03 07

My 5 year plan

Four founders share their company roadmap across the next five years.

Something & Nothing

Founded in London by Oliver Dixon and Rupert Pugsley in June 2019, the seltzer brand has its sights set on Europe, Australia and the US over the next five years.

Q: What does your five-year plan look like?

A: We have a mixer-sized can coming, following trade demand from bars. Tequila and mescal have been crying out for long-serve options – it’s a big opportunity. We’re also working on a hard seltzer; with so much competition, we need a point of difference. We aim to launch one next year.

 

Q: ‘Stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.’ This is your ethos – why?

A: It’s a very simple ethos from entrepreneur Alan Philips’ Age of Ideas, but many brands don’t do this. So we’re building an in-house agency to develop our content, communications and creative output in-house. We’ll work with new markets to deliver engaging creative worldwide.

 

Q: Which markets will you target?

A: We’ll increase distribution in London and partner with customers like Whole Foods, Ace Hotel, Origin Coffee, Hawksmoor, Barworks and Frame. We’ve started selling in Holland and are talking to customers across Europe. Capital cities are our target because they’re generally where early adopters are. Australia, where I worked in the beverage industry, will be next.

 

Q: Will the team structure change?

A: We’ve only worked with freelancers, but we’ll need part-time and full-time employees too. I’m studying for a master’s in psychology with a focus on ‘authenticity in the workplace’; this is an invaluable resource for the business.

 

Q: What are your sales projections?

A: After a long beta stage, we’re on track to grow revenue ninefold over the next year. It’s unrealistic to think this rate could continue; after 12 months our aim is to grow between two- and threefold annually for the following four years.

Something and Nothing Founder

Oracle Oil

Inspired by her grandparents’ farm in Greece, Oracle Oil founder Cristiana Sadigianis plans to diversify her brand into body and beauty oils, without compromising her ethos.

Q: What does your five-year plan look like?

A: We’re still only two months old, so our aim is to continue to grow and evolve Oracle’s ethos of small-batch, organic, sustainably-driven, harvest-focused cooking oil. We also plan to introduce body and beauty oils, and collaborate with chefs, artists and select food partners (chocolate, ice cream, etc). Our first store is also in the works.

 

Q: How will you get there?

A: By living our core values: devotion to Greece, health, quality and detail. And by rolling up our sleeves. There are always many challenges with small business – scaling, hiring, investment and general growing pains – but staying true to our vision and values, and not rushing the process is the best strategy. And eating dark chocolate (from Casa Bosques) drizzled with Oracle oil and Greek sea salt.

 

Q: What are you looking for in terms of talent?

A: Our team structure is still evolving, but we hope to attract employees who care about Greece and preserving old traditions from land to food; people who are curious and passionate about sustainable farming practices and soil regeneration, and who have an appreciation for design.

 

Q: How will you grow the business?

A: We’ve forecasted steady growth, but more important is growing the relationships with our farmers, distributors and customers, listening to feedback and tweaking as we go.

 

Q: Which brands inspire you?

A: Aesop for its devotion to aesthetics and reinvention. Santa Maria Novella for maintaining its integrity (the 400-year-old formula was created by monks). Bellocq for its high-quality teas and packaging. Le Creuset and Staub continue to set the standard in cookware, while female-owned Cap Beauty has impeccable plant-based products.

Oracle Oil

Backdrop

Aiming to scale their New York-based paint brand, husband-and-wife founders Caleb and Natalie Ebel will build on early double-digit monthly growth.

Q: What does your five-year plan look like?

A: We’re on a mission to transform how people think about their space and especially their walls. We’re working on a big launch of painting services with trusted, in-house painters. We plan to continue expanding that service to new cities to offer a 360-degree customer experience. We’re also working on partnerships to build community around the idea of paint as an artistic expression.

 

Q: What are your sales projections?

A: We’ve seen high double-digit, monthly growth since launch in autumn 2018 and we are confident about maintaining the momentum. We are also encouraged by the number of repeat customers.

Backdrop

Q: Which markets will you target?

A: We’re currently working with consumer and professional markets in the US and have received a lot of interest from Canada, the UK and Europe about expansion. We plan to reach out to those markets in the coming years.

 

Q: Does being married affect the company?

A: That family feeling has seeped into our team culture, which we love. Since customer experience is at the centre of everything we do, real thoughtfulness and empathy is at our core. We are also proud of our support for refugee families via our partnership with the International Rescue Committee, which is an important part of our culture.

 

Q: What sort of people do you hire?

A: We have been so fortunate to have a great founding team and core group of advisors, including Everlane, Warby Parker and Glossier. We like to work with people who question the status quo, have strong creative problem solving skills, great team orientation and low ego. Those people are magic.

Ceylon

After struggling with chronic skin problems and trying every product on the market, Patrick Boateng II launched a skincare brand for men of colour. He now plans to take his LA brand global.

Q: What does your five-year plan look like?

A: We plan on spending our first year ensuring our products are best-in-class for our community. In year two, we’ll focus on getting into the hands of people who we otherwise might not reach organically – we’ll also build our research arm to push the science on pigmented skin. By year three, we’ll increase our product line based on a deep understanding of our community’s needs. In year four, we plan on being recognised as an advocate for men of colour in the wellness space. And in year five, we hope to have a global presence.

 

Q: What are your sales projections?

A: Since our first batch in 2018, our organic growth has outpaced projections. Despite spending little on marketing, we’ve seen a strong average monthly growth rate. We’re preparing to make our first real investment in outbound marketing and expect this to boost growth significantly.

 

Q: Which markets are you targeting?

A: While serving as a US diplomat in mainland China, I struggled with my skin and ended up using hundreds of products, none of which worked well. I realised guys like me were facing the same problem with no solution, so I created Ceylon to address that. Our current focus is on millennial men of colour in the US – an underserved market.

 

Q: Which brands inspire you?

A: Patagonia for great design and functionally, and focus on limiting their impact on the environment. Muji for holistic, design-driven approach to home goods. And I own a Barbour jacket; it’s the best possible jacket for cold, wet conditions. We want to be thought of in the same way: your skin isn’t going anywhere and we want to build the type of products that you’ll always turn to for great skin.

Patrick Boateng
Ceylon

Advertorial Content

‘Mailchimp has helped us to reach our goals through being a responsive, flexible platform.’

Veygo, insurance app

From zero to hero: how Mailchimp helped insurance company Veygo launch and grow its brand online.

Veygo was launched by UK insurance brand Admiral in 2017 to support the changing needs of young drivers. As a new brand with products designed for younger customers, it needed a platform that would enable the company to grow and keep in touch with its audience. Heledd Jones, senior digital marketing manager at Veygo, elaborates about what made Mailchimp the right choice.

‘Just after launching in October two years ago, we needed a way to communicate with our new customers. After researching the email market, we chose Mailchimp because of its cost-effectiveness and ease of integration. Veygo’s products are all about short-term cover. So it’s crucial to keep in contact with our customers, encourage repeat purchases and grow brand loyalty.

Veygo Promotional Image

‘Mailchimp delivered what we needed. By the end of the first year we set up features like automated emails, triggers and segmented audiences. We also used it to share the amazing news when our dedicated app won the best in-house app team award at the UK App Awards in November 2018.’

Since then, Veygo has had lots to celebrate, and Mailchimp has been with the company on its journey. ‘In 2018 we launched our most innovative product to date,’ Heledd says. Veygo ‘Rentals, in partnership with Europcar, makes car hire affordable to drivers aged 21-25, who are often blocked from renting or charged excessive surcharges. And in October 2019 – the same month we turned two years old – we launched temporary insurance for people who have just bought a car but haven’t had time to shop around for annual insurance.’

While reaching two years is a big milestone, Heledd says there’s lots more growth ahead. ‘The insights we get from Mailchimp tell us we’re doing the right things and going in the right direction. Now we are keen to do even more to further optimise and enhance our customer communications. Right now, we are redesigning some of our campaigns and implementing some new ones, and I cannot wait to see the results.’

Veygo Founder