Everyone knows the stories of entrepreneurs and start-ups, but how often to you hear what really happens in their world. Least Asked Questions are the ones that should be asked, but few people ever do. This week, we talk to Kristian Pfleiger of One Garage Over. The idea for One Garage Over was born on a Saturday afternoon in 2015, when Pflieger, Company's founder & CEO, needed a ladder to remove a branch from his roof. After asking his closest neighbors and not finding what he needed, he decided to create a way for people to gain access to needed items by renting them from their neighbors. The mission of One Garage Over, is to empower individuals to improve their homes, their communities, and the environment by providing a platform that enables them to build trusting relationships and equitably share resources.
Some consultants say that startups and entrepreneurs shouldn’t worry about things like trademarks. That necessarily wasn’t the case for you? Tell us that story.
It certainly was not the case for me. The original name that I came up with was HeyNeighbor. After about three months I received a cease and desist letter from one company, and month later I received another cease and desist letter from a different company. The second letter included proof of their ownership of the Trademark for HeyNeighbor. After discussing the situation with my lawyer, we determined it would be in my best interest to change the name. So we changed it to One Garage Over, and I immediately filed for a trademark, which I received.
You started your business while working full-time as a consultant. When did you know it was time to make the switch to full-time on your business?
I'm not sure that you really ever know when it's time to make the leap. I knew that my company would never have the chance to reach its full potential while only concentrating on it part-time.
For me, the right situation presented itself. The full-time job that I had at the time was for a small company and I had advanced as far as I could; so If I wanted to continue advancing in my career I was going to have to change jobs anyway. So I decided that my next full time job would be for One Garage Over, instead of another larger organization. It was still one of the most frightening things that I have ever done.
People say that at the end of the day, being the head of a startup is lonely because you don’t have someone to actually relate to. Do you feel that is true? Why?
It certainly can be lonely at times, but there is a great environment here in Greenville to be an entrepreneur. There are great coworking spaces and numerous events in town where you end up meeting and building relationships with fellow entrepreneurs. Those relationships really help in feeling less isolated.
Who is the first vendor you pay each month?
The first vendor that I make sure to pay each month is the Government. There are lots of different taxes that a business need to stay on top of other than just income taxes. It's very important to stay current with things like Payroll Taxes and Sales Taxes; if you don't keep up with them you can get yourself into some real trouble.
You also brew your own beer. Is that a stress reliever?
Definitely! Although I think that drinking the beer is where the real stress relief comes from. lol.