Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Interview With Daniel Charles, CEO, Global Racing Alliances

Every now and then I encounter a business that is so cool, so out of the ordinary, that it is simply irresistible. Daniel Charles is an extraordinary entrepreneur who has developed two companies. Now, imagine for a moment, that you could get behind the wheel of an actual race car and drive the thing in a country such as, oh maybe France! Would that be great? Well, you can. This is what Mr. Charles can arrange for his clients. I spoke with Mr. Charles on June 10 . . .

1. Please tell us a bit more about who you are and what do you do?

I am an entrepreneur that has 2 businesses currently directly focused in the Motorsport industry. I started doing business at the age of 12 when I wanted to explore other avenues of careers other than the traditional path of going after a degree and getting stuck in an office cubical for the rest of my life. So I devised many plans to create unique business concepts. These concepts can range from multi-million dollar investments and small time start ups. This was what I enjoyed doing in my spare time, even when I was young. While everyone was out playing with marbles and catching spiders, I was working on developing business plans for my future. Currently I run 2 companies. One provides motorsports equipment from helmets to gloves, and the other provides Motorsport Racing experiences in 120 countries around the world, where just about anyone can have the chance to drive a professional racing car.

2. How did you put together all the resources needed to start your business? For example: getting the start-up capital, hiring staff, doing sales and marketing, advertising, etc.

When I started out, it was initially just working as a middle person, freelance. There’s not much start-up capital needed because when someone makes a purchase, you order and you just make the difference at no charge to the client. After that when a real expansion was needed, I needed real start-up capital. That’s when I borrowed from my parents and my relatives - about $10 000. I used that money to buy some stocks for marketing and I networked with more people in the industry. After that, when that started to make money, I decided to outsource this marketing to agencies. I just got it started from day to day marketing and started one sale at a time.

3. How hard was it to start up this business?

Well it was really hard because at that time I was still pursuing my studies at a local college and I had a ton of school work. So while everyone else was out partying and getting drunk on the weekends, I was investing my time into creating the business. I soon found out that there was much more to starting a business than simply selling something. There were so many calls to make, so many meetings to attend and so many issues to consider ( budget, staffing, deadlines). After I got my first business started, I was still studying and trying to deal with the numerous number of orders and the business that was coming in. It was about 3 years after starting my first company that I decide to run Global Racing Schools, a Motorsport Experience Sales Agency. Although I have spent countless of sleepless nights on my business and studies I'm glad I came out doing well at the end of it.

4. So tell me a bit more about your business.

DNA Motorsports ( www.kartcrgasia.com) is a regional South East Asian Distribution company that sells Professional Karting chassis, 6 brands of Engines, 3 brands of suits, gloves, shoes and helmets. We provide Racing equipment to the entire Automotive industry in general. Global Racing Schools (www.globalracingschools.com) is a company specialising in Motorsport Experience in any part of the world. We will arrange a unique experience for the client to allow the client to feel like a Professional Race car driver for one day. They will have a professional instructor along with their racing machines. These can range from Ferraris, Formula 1, Indy Cars, Stock Cars and many more. We are the largest Motorsport Experience Sales agency in the world with over 300 racing schools located all over the world. On top of that, we help our clients arrange private jets and hotel bookings to aid with their travel arrangement needs.

5. Why might someone use the services of Global Racing Schools?

First, it is free to use our service! Let's say a client wanted to go to France for 1 week and he wanted to have some kind of driving experience while he's there. He could google the schools in France, call them up, check the prices, check the dates, get explanation of the course and make his travel bookings. This has to be done several time because the school will need time to process the requirements and get back to the client after checking with the track and so forth. Another ways is for the client to come to Global Racing schools and let us know what they are looking for, budget, number of people, etc. We'll make all the arrangements for them! We'll save the clients so much time in making the arrangements. The best part is that we do this for free! And because we have so many choices of racing schools, we can help the clients make an informed buying decision based on our unbiased advice about the school because we have no obligation to any school. Saving time and getting an unbiased opinion is why clients use us.

6. So what is a typical experience that you help your clients set up?

Usually clients/ companies come to me to inquire about a certain date and experience. We'll make the suggestion as to what program will best fit into their budget and location, after which we will proceed to book the experience for the client. A typical program will start at 9am and end at 5pm. The day will include several laps around the track with the professional race cars with plenty of seat time and car swapping between the drivers. Instructors will be on hand to ensure safety and to correct the driver mistakes that may occur. Drivers will get a perfect chance to bond with each other which makes a great networking session for companies. Most of the time, after the day ends, customers stay in touch and establish further friendships. This is what a typical experience is like. We have clients from 14 year old kids to large companies looking to organize a unique experience for their staff or VIP guests.

7. Who could use these services?

Just about anyone. Many people think that these experiences will be very costly but actually that is not true. We have experience programs that start from USD 200. We can help in fitting the program to any budget that the client might have.

8. So whats the next step for you and the companies?

I am currently working to start up 2 more companies which will be launched in another 6 months time and we are establishing an office in Australia and another in London in the next couple of months. I am currently working with professional drivers to offer our services to them also. The next years will be very exciting for both myself as a businessman and my companies.

9. How can you be contacted?

Depending on location, the following information can be used to contact us:

Daniel Charles
CEO, Global Racing Alliances
US/CAN Toll: 1 866 276 6560
US Tel: +1 (305) 6001 038
UK Tel: +44 (0) 8442 329 563
UK Cell: +44 (0) 8442 328 632
Singapore Tel: +65 6483 2608
Singapore Cell: +65 9297 0785
Email: Charles@globalracingschools.com
Website: www.globalracingschools.com