Allan Marshall is the CEO of Upexi, Inc., a publicly listed investment platform that acquires profitable, data-driven Amazon and eCommerce brands. Steve and Allan discuss ways to scale your retail brand on Amazon, how to invest in an eCommerce business, and the right ingredients for launching an online brand. Listen to the full episode here.
In a recent episode of the Management Blueprint podcast, host Steve interviews Allan Marshall, the CEO of Upexi, Inc., a public-listed investment platform that focuses on data-driven Amazon and e-commerce brands. Allan shares his unique journey of transitioning from the logistics industry to becoming an investor in businesses. The conversation revolves around the fragmented market of e-commerce brands, the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, and the critical factors that determine a brand’s potential for investment.
From Logistics to Investments:
Allan’s journey began in the logistics industry, where he started and sold multiple successful companies. This experience provided him with valuable insights into investments and the opportunities presented by being a public company. After establishing a logistics giant, Allan took a step back in 2007 and began investing in small companies from various industries, including software, crypto, and even technology related to the cannabis industry. However, it was a chance encounter with a small CBD brand that sparked his interest in building another company and led him to the investment platform he currently runs.
The Opportunity in Fragmented E-commerce:
Allan recognized the immense potential that Amazon and e-commerce platforms created for individuals to launch their own brands or single products. However, he also observed the increasing competitiveness in the market, where success could be short-lived due to emerging competition. To address this, Allan developed a blueprint for acquiring these brands, injecting capital, talent, and resources, and scaling their operations beyond Amazon into direct-to-consumer channels and larger retail opportunities. By consolidating these fragmented brands under one umbrella, Upexi aims to leverage economies of scale, improve operations, and drive profitability.
The Challenges for Entrepreneurs:
While the entrepreneurial spirit remains resilient, Allan acknowledges that starting and scaling a brand on platforms like Amazon has become more challenging due to increasing competition. However, he emphasizes that opportunities still exist, and entrepreneurs can find success by focusing on niche markets, launching single products, and building a compelling brand story. He advises entrepreneurs to partner with reliable agencies for advertising and copywriting expertise and stresses the importance of addressing basic questions like competitive advantage and customer benefits.
When considering investment opportunities, Upexi looks for brands that have already proven their market viability, sales potential, and reasonable margins. They evaluate the existing management team and assess how their strengths align with Upexi’s capabilities, such as advertising and development resources. Additionally, Upexi considers profitability, market expansion, and the potential to make improvements or differentiate the brand from its competitors. These criteria help Upexi identify brands with growth potential and provide them with the necessary support and resources to thrive.One of the most interesting parts of our conversation was about why entrepreneurs choose to partner with Upexi Inc., instead of hiring agencies or tapping into venture capital. Allan explained how they offer capital and the opportunity for owners… Click To Tweet
Identifying Opportunities and Staying Focused:
Upexi stays connected to the market by attending trade shows and staying within industries such as health, wellness, pets, and educational toys. Allan explains that these industries offer robust growth opportunities and attract consistent consumer spending. By focusing on sectors where people tend not to cut back on their expenses, Upexi can identify potential brands that align with their investment strategy. While they come across numerous opportunities, Upexi remains dedicated to its core industries, ensuring a cohesive and focused investment portfolio.
Engaging Entrepreneurs and Building Success:
Upexi’s approach involves acquiring brands while keeping the entrepreneurs engaged and fulfilled within the larger organization. They structure deals to incentivize owners to stay involved and align their interests with Upexi’s long-term success. By assembling a team of experts and providing capital and resources, Upexi creates an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive and contribute to the growth of their brands. The goal is to create a collaborative and supportive environment that benefits both the entrepreneurs and the overall business.
Joining Forces with Upexi:
Entrepreneurs who are building brands and seeking support can explore the opportunity to partner with Upexi by visiting their website at upexi.com. They can submit their business information, revenue details, and other relevant information for evaluation. Upexi carefully reviews all submissions and contacts potential partners to discuss further possibilities. Additionally, interested individuals can find more information about Upexi and its portfolio of brands on the NASDAQ website or by researching the company further.
Allan Marshall’s journey from the logistics industry to becoming an investor in e-commerce brands showcases the evolving landscape of entrepreneurship and investment opportunities. By recognizing the potential of fragmented e-commerce markets and providing strategic support, Upexi aims to unlock growth and profitability for the brands they acquire. Entrepreneurs navigating the competitive e-commerce space can find solace in the fact that opportunities still exist, and with the right strategy and support, they can turn their brands into successful ventures.
Listen to the full episode here.