Josh Ingraham, Co-owner of GO Buddha Meals, rapidly grew his Shopify business this year with the help of Payability Instant Advance for Shopify. GO Buddha Meals is a plant-based meal company dedicated to creating accessible and affordable nutrition to the masses. They offer fully prepared meals, weekly packages, pickup, and delivery. They also opened their own eatery in Rocky River, Ohio. Meals are dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan.
Before he dove head first into his own venture, Josh was the Head Chef for the Cleveland Indians. He originally started GO Buddha Meals as a side project that provided healthy and delicious meals to friends and family in the offseason. But, when COVID-19 hit and Josh was laid off from his full time job at Progressive Field, he knew he had to keep going. So he hit the ground running with GO Buddha Meals. Based on his experience cooking for tens of thousands of people at Major League Baseball games, all of Josh’s recipes are made to be easily mass produced, and were created as healthier yet equally tasty alternatives to the hot dogs and other fast foods traditionally found at ballparks.
We recently visited Josh at his eatery to share GO Buddha’s story on video. You can watch the full YouTube video below. However, since we can only share so much in a minute and a half video, we did an exclusive Q&A with Josh to share even more of his story.
When GO Buddha Meals saw the need to fill online orders, they got started on Shopify. While creating delicious and healthy food was easy, finding capital to scale their business and keep up with demand was the hard part. As a relatively new business, they had limited options and they didn’t want the long term liability of traditional financing either. When Josh reached out to Payability, we got back to him right away. Instead of complicated paperwork or waiting weeks to hear if he’d been approved, all Josh had to do was link up his Shopify store and business bank account and we did the forecasting for him. In June 2020, GO Buddha Meals took their first Instant Advance and never looked back.
Josh loves that Payability bases his Instant Advances on his future sales, so it’s not a long term liability. Since it’s a capital advance and not a loan, we only collect a percentage of his sales.
“It’s a whole new model. If you have a slow day, you pay back less. If you have a busy day, you pay back more. It gives you the freedom to be aggressive in thinking about how to scale your business,” said Josh.
According to Josh, Instant Advance is great for a small business looking to grow as he’s free from both a long term liability and a fixed monthly payment. Plus, he doesn’t have to give up any equity.
With GO Buddha’s revenue growing faster and faster, Josh has been paying back his Instant Advances quicker, which makes it easier for him to unlock the next round and continue to grow. This gives him the flexibility to build up inventory and experiment with marketing. Another of Josh’s favorite features is one of Payability’s most unique features – our Instant Advance rebate. Unlike other funding solutions that hold you to the full fee no matter what, Payability Instant Advance customers only pay for the weeks in which the funds are outstanding. The rebate gives Josh and Instant Advance customers like him even more of an incentive to produce more revenue, faster.
Payability Instant Advances (from $1,000 to $250,000) are available to eCommerce businesses selling on Amazon, Shopify, Walmart, Newegg, Tophatter, eBay, and more. There are no credit checks, no origination fees, and no complicated paperwork – just 24 hour approvals based on your projected future sales on the eCommerce platforms you sell on. Already have Shopify Capital, an Amazon Loan, or other financing in place? No problem. Payability works well alongside the financing products you already have in place so you can scale your growth even more. Just apply here and connect all of the channels you sell on to get started.
Overall, the speed and flexibility of Instant Advance for Shopify has been a huge game changer for Josh and the GO Buddha team.
For more on what he has to say check out our Q&A with Josh:
What have you learned (if anything!) from working with Payability?
I’ve learned to think outside the box. Finding alternative funding just made us start to think of what else we could be doing to develop our business with the same progressive mindset.
What’s the biggest challenge you currently face?
Our biggest challenge is the current pandemic restricting our operating capacity. Our goal is to make it through the winter in hopes that we will have a solution to the virus by next summer.
How did you put your last Instant Advance to work?
We used it to invest in more inventory and marketing and a new custom ordering app.
Aside from Payability what other tools and services do you use to grow your business?
We projected that we would need in total about $500k in start up funds to sustain our growth strategy and the opening of other locations. Instead, while fundraising with Honey Comb, the pandemic hit and we fell well short of our goal. With the economy on the fritz, we needed help to find enough cash flow to grow. Payability gave us the first breath of fresh air and has been the best decision we have made yet to stabilize the growth of the company during these unprecedented times.
How do you balance the online vs. offline aspects of your business?
For us they work hand in hand. People find us online then visit the store and vice versa. Every patron who eats in the eatery has the chance to order online and take part in our local delivery and shipping program.
You can follow Josh and the GO Buddha team on Instagram @gobuddhameals. Interested in trying some GO Buddha dishes? Order directly from gobuddhameals.com, visit his eatery outside Cleveland, or try your hand at some of Josh’s recipes. To create and reach even more happy eaters, purchase a gift card or some Go Buddha gear.
For more on how eCommerce entrepreneurs are weathering the COVID-19 storm, check out our post on Bricks to Clicks: How a Neighborhood Shop in NYC Transitioned to eCommerce During COVID-19.