How to quit your day job and start an international business: DJ Bikes

June 3, 2019 ATB Financial

 

Like other Alberta entrepreneurs, Daniel Yang is bold, hardworking, and not afraid of some well-managed risk.

Unlike some of his peers, he’s 40 years old. With a young family at home, he left his stable, established career in IT to chase his dream.

"I wanted to start my own business,” Daniel says. “I told myself, if I don’t do it now, I never will.”

The only electric bike store

His pitch was as bold as he is: an online-only electric bike store, run from Calgary, that would source bikes in China and deliver all North America. He named his company DJ Bikes. It was an unproven, audacious idea that assumed that a single ex-IT consultant could compete with the giants of online retail.

Daniel struggled to access the funding he needed to get his dream off the ground—even after he sold his first shipment of bikes in 90 days.

Eventually, he realized he needed to find a financial institution that was more than a bank. He needed a partner, one that believed in him and would listen.

He found that partner in ATB.

Daniel Yang posing with his bike in downtown Calgary

Daniel Yang poses with his bike in downtown Calgary.


Finding a partner

“There are two things ATB has done that really helped,” he says.

The first is Daniel’s relationship with his ATB entrepreneur strategist, who serves as Daniel’s first point of contact for all things banking.

Many ATB entrepreneur strategists are entrepreneurs themselves. All are determined to listen to their clients and make banking work for them. That made a big difference to Daniel.

“We know the same group of people,” Daniel says. “It’s very, very cool to be able to just hang out with your banker and build trust with him. I’m very happy to be able to talk to someone who can give me banking solutions on the spot.”

Currency Conversion

The second thing ATB offers that makes a big difference for DJ Bikes, says Daniel, involves currency conversion.

Since his business is built on international shipping, Daniel needs currency conversion that moves as fast as his bikes do. He found it in ATB FX , the powerful currency conversion tool that’s easy to use anywhere, any time.

“The rates are really competitive,” he says, “but just as important is that it’s self-directed.”

“You log into the portal and direct your funding yourself—you can wire transfer, you can collect funding, you can do whatever, you don’t have to pick up the phone. You can manage your money much better and faster.”

With the help of Dustin and the rest of the team at ATB, Daniel and DJ Bikes are proving that when banking isn’t a barrier, great things can happen. ​​​​​​​​​​

​Have questions about currency conversion (and taking your business international)? Come visit us at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre. Our entrepreneur strategists are here to help.

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