Tell us about yourself?
We are Anne and Salomon, the founders of Less Waste Box (www.lesswastebox.de) – a bike delivery service for office supplies in Cologne, Germany. We’ve met each other in vocational training as event managers and recognised that we can work together properly.
The idea for our business came up when we were still working in agencies and encountered some difficulties with ordering office supplies. In our private lives, we both have always paid more attention to keeping our ecological footprint small and buying environmentally friendly products. Then we wondered how we could adjust our work lives, too. Since we couldn’t find a suitable offer, we went to work ourselves.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
The idea that all people in startups are young! Everyone can start something at any age and implement their vision.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
It often helps to talk to as many people as possible about the project at an early stage. So you get quick feedback and can process it directly. You also identify with the new situation more quickly and you can be a better entrepreneur.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
We didn’t just start out of motivation that we want to make a lot of money. Of course, this is also needed to keep the project going, but the focus is on the change that we want to actively drive. Dealing with sustainability has already found its way into many households, and that shouldn’t stop in the corporate environment!
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
To assess situations quickly. Where is pragmatism needed, where do things have to be done directly, and where thoroughness and patience are required.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
So far, a few Cologne companies have already decided to make their everyday office life greener, almost 40% of our customers were so happy that they have already bought more than once. In addition, we can see from the high number of page views that there is interest in the topic. We are currently trying to become even better known through various marketing measures.
Where do you see your business in five years?
We can imagine further expansion with Less Waste Box and opening new locations, initially in the vicinity, such as in Bonn or Düsseldorf or other major German cities.
At the moment, however, we want to increase our awareness and position ourselves well in Cologne before we take the next steps.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
Get better known, acquire another investment, build up a reliable team, and scale the whole business.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
Every report in the local media and of course every exciting company that could be won as a customer is a huge success. But what we like most is getting feedback from people. The enthusiastic way they talk about the products and finally how they ask themselves why no one has thought of this idea before.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
Customers can shop their own individual box via our online shop or choose one of our pre-packed boxes. We are also active on social media such as Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Do not give up! Once an idea has been well thought out and its success has been tested, it is normal for some processes to drag on. Only for very few people, the business goes straight from 0 to 100.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
Amazing new contacts, exciting conversations and lots of knowledge about sustainability.