager to work and seldom sleep. LOL

Reporter: Oh, GREAT! glad to hear you say that.

Reporter: Patrick, can you share with us a little bit about your startup journey? I’m so curious and admire about this.

Patrick: hmm, OK okay but I don’t have much time.

Reporter: OK, let’s start!.

Reporter: What was the fate or reason why you decided to start up with car cover?

Patrick: Oh, it’s a long story. When I was attending college in Canada, I went out with my friends in early January. You know, it usually snows during this time of year in Canada, and it gets really cold.

I can still clearly recall that we went out in my friend’s 1980 Mustang. Oh I mean my friend’s dad owned that car. He asked me out after stealing the key from his dad. (laughs).

Our combined money at the time was probably not much more than $500 CAD, and we had only intended to travel for a week.

Reporter: Hello Patrick, how have you been?

Patrick: Oh, Hi, I’m in good shape all the time. Despite the fact that I sleep very little every day, I may be fortunate to come from a line of people who are always eager to work and seldom sleep. LOL

Reporter: Oh, GREAT! glad to hear you say that.

Reporter: Patrick, can you share with us a little bit about your startup journey? I’m so curious and admire about this.

Patrick: hmm, OK okay but I don’t have much time.

Reporter: OK, let’s start!.

Reporter: What was the fate or reason why you decided to start up with car cover?

Patrick: Oh, it’s a long story. When I was attending college in Canada, I went out with my friends in early January. You know, it usually snows during this time of year in Canada, and it gets really cold.

I can still clearly recall that we went out in my friend’s 1980 Mustang. Oh I mean my friend’s dad owned that car. He asked me out after stealing the key from his dad. (laughs).

Our combined money at the time was probably not much more than $500 CAD, and we had only intended to travel for a week.

However, it snowed more on the second day, so we stopped at a motel by the side of the road for a break. We had to leave our car on the street because they didn’t have a garage.

Reporter: Oh! This sounds dramatic.

Patrick: haha, that’s right. You know, what happens when the car is left on the street overnight in cold weather? The next morning we had a quick breakfast of hot bread. When I went to get the car to continue our trip,.. the car was nowhere to be found.

We both panicked. I did told my friend, Issac try pressing the opening button on the key. Then we really hear the beep sound to turn on the car.

It turned out that our car was covered in snow. Unbelievable, It’s really thick snow. At that time we had to returned to the motel and borrowed two shovels from the motel owner and shoveled the snow off the car as well as scraped off the snow and ice from the car’s glass surface.

It took us nearly 1 hour to deal with the snow problem.

But things are worse than that, due to being left outdoors for a long time in cold weather, the windshield and wiper got stuck and couldn’t move.

So it took us nearly another hour to resolve the problem with Wiper and Windshield. After we finished processing, we were exhausted and had no mood to go anywhere.

So we decided to return home. On the way we discussed and talked excitedly to find a solution for how to leave the car outside under the snow but still be safe.

My friend Issac came up with some options, including covering them with cotton pythons, or parking them under trees… blabla, but I dismissed them all and pointed out the weaknesses of the above problems.

Not so far on our way, I saw an uncle using a cloth to cover the windshield. A thought began to flash in my head, why not cover and wrap the whole car? Thus, not only the front/rear parts can protect the vehicle 100% safely.

I immediately mentioned this idea to Isaac. And my friend chanted. So the idea of selling car covers was born from there.

Reporter: Woah, It’s sounds very random.

Patrick: That’s right, business ideas often come at times we don’t expect.

Reporter: What difficulties and advantages did you and Issacs encounter when starting a business?

Patrick: Umm, to talk about difficulties then I could name a thousand ones. There are no students who can start their business smoothly from the very beginning.

But I want to share about my advantages first.

– Some of the initial products were very supportive of our school friends and their families.

– Supply is always not enough and for demand, this is indeed a very large market.

– There are many of my friends and siblings who also want to participate in this project, but I only choose Issac.

Next I can mention a few preliminary difficulties:

– Capital source. You know, capital is always an obstacle when doing business with any product. Especially for physical products.

– Operation principle.

– Production line.

– Materials.

– Marketing.

– Expand business model…

Reporter: What is your biggest difficulty?

Patrick: For me it’s probably operations and production. Capital is of course very important, but when operations and production become stable, the time and capital turnover rate will be very fast.

Reporter: What was the turning point and the boldest strategic decision since you started Carcover.com?

Patrick: Maybe you don’t know, our predecessor is not from the Carcover.com website. And the decision to buy back the domain name and change everything to the Carcover.com brand was probably my bold strategy and could also be my turning point.

Reporter: Oh! I don’t know about this issue yet, Can you share more with me?

Patrick: Our predecessor was another website. Monthly revenue at that time was only $200k-$300k. After deducting all expenses, there isn’t much profit left.

And in 2008, we asked to buy the domain name Carcover.com

The owner then asked us for $900k. It was a huge amount of money for us at that time.

My friend Isaac said: What? Why do they think they sell a domain name at such a sky-high price?

But for me, I see they sell at that price for a number of reasons.

The owner of this domain name is a young American man. A little older than us. We immediately came to ask for the address and came to work directly with him.

After nearly 2 months of traveling back and forth between Canada and the USA with many rounds of negotiations, we finally decided to buy this domain name.  $650,000 is the price we needed to pay.

My friend Isaac at that time still thought this was an sky-high price. But for me opportunity only comes once, if we don’t take advantage of it, it will be difficult to get a second time.

We then changed all product packaging. Transferred to the name CarCover.com

The main office headquarters was also moved to the USA. We imported more cutting machines and recruited more workers.

During that time we invested a lot. Probably close to $3M, equal to all the profits and capital we had earned before.

Reporter: Oh! What an admirable journey, Patrick.

Reporter: When you moved everything to America, how was your business?

Patrick: Much better than before, our revenue is continuously increasing and we are expanding our factories and new product lines.

Reporter: What product lines do you currently have?

Patrick: Besides car covers product lines, we also have RV Covers, Limousine Covers, Hearse covers, motorcycle covers. In the near future, we will research the market and expand a few more product lines.

Reporter: I’m curious about the marketing aspect. What methods do you use for marketing?

Patrick: Our initial revenue came mainly from Google Ads. But recently we used the SEO services of a young business. They are eFOX Solutions and their website is https://www.efox.solutions through the introduction of our partner.

I am very satisfied with their SEO service, our car covers keywords are mostly in the top searches. This helps greatly reduce advertising costs and creates an increasingly clearer brand image to customers.

Reporter: Woah, Great! Thank you for sharing Patrick. I think if I were to interview more about the business and startup, I would spend another week interviewing you. But through the conversation just now, I can see your whole procedure. It was truly brave and not at all easy.

Patrick: Yes, we always have entrepreneurial blood in head. (Laugh out loud) then I know hard work pays off.

Patrick: Thank you for the interview. Hope to see you again for another interview as we expand globally.

Reporter: Oh! Sounds very reasonable, good luck with your plan, Patrick. See you again!

Reporter: See you soon!