Today I interview the women behind the Send a Box brand. Send a Box is a super easy way to send a collection of beautiful products, from UK brands, for any occasion. It is all about sending a one-off gift to a loved one.
1. What gave you the idea to start up your business?
The idea for Send a Box came from something I was looking for online and just couldn’t find. A friend of mine was having a hard time and I wanted to send her something to cheer her up. I found an American idea online called a ‘Sunshine Box’ which was a gift box full of lovely bright things and I thought it would be nice to send that but couldn’t find anything like it in the UK. I wanted to send a gift full of nice, unique items from UK companies and I didn’t have the time to go out and put it together. I ended up not sending anything in the end but the idea of Send a Box was born! An online gift sending platform that’s easy to use, mobile friendly and does the job for you. Products from local or UK business that are made with care and not necessarily found on the high street.
2. What did you do to prepare to start up your business?
I started by floating the idea with my husband, we looked at the ways it could work and some potential products but realised that with full time jobs and a baby on the way we weren’t going to be able to do it all alone. We approached two friends and they loved the idea too so came onboard and we began by looking at funding options. We tried local council funding but the applications were so complex and we didn’t quite fit the right criteria so we decided to crowd fund on Indiegogo and organised a launch party to help get the contributions flowing.
3. Which aspects of your business did you need help with? Where did you get that help?
Between the four of us we had quite a few areas covered. My husband and I had tried a couple of start-ups before and had learnt a lot from them not working out, so we had some ideas of what to do differently this time. In the early days we needed help with making the Crowdfunding as successful as possible. It was vital that we made at least enough to buy the initial stock and we had a limited amount of time so we used a company called Green Inbox to reach out to our Facebook contacts via email and also another company that helped us reach out to influencers.
More recently we needed some help with social media as we knew it was such an amazing and cheap marketing tool but felt we weren’t making the most out of it. Constant posting and content creation takes time and it’s not always something you have a lot of as a busy working family. We tried working with an agency but I think, due to a few reasons, it wasn’t the right choice for us so we ended the contract after 2 months and decided to learn more ourselves via online courses and reading up online.
I regularly turn to the Blooming Founders group on Facebook. It’s the most amazing group of female founders who are so supportive and happy to help each other out. A few times I’ve posted questions or concerns on there and have also been able to use my own expertise to help other founders. I can’t recommend it enough.
4. Describe what your business does and who you target it at / your ideal client
Send a Box is an online gift giving platform that allows you to send gift boxes full of lovely things from UK companies to friends and family. It is easy to use and offers the option to choose one of our boxes or Build a Box yourself. We also offer corporate accounts which help take the stress away from buying gifts for staff occasions or for clients.
Our ideal target audience for B2C are 24 – 40-year-old women with a little expendable income who appreciate handmade or well-made items.
Our ideal target audience for the B2B would be Office Managers, PAs, EAs or agencies that organize gifts for staff or clients.
5. What is the most rewarding thing about having your own business?
When you work for other people you are committing to making their dream a reality. Working on your own business allows you to do it your way, make the decisions and work towards your own dream becoming a reality. It allows you to be creative and regularly pushes you out of your comfort zone which, in turn, gives you more confidence in your own ability.
6. What has been the biggest challenge?
I think the biggest challenge has been juggling everything. At present I work full time in recruitment, run Send a Box with the other Co-Founders and look after a 1 year old. Our team is built up of two families and we’ve both had babies since we set Send a Box up. Being in that newborn haze and trying to think about a business still is hard but possible and it’s worth it in the long run!
We have also faced some technical challenges along the way. My husband has built our website and done an amazing job but because we use Squarespace there are some restrictions as to what we can and can’t do. When we first started with Send a Box we knew we wanted to offer the consumer an option where they could Build a Box themselves but figuring out how to do that with the template we had has been a real challenge. Luckily, he’s an amazing problem solver and has found a solution that works for now.
7. If you could go back and give yourself some advice what would it be?
I would say to trust that you know your brand and you know it’s something people want. For a while we weren’t making many sales and someone told me it was because the boxes were too expensive. I doubted myself and wondered if that were the case but a year on we’re doing great and the prices are the same, we just needed the right people to find us.
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