Elevator Pitch is a regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with Robbie Livermore from Jack Straps.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
After half an hour of digging for a pair of cufflinks in my imitation mahogany cufflink box, only to find that one was damaged from rattling around, I said out loud to nobody "Storing cufflinks in this infernal cufflink box is super lame!" So, naturally, I grabbed an old tie, poked some holes in it with a screw driver, stuck my cufflinks in and BAM; it's the first cufflink strap.
Jack Straps was founded so that this idea of holes in a tie could become something grander and useful to the cufflink wearing world. The Jack Straps Cufflink Strap range is made in Melbourne from premium leather, and is the end result of years of following my dream to have a better way of storing cufflinks.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
Social media is this thing I heard of once, and I'm pretty sure it will play a big role in the Jack Straps business strategy. Constantly annoying people with useful information and pretty pictures on these platforms is a key to the success of the Jack Straps Cufflink Strap.
So far, the financing has come mainly from selling a shoebox full of old baseball cards I found in a friend of mine's safe deposit box. It's amazing how much people will pay for them! The baseball card funds have also been augmented by my own savings.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
As the Cufflink Strap is an innovation released on the world only recently, the hardest part of the Jack Straps business is to create product awareness. I am building product recognition through having a web presence on social media and sales sites, getting the word out to people when the occasion permits, and writing "Cufflink Strap" in wet cement at every opportunity.
How do your differentiate your business from your competitors?
My main competitor is the cufflink box. I feel that the Jack Straps Cufflink Strap is a compelling alternative to the space invading, cufflink damaging, and usually inconveniently placed cufflink box. The Cufflink Strap saves time in the morning routine, is ideal for travelling, and can be placed in a wardrobe, locker, or any convenient place you feel like hanging it.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Google Drive. Being able to organise, retrieve and save files onto Google Drive from phone, tablet or PC means that I can keep all my business documentation organised and at hand, and can upload receipts, update business ideas and keep the bookwork up to date from anywhere at any time.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
I have heard a lot of business advice over the years, here are my favourites:
- Don't wait, just do it - all it takes is 5 minutes a day to start something.
- Never walk past an empty, clean toilet stall. (I took it literally, but I think what they actually meant don't miss good opportunities just because you think there will be another one down the line).
- Don't trade while insolvent. It's against the law.
Want to see your startup featured in Elevator Pitch? Get in touch using our contact form.