Ben and Jeremy are the founders of TaxiBox, an innovative company that makes self-storage easy by delivering the storage unit to the customer.
Jeremy studied Commerce/Law at UNSW, and travelled the world while gaining hands-on work and life experience. From this he decided to ensure that whatever he did from that point he would be engaged and enjoy it. This is probably what led him to the world of TaxiBox driving a heavy rigid truck, after a few years working in a boutique investment bank in corporate finance!
Ben also studied a Commerce Degree (Finance) at the University of Sydney, before becoming a management consultant and renovating a property in Bondi, and then starting TaxiBox with Jeremy from a warehouse in Melbourne.
taxiboxmobileselfstorage.com.au @TAXIBOXstorage facebook
It takes us an immense amount of time to find the right people, but it has repaid us many times over as we now have a fantastic team.
Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?
We saw the idea in the United States whilst on a work assignment and knew straight away that this idea would flourish in Australia. We packed up Ben’s car, drove down to Melbourne in a day, hired a warehouse and commenced operations. Ok, there was a little more involved than that but that’s not far off…
Please explain your business model
We make the process of self-storage easy. We deliver the storage unit directly to the customer (e.g. at their home or office), they fill it up and we take it away to storage. This means that customers only need to load once and don’t need to drive to the facility. When they want their belongings back we reverse the process. This convenience gives people back their time and reduces their frustration which customers LOVE. Oh, and we also offer on-site storage, packing supplies and interstate moving between Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane too.
What are you working on right now and what are you most excited about in the next three months?
On 1st September we opened up in Brisbane and right now we are very focused on building that up. We have also released a TV commercial which has started playing in Melbourne and are moving our Melbourne headquarters into swanky new digs on the side of a major 6 lane road, so we are very excited to increase our profile even more in our town of origin!
How do you make ideas happen?
We start every day with a phone call between us to set the day’s priorities. This occurs before our staff get into work so we have a little bit of time to organise our day and communicate and ensure we stay on track.
What does your typical day look like?
Every day is different but we might be interviewing new staff, joining in on team meetings, chatting to suppliers about purchasing new equipment, discussing issues with staff, adjusting processes, signing leases and on the odd occasion may even have to jump on the forklift to help out (although less and less these days).
What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?
Finding the right people is a massive challenge. It takes us an immense amount of time to find the right people, but it has repaid us many times over as we now have a fantastic team.
What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?
Document every process in your business so your staff can handle operations properly – this will enable you to work on your business rather than in your business.
What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry at the moment?
We like to think we are leading the pack!
What about internationally?
What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?
Could probably write on essay on this, but as one of the major building blocks of our society, it has a major role to play. There are some amazing business models out there that do try to affect social change (e.g. the John Lewis Partnership, Toms Shoes). Self-interested businesses should promote social change for the better but sometimes it is difficult to do that given varied priorities.
Speaking of affecting social change, we’ve teamed up with Shout for Good to encourage readers to ‘shout a coffee’ to charity by clicking the button below. Is there a particular charity you’d like to support?
Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers.
Name 3 Australians we should follow on Twitter.
What is Twitter? Kidding, we know what it is, but this is one medium we don’t get involved in.
Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?
Always happy to discuss with people with bright ideas who can make a difference but we are not looking for anyone specific right now.
We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?
What is an effective way to hire staff other than posting job ads on seek and trawling through resumes? There has to be a better way….
What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?
Bar – Naked for Satan in Brunswick, Melbourne
Café – industry Beans in Collingwood, Melbourne
Restaurant – Bitton in Alexandria, Sydney
We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?
We’d take them out for lunch to discuss their ideas, share experiences and offer any help we can.