We had the good fortune of connecting with Ira Latham and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ira, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
My co-founder and I met in our MBA program at the University of Arizona. We always talked about starting a business and the importance of small local businesses over large national, or international businesses for local economies. Early in our MBA program, I had a professor that said, “on average, a person has two $1 million dollar ideas a year. The issue is actually executing on the idea and following through.” That stuck with me through the program and even now. In our last class of the program, my soon to be co-founder and I were working on a project for a marketing class where we came up with the rough idea to our business concept. It took a lot of iterations, reaching out to potential clients for feedback and testing our service offering. Lastly, we took a little of the Steve Jobs playbook and approach. I believe that sometimes, the customer doesn’t know what they want till they see it. So our process was, and still is Idea->market research-> create the a minimum viable product (MVP)->test it->see what works and what doesn’t-> improve-> repeate.

Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
What  does Ardor/AmpedPro do? We make it easy for small business to sell their products and services. From our in-location kiosk that allows customers to do self-service checkout, to our mobile app (the Ardor app) that allows our small business clients to connect with and sell to their clients. A big benefit of trust with customers is the ability to refer customers to other products and services that they need. Word-of-mouth referrals have always been a hallmark of the small business ecosystem.

Until now it has been difficult for local small businesses to easily refer clients. With the Ardor/AmpedPro platform, small businesses can partner with each other and offer their customers, products via dropship, and other local businesses services through the platform. When partnering businesses work together on the Ardor Platform, they gain more clients and benefit from commission for sales.

For example, many of our gym owner partners use our platform to sell traditional in-location retail items, dropshipped items like gym gear, and more, as well as services such as offering local meal prep companies and other services to their clients. The gym owners that host the kiosk,  enjoy a commission when their clients order products and services through our software. Businesses on the platform refer clients back and forth to each other and build their local business eco-system.

What got us to this point?

We got to this point because of our early adopter small business partners. These partners were willing to take a chance on us, helped us learn and build solutions for them. It wasn’t easy but we continue to find new innovative ways to help our clients succeed.

What have we learned along the way?

We have learned, that it is good to start with an idea, but not to be so married to one concept that stops you from listening and learning from those you serve. Ask the right questions and watch what the customers and end-user tell you.
Why should you care about the Ardor small business platform?
We are here to help small local businesses grow and build a network. Wither you have an established business or starting a business form your living room, we can help you grow with the Ardor platform.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Arizona has such a range of different places to visit and people to meet. Arizona winters are the best in the world. Ok, I hear you saying ‘what about Hawaii?’ Ok, we are not Hawaii but hear me out. You can enjoy 75-degree weather and take a 2-hour trip up north and enjoy a winter wonderland and make it back home before your feet get too cold! Fantastic isn’t it! Lately, I have been visiting old mining towns like Bisbee and Jerome AZ. These places are full of history, great people, and some amazing places to eat. I recommend anyone to take a weekend trip and support some of the local businesses in these small towns.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that have helps us get to this point. The founding team and the hard work they all have put in, with all the late nights, early mornings, and everything in between. Those early adopters of our software taking a chance on something and someone new. Our early adopts have worked with us through all our bug fixes and feature rollouts which can be frustrating at times. Lastly our families, for our founding team and particularly myself, I truly believe would not have been able to do this without the support of our families.

The startup journey can be an emotional, financial, and event spiritual hardship for individuals and families to bring an idea to life. There are many moments missed because of work, where my wife was alone with the kids managing everything. I can’t thank her enough and I continue to endeavor to make sure that her sacrifice is not in vain

Website: https://www.getampedpro.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ampedpro/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ampedpro-llc/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmpedPro/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBmZD8F27nrcH-9Kac-jyVQ?view_as=subscriber

Image Credits
Dr. Jones, FitPhoenix Fitness1gym Scratch culinary EliteU Radius Fitness

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.