The best tip I can give you is to build a network of investors and people who know these investors!
Say you need to move house or pick up something huge. The biggest headache you’ll have is finding the transportation, right?
You could ask a friend with a big truck to help. Maybe call the lorry companies to see if you can rent one for the day.
Or you can do it online from your phone and the internet via TheLorry.com, an online booking platform for lorries, vans and 4X4s.
Which is much better because you can get instant quotes, book for services like movers, and pay online with your credit card.
TheLorry.com’s co-founders Nadhir Ashafiq and Goh Chee Hau started the business in September 2014. Their idea is to bring the “lori sewa” experience online.
Why online? “Technology can bring higher efficiency and quicker exchange of information with improved transparency to the logistics industry,” explains Chee Hau.
The company is currently operating in Malaysia and Singapore with plans to explore the Thailand and Philippines market soon. Not too bad for a company that’s just three years old!
It wasn’t smooth sailing from the start, say the guys. “Running a business, especially in the early stages, involved a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and managing customers and vendors in the wee hours of the morning,” recalls Nadhir.
“We only had two vendors who agreed to join the first month of running. Once these vendors started taking up more jobs with us, word got around and slowly that number grew to 10, 100, 1,000 and finally, now close to 5,000.”
Getting customers to use their services was also one of the initial challenges, Nadhir says. “Customers had a bit of a tough time transacting with us. We were still new and our conversion rates (bookings over unique visitors to the website) weren’t very high,” he says. “However, through persistent digital marketing and consistent PR, we managed to double up the conversion rates in the first six months of operations.”
It is important for customers to have great service with TheLorry.com so that they will continue using it and recommending to others. The partners learnt this the hard way.
“In the early stage of the business, our sole focus was on growth that we neglected the quality of service. Few months into the business, we had our first-ever peak that saw our bookings at a record high but at the same time, the number of service failures was also out of control. We had many negative reviews from customers that led us to start thinking about the consistency in quality of service.