NS4L

Collin Austin

C.O.E. – Chief of Everything

Entrepreneur
Motivational / Just Get Out There, Do It, and Don’t Be Scared Speaker
Husband & Father
COE – Chief of Everything at @NS4L and @GulejoCoffee
COLLINAUSTIN.COM

Early in 2004, an opportunity presented itself that would forever change the direction of my life and the culture of an entire community. I would sit at a bus stop day after day trying to catch an RTS bus to campus and this bus would pass me by with the words FULL BUS displayed across the top. This opportunity merged with a drop shipping and importing opportunity with one of my best college friends and ultimately led to the creation of New Scooters 4 Less in March of 2004. 10 years later (now as sole owner), New Scooters 4 Less (NS4L) is one of the largest scooter dealerships in the southeastern United States and continues to break it’s own records and the sales records for some of the top scooter distributors in the country. NS4L has provided jobs to tons of amazing people, reached millions of dollars in revenue, sold thousands of scooters, and has serviced thousands more. NS4L is well-known within the business community for it’s unique, eccentric, and innovative culture developed around a single core value: Create and recreate the ultimate customer experience, or UCE. We put our focus on our employees and our customers and let the rest play itself out!

Since the birth of NS4L, the University of Florida and the Gainesville Community have forever been changed. 10 years ago, there wasn’t much scooter parking. Scooter parking was marked by ‘hashed blocks’ at the end parking strips with a sign that said “Motorcycle / Scooter Parking.” If you could cram your scooter or motorcycle in this hashed block, then your scooter was safe. Today there are actual scooter parking slots all over campus. Businesses and apartment complexes everywhere have created scooter parking to accommodate the exponential growth of scooters within our community. In 2004 it would cost you $30 to park a scooter on UF’s Campus for an entire year. Today it is $156. We have created more than a business here in Gainesville, we have created an entire Lifestyle.

Our vision is to be the most trusted, go-to scooter dealership in existence and to revolutionize the entire scooter industry through our core values, innovation, and by creating that ultimate customer experience. The NS4L team will strive to do just that and grow this company to new heights!

As an entrepreneur and COE, Chief of Everything, at NS4L I want to change the world. After leading this dealership for 10 years, I have found the “entrepreneurial itch” to take my values, ethics, UCE, and business strategies and apply them to a completely different industry. My newest venture is with Gulejo Coffee and we are ready to turn the coffee world upside down! Get ready as we set out to Fuel Entrepreneurs and their teams! Gulejo is a socially responsible coffee company that aims to deliver the highest quality coffee and gives back 10% of every transaction to fuel entrepreneurship and empowerment of the individual.

My personal fuel comes from motivating and empowering others! When someone quits their full-time job and becomes an entrepreneur because my words encouraged them to do so, I can’t think of anything more rewarding. I ‘fill up my tank’ by speaking to student classes, student organizations, business networks and teams on numerous topics. I love seeing others succeed! I also love being active in the Gainesville Community. I am heavily involved in several mentoring opportunities, facilitate a group of young CEO’s in an Entrepreneur Roundtable created by the Chamber, and serve as the Connections Chair on the Diplomat Leadership Team for the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce as well. In addition to all of these roles, I serve my most important roll as a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to my wife Shannon, and a father to my two sons, Schaefer and Maddox.

You can sit back and watch life pass you by… or you can be the change in today’s world! Let’s get to work!

#BOOM

Get to know Collin…

Out of all things, you based your business around SCOOTERS. Why?

When opportunity knocks, you better jump up and open the door. In 2004, I was a student that would sit at the bus stop and wait for a bus to pick me up for school. This bus would pass by with the words FULL BUS across the front top of it. After this happened to me enough times, I realized that something had to be done about this problem. Going through that headache again and again and having the stars align with one of my friends (and previous business partner), led to the birth of New Scooters 4 Less.

What are you most proud NS4L moments?

Wow!  There are so many, but anytime I hear a team member tell someone of why they love working at NS4L or when I see a team member post up on their status about how lucky they are to work in an environment where ‘team’ is exemplified in every sense of the word.  I often see someone post a Facebook status saying that they left work feeling inspired or they felt fulfilled by an event happening earlier that day.  Those are the moments that make me proud and keep me fueled to try and change the world!

How would you describe NS4L’s culture?

There is nothing more important in any business than CULTURE. It defines who you are. In an interview recently, I was asked about how we built such an amazing culture and the interviewer mentioned that, “NS4L is so well-known for it’s culture.” I got the biggest smile on my face. I feel we have accomplished something great because our company is known for its CULTURE!

We built NS4L for one purpose and that was to help people get to and from at their convenience on affordable, high quality transportation.  It didn’t take long for us to realize that our purpose was much greater.  We believe in small business and entrepreneurship and that NS4L is simply a TOOL to help others.  Our culture was originally built by our team around 3 key principles: Service, Integrity, and Quality. Our vision? We SIQ (pronounced SEEK) to be the most trusted, go-to, scooter dealership in existence and to revolutionize the scooter industry through our values, innovation, and by creating the ultimate customer experience. As our company has evolved, we have built our entire company around our top core value: Create and Re-Create the Ultimate Customer Experience. #UCE

There is not a business that has such a wide-variety of positions and people as NS4L. We have 20-yr-olds, 60-yr-olds, guys, girls, mechanics, salespeople, etc. It is such a diverse group, but we cherish our differences. We are one giant family and it is incredible to see this group come together and click on all cylinders to provide great service for our customers. We all pride ourselves on knowing that most of our business comes from referrals.

It’s exciting, fun, outgoing, and sometimes loud. It’s full of decor, lights, beanbags, and color. It’s full of randomness, baseball caps, horrible fake accents, and more. It’s US!

What is your favorite NS4L Core Value?

NS4L Core Value #1: Create and Re-Create the UCE – Ultimate Customer Experience! (If you couldn’t already tell). This core value represents everything about NS4L. If we continue to create and then re-create the customer experience so that every customer has an amazing experience each and every time they come back, then only an incredible future will await NS4L! Great Team & Customer Service → Incredible Culture & Customer Experiences → Success.

What inspires you?

A person’s drive. I love meeting people and building relationships and when I meet someone who is passionate about what they are doing in life, it is so inspiring. I often remember a person’s story and will share it in order to inspire others! Get out there and do what you love and then tell me all about it because THAT will inspire me! 🙂

What should you stop doing? What is holding you back and occupying too much of your time?

Good question! I know that I need to stop doing the day-to-day tasks and focus on the bigger picture. There are lots of projects and things in the works that would really accelerate NS4L to a new level and I often get wrapped up in the day-to-day tasks that my amazing team are perfectly capable of being rockstars at. For example: I LOVE selling scooters. I love building that relationship with customers, but I have a team that can do the same thing. I need to let them so I can focus on other stuff. This is difficult because the customers have personal relationships with me and they want me to help them, but I have to work on communicating and developing the relationships between the customers and the rest of the team, so the customer feels comfortable in knowing that anyone on this team can help them.

Donald Trump was the king of “You’re Fired”, Heidi Klum took a fashionable piece of her German heritage with “You’re Out, Auf Wiedersehen”, and The Sharks deliver the gut punching response “I’m out”. A good catch phrase is necessary. Sticking along the same lines of reality shows. If you had a reality competition what would be your catch phrase?

BOOM!

What’s your favorite quote?

I have so many! I can’t pick just one, so here are a few good ones for you…

“Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” – Dory, Finding Nemo

“Leadership is getting others to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” I believe Eisenhower originally said it, but I heard it from Norm Brodsky at a leadership conference I attended and it really stuck to me.

Another quote that really stuck with me came from Philip McCaleb, the previous CEO of Genuine Scooter Co. in a conversation we once had. He told me, “Every customer that walks through the door is business to be earned or a lesson to be learned.” Nothing more true than that!

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Phillippians 4:13, NIV

A recent favorite… “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” Colossians 4:4-5, NIV