As part of our Business Tips series, we spoke to Steve Folwell, Managing Director at LOVESPACE, to get some tips and advice on how to go about building a thriving business.
Brett Akker, Founder of LOVESPACE.
Lovespace is a storage company that collects items from your door (for free), stores them for as long as you want, and returns them to any address in the UK. Launched in 2012 by Brett Akker, successful entrepreneur and co-founder of Streetcar, this company has identified some key groups for whom traditional storage options don’t work, including students, new parents, small and expanding businesses and city center renters.
LOVESPACE is one of the most successful crowdfunded businesses in the UK. They offer a collection, storage and delivery service all across the UK, all managed online. Rapid growth in a short space of time (2 years to be precise) brings its own challenges and they’ve overcome some pretty large hurdles as they develop the technology, infrastructure and team to deliver their vision. Here are Steve’s ultimate tips for growing a successful company.
#1 – Be the Tech Leader.
Being the first and being the best in a new sector always helps with gaining traction, but a business will hit scale issues without the smart deployment of technology. Technology enables start-ups to achieve very high growth and for LOVESPACE, it offers deep marketplace benefits over its competitors. We will be launching a mobile app in 2016 to ensure a seamless customer journey and to build better data on consumer behaviour.
#2 – Scalability – As LOVESPACE serves the whole of the UK, the ability to scale the business is key whilst delivering a first-class experience. You have to build a business that doesn’t break if demand floods in or go bust if it doesn’t. We have a really brilliant team and also use strategic partnerships to enable us to be there on the doorstep next day wherever the customer is, and regardless of how much else is going on. This approach also ensures minimum wastage and allows for multiple work streams to be achieved simultaneously mitigating against the perennial time constraints evident in all high growth environments.
#3 – Listen, Learn and Improve – LOVESPACE evolves technology and operational processes day-to-day, mainly based on feedback and data from customers. Customers test our service in so many different ways. As a service business, we are often reacting rather than being proactive, but this is also where true growth comes from. In the golden words of Bill Gates: “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning”!
#4 – Focus – Our final piece of advice for early stage businesses would be to never lose sight of your core objectives. There will always be competing priorities, a huge number of initiatives and the inevitable constraints of time, money and resources. Constantly refer back to the original objectives and be candid in your analysis of your current goals, as that is the only way to ensure you continually develop your business and deliver success.
If you’re making space at home and are in need of some storage LOVESPACE is offering on Cornerstone members £10 off your first order until March 31st 2016. Make sure to enter the code LOVECORNER10 at the checkout!