Emrah Yuceer and his business partners founded their company, Greyhours, with the simple goal of offering high-end watches at reasonable prices. How do they do it? From the design to the sale, Greyhours controls its entire production and distribution process — cutting out middlemen and retailers, and thus the marked-up prices that come with them. Yuceer discussed the brand's early success, as well as the founders' aspiration to produce even finer watches as the company grows, when he went behind the business plan with Business News Daily.
Business News Daily: In a nutshell, what service does your business provide?
Emrah Yuceer: We design, manufacture and sell watches for our brand, Greyhours. The motto is to have no middlemen between us and the end customer so that he pays for the product and not the many middlemen.
BND: How long have you been in business?
Yuceer: It will be just two years in April 2016.
BND: Did you start with a formal business plan? If not, how did you lay the groundwork for your business?
Yuceer: We didn't have a business plan at that time. We were three French co-founders and one Swiss, and we had a common passion about product design, watches and online marketing. So, it made a lot of sense tooffer very-well-crafted watches made from high-end materials, sold online directly to customers and not retailers.
BND: How did you finance your endeavors, both initially and as your business grew?
Yuceer: We are still self-funded. We all had a pretty successful background as founders and partners of other companies before, so we're still funding it with our own money.
BND: How much did you invest personally?
Yuceer: 200,000 euros.
BND: Is your business today what you originally envisioned, or has it changed significantly over time?
Yuceer: Absolutely; it is exactly what we hoped for. We sometimes criticize ourselves for being too elitist in our design philosophy, but then again, that's who we are, and we have our own DNA. That's exactly what sets us apart from other mainstream brands or brands trying to bank on a specific watch design's success.
BND: What are some lessons you've learned? Is there anything you would've done differently?
Yuceer: The most important lesson is to grow slowly and not try to be bigger than what you currently are. At launch, we set up costly interviews with some very successful and famous entrepreneurs. It was absolutely great to meet them, and we probably became better as individuals. But it was useless for our brand at that time, so it was a wasted investment.
BND: What were the most important factors in your success?
Yuceer: Telling the truth and using the most high-end materials accessible to us. Not all technology is accessible from the start to new brands, and many workshops in Europe or Asia do not welcome newcomers until they prove themselves. But reaching for the top of the top means that you won't be landing very far down, and that's what makes our watches great. We use the best stuff available to us that nobody even dares to touch — like, for example, diamondlike carbon coating or anti-reflection glass with many layers, or a black matte dial that will look absolutely awful if your glass has even the slightest reflection to light. Other brands in similar price ranges or even higher will never try to use these techniques because mastering them is very costly and they wouldn't be able to afford it with the margins they are used to.
BND: What are the next steps you want to take as a business owner? How do you see yourself achieving those goals?
Yuceer: We'll just keep on building better watches as we learn, and keep our margins very low so that we can let most people afford beautiful watches. We might be elitist in our design process, but our motto was — and will always be — to accelerate access [for most people] to rare and usually expensive items.
BND: What is your best advice to someone with a great business idea who is ready to give it a shot?
Yuceer: If you're sure that what you're doing matters, don't let others drag you down — just run with it.