This startup founder saw treasure where others saw trash and went out to launch a startup in the waste business!
What is unique about this story is that 30% of their traffic comes via their blog! Who knew so many people would be interested in reading about waste!
Please introduce yourself (any co-founders) and your startup?
At waster.com.au we provide waste and recycling services to small and medium Aussie businesses. Our big difference is that we offer monthly agreements (versue long term contracts common in the industry), operate through an online model and promote recycling.
I founded the business after working in banking and for some of the big waste management companies in Australia. I always wanted to try my own business and saw an opportunity.
How did you go from idea, to MVP and launch?
Whilst working for big corporates in the sector – I saw a real gap for smaller customers who were treated poorly and charged high prices.
By using disruptive approaches already common in other industries we felt we could provide value to customers and build a good business.
We also felt there was opportunity help the environment and small businesses whilst making money!
What challenges did you face during this period and how did you overcome them?
Lesson one is it is harder to sell than you think – particularly through online channels.
You need to get seen by potential customers – then convert those sales. Few people want to buy from a startup as it is seen as inherently risky so you need to really think through your marketing strategy and where dollars will be spend.
When we made our first online sale – I remember thinking it was a miracle! There are also peaks and troughs – i.e. some weeks go much better than others – and it is hard not to extrapolate i.e. if last week was good feel the sky is the limit. If it was poor – everything appears doom and gloom.
During this journey to build and launch your startup what is one thing you look back on with a sense of achievement?
Biggest sense of achievement was seeing a vision and putting it in place -i.e. having the guts to try it. Also backing yourself is a nice feeling – saying, I trust myself to give it a go.
You need to learn so many things – and sometimes you need to just believe you can do it.
Offer us one insight, tip, marketing strategy or growth hack that has worked really well for you and your startup?
Blogging is a really powerful way to gain sustainable website visitors and sales – though you never know which blog post will work. For example, we blog almost daily – and one of our blogs gets c.30% of our visitors.
How is your startup going and what do you aim to achieve in the next 3, 6, 12 months?
Launched 13 months ago – and so far have signed a couple of hundred customers, taken on investment (felt just like shark tank), employed first staff and reached profitability. Next 12 months is about scaling and stepping up marketing. First 12 months was really about proving our business model.
Is there anything else you want to tell us about?
Starting a business can be scary and stressful – staying as calm as possible is vital. This means finding time for sleep, exercise and fun. This often can go by the wayside.