Saman Izadiyar: The Do's And Don'ts For Building Successful DTC Brands

August 26, 2022
3 min read

Saman Izadiyar, founder of Ottit, shares his take on the financial strategies, best practices, processes, and habits of successful DTC brands.

Saman Izadiyar is a numbers guy. His passion for finances led him into a mission to serve fast-growing DTC brands through Ottit, a financial services company. Our CEO, Adii Pienaar, and Saman, discuss common practices of today’s business world and challenge you to question them.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How budgets are a false ceiling for DTC brands 
  • Technology, tools, processes, and habits that set DTC brands up for success 
  • What clarity can do for your business

Tune in on: Apple | Google | Spotify

“Actionable data. That's what it's all about. And it's much easier to stay ahead of the curve than to go back in time and try to fix it.”

- Saman Izadiyar, CEO and founder of Ottit

Meet Saman Izadiyar

Saman has always had a passion for numbers. His background in finance and prior experience in the ecommerce world have allowed him to build on a mission to serve growth-driven DTC brands. 

In 2021, Saman founded Ottit, a financial services business to help brands with bookkeeping so they can scale faster and better. 

Before Ottit, Saman co-founded Bloomy Wellness, a supplements brand for kids which was acquired in 2022 by a private purchaser.

Connect with Saman on: LinkedIn | Twitter 

The Checkout episode 38 unpacks:

In today’s episode, Adii Pienaar, and Saman Izadiyar walk us through their recommendations for building successful businesses, including processes, habits, and tools. Here are the highlights:

[0:23] Saman’s journey entering the DTC space

  • How Saman’s love for clothing got him into the reselling business at 18 years old 
  • A terrible experience at the start of his career when he was scammed for $30k 
  • The workarounds that got him over challenges as he started his wholesale business

[2:23] The challenges brought by Covid-19

  • How Saman had to pivot to a mask DTC business during the pandemic and ended up selling 3 million masks.

[4:50] Daily habits that will set you up for success

  • A business owner's worst financial mistake
  • The one thing Saman does as a daily practice to keep his finances on point 
  • Saman’s proven strategy to project revenue

[4:50] Book recommendation - Simple Numbers by Greg Crabtree

  • Why you should do bookkeeping for your business on a weekly basis 
  • Greg Crabtree says, “Don’t budget, project or forecast” instead
  • “Projecting out or forecasting out, both revenue and expenses, put you in a position to take action” 
  • “Your business is entirely different from day to day. You don’t know what’s going to happen”

[9:14] Budgeting — to do it, or not to do it?

  • “I think budgets are very good if you have no discipline with money. And I think they're very bad, if you're putting a ceiling. So it, it goes both ways”
  • How bookkeeping will tell you the full story you need to know about your business

[16:47] Building clarity within your business

  • “The clarity that you can showcase to someone not only has a representation of your business, but it even tells the person that's investing in — these guys care, these guys are on it, these guys know what's happening in their day-to-day operations, and that it is somebody that they can trust in and give more money to if you're going that route”
  • How Ottit’s financial back office services help businesses build the clarity they need to succeed 
  • Automating processes to keep assets and expenses organized  

[23:21] Reporting sales on a cash basis vs. accrual basis

  • Why you should start reporting sales on an accrual basis
  • “If you're doing anything on a cash basis, everything will hit your PNL as soon as it's recognized on your bank. But now you don't have a clear idea of what's going on because you don't understand what your assets are” 

[33:49] Empowering teams to do great work

  • The importance of recognizing the mission of your business and communicating it to the team 
  • Why you should gamify challenges within your business to incentivize teams 
  • “When you empower smart, ambitious, and aligned people to work, they can do great things”

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