Erik Elfstrum - CEO, Pure Lyft

How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?

This business began in an upscale lounge in NYC where the founder saw young professionals drinking Redbull and vodka’s, just to get the boost everyone in the lounge was seeking.   THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY TO ENERGIZE.   This is where the idea of pureLYFT was born, as you can now ENERGIZE any beverage with ALL-NATURAL ingredients through an innovative stir stick.  The pureLYFT team then went to work and investors and retailers were all-in!

How do you make money?

The business is built on efficiencies where pureLYFT makes money on both retail and online sales.   There is also an opportunity to drive revenue through licensing the patented technology.   There are some inherent advantages where pureLYFT can accelerate revenue as shipping costs and size allows for online and distribution scale and profitability.

How long did it take for you to become profitable?

The first 4 years the product was in development where the team needed to find the right production partners to get the price to a point where the company can be profitable.   Working with a lean operating budget the team is expected to be profitable at the end of 2018 early 2019.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?

Erik has been a pillar of optimism where you would never doubt the business would be successful even to the point, he quit his job of 20 years to fulfill his dream of running the business.   This optimism was not free of hurdles that the team needed to address head on and move forward.   These production and retailer obstacles come with every venture that needs to be conquered to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

How did you get your first customer?

The first customer was Erik’s neighbor and now business partner Bill.   They used the first pureLYFT stick at his bar where the group was infusing all-natural caffeine into all the happy hour beverages.   This created that impact that has fueled this success of both partners.

What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business? 

Micro-influencers through social media advertising has yielded new customers through consumer-generated content which we reused on social ads. This gave pureLYFT a genuine feel and social proof as they were growing.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

Last month pureLYFT had to let go some of the agency partners. pureLYFT team could not justify the spend for one of there 3rd party vendors.  The team enjoyed the interactions and they were always commenting on different topics, but the impact of those actions did not yield results the desired results.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?

Erik has achieved success in the way he communicates to customers.   Having the optimism and confidence to convince everyone including investors, buyers, distributors that this will be the next best way to energize has been the secret to success.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

The most exciting moment must have been the first stir stick coming off the production line where the company vision came to life.  Now the team has gone through multiple improvements as they respond consumer feedback, leading to their recent success!

What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?

The Future is bright as the pureLYFT team will have the most successful year as you look at bottom line revenue and product placement.  There are multiple channels and partnerships that can bring this success to the next level.   The team is super excited for 2019 as we have new SKU’s and velocity data where expansion is not a question of will it happen, it is more so when.

What business books have inspired you?

Crushing it…by Gary Vaynerchuk- This book spoke to the risks you need to take to have your idea come to life and realize the full potential of your business.   These concepts also are applicable to all industries as Gary has had massive success in different product services.

What is a recent purchase you have made that’s helped with your business?

One of the most recent purchases that has helped the business in multiple ways is the sleeving machine.  The production team used to sleeve the stir sticks by hand which was inefficient and the appearance is not nearly as nice as the final product now.   This drove down the cost and made the final product more attractive to consumers.

How do we all keep our momentum moving in the right direction?

“Faithful to the Grind” this is the term that separates the winners from the losers.   Having a grinders mentality allows you to absorb the speed bumps as they will come while keeping the team focused in the same direction.   This mentality also provides inspiration for others involved with the mission of the business that helps you fuel momentum.

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