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 Will On, co-founder and joint CEO of retail shipping engine Shippit.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
We are the shipping engine for modern retail – a powerful solution for retailers who don’t need a degree in transport and logistics to save time and money when it comes to shipping. Our software seamlessly connects retailers to carriers, selecting the best carrier for every shipment and allows shoppers to track deliveries in real time.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We employ a ‘trickle down innovation strategy’ – meaning we treat our enterprise clients (such as Sephora, Topshop, Harvey Norman) as our extended R&D team, this drives the product roadmap which better equips small to medium businesses to compete, making us an attractive offer to them. We help grow small to medium businesses whilst we collaborate with enterprise merchants. This model funds our day to day operations but we have secured external investment to help us accelerate our growth.
What’s the biggest challenge facing your business?
People. Finding people with the right skills, and most importantly the right cultural fit is our biggest challenge. Technical skills shortage is a genuine problem in Australia so we cater our model to suit the needs of the right people – as a result we have a diverse, remote engineering team working across 3 timezones Australia-wide.
How do you differentiate your business from your competitors?
We focus on elegance and spend a lot of time on R&D and the user experience. Creating a beautiful shipping platform is something that has been ignored as other platforms have traditionally been clunky and built for logistics lovers. Shippit is also focussed on client success – meaning we want to celebrate when our customers win and we love to be a core part of their success.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Slack – I love staying connected with the team, especially as we’re always on the go and remote. The best team engagement application that we’ve employed is HeyTaco as a means to reward and recognise team members.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t piss people off – you never know when when they’re going to be on the other side of the table!
Want to see your startup featured in Elevator Pitch? Get in touch using our contact form.