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Alejandro Betancourt's transformation of Hawkers Co. using smarter financial strategies

Alejandro Betancourt is the president of Hawkers Co., a sunglass company that has made its mark in the competitive world of fashion. The financial success of Hawkers was not a straight line to profit, though. It took some serious restructuring to scale production, meet demand, and stay on the radar of the company's many fans.
Alejandro Betancourt's transformation of Hawkers Co. using smarter financial strategies

Betancourt might not be known for being a fashionista, but he is known for being a savvy entrepreneur and investor. We’ll look at how his involvement helped shape the company as it’s known today and why the decision to bring him in made all the difference in its bottom line. 

The beginning of Hawkers Co. 

All businesses have to start somewhere, even if the beginning doesn’t look anything like the end product. In the case of Hawkers, it started with four friends in Spain who wanted to create their own version of Craigslist. In the midst of cash flow problems with their main project, they had a few other side hustles at the time. After reselling a few pairs of sunglasses originally purchased in California, they changed gears to retail sales. In just a few years, they would ramp their sales up to €60.

Expanding their reach: Bringing in Alejandro Betancourt 

The sunglasses that the founders sold were named Knockarounds, and this brand managed to attract plenty of attention, even at the beginning. Yet the friends wanted to branch out on their own and reach new markets, which inevitably meant spending most of the money coming in. 

After reviewing the financials and assessing how difficult it was for them to retain their profits, they would look for outside advice. The main goal was to keep the company rolling without having to downscale. After doing their homework, the four friends would choose Alejandro Betancourt, an investor who had already proven himself with the international investment group O’Hara Administration.

Saving money with social media

Social media wasn’t the only thing that would help Hawkers become a success, but it certainly was a notable factor. During the mid-2010s, companies were still trying to find their footing in this new world of communication. Major platforms were still in the midst of being tested by target audiences. 

There was still plenty of opportunity for those who understood this emerging technology. Considering the nature of sunglasses, it seemed smart to focus on a photo-heavy platform where young people could share information about themselves. Hawkers was one of the original Instagram success stories, largely due to Alejandro Betancourt’s vision

How Hawkers was able to continue its climb up the ladder 

Betancourt would focus largely on influencer marketing and the power of people who already loved the Hawkers brand. These fashionistas were happy to log into their accounts and promote the brand. All it took was just a few small incentives before they shared different styles with their friends and family. In fact, they were doing this already - Alejandro Betancourt merely formalised the process. 

Alejandro Betancourt not only pushed for social media marketing but he would also fix snags in the supply chain and improve customer service within the company. By prioritizing transparency, customers came to rely on Hawkers for honest, friendly, and helpful answers. If there were any issues with shipments, customers were notified as soon as possible. 

What can startups learn from Hawkers?

Growth is all most company owners can think of when it comes to their brand. Yet what they often don’t realize is that growth has its downsides too. When an organization can’t keep up with the influx of resources it needs to thrive, it can be crushed under its own weight. 

The financial success of Hawkers starts with being able to reach out for and accept help when they needed it the most. Instead of trying the same tactics, the founders of Hawkers Co. turned to someone else. Today, Hawkers is getting an environmentally friendly line of sunglasses going, doing its part to fight climate change while appealing to a demographic that wants to be outside. 

Startups today can benefit from having a keen investor that truly believes in the future of the company. Alejandro Betancourt was able to help this company keep its trajectory going with a combination of forward-thinking strategies and sound business sense. Instead of scaling back to protect profits, he was able to help the company grow to new heights. 

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