Mind Your Own Business | Episode 5: Green T

Mind Your Own Business  |  Episode 5: Green T

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on tonight's episode of mind your own business we meet a business student who wants to make your kitchen smell swell sustainably they don't teach you this in american business school celebrating canadian entrepreneurs who are working to build their businesses their way with your host kevin shaw i live with total sight loss i'm a serial entrepreneur who loves to build lead and inspire and pradeep sangha i'm an entrepreneur and advisor to other ceos and entrepreneurs around the world this is mind your own business on today's program we'll be meeting entrepreneur caleb he's a student who's launched green tea it's a natural air freshener for smelly trash and compost made from biodegradable ingredients caleb is looking to increase his marketing opportunities while reducing the cost of shipping his product success for caleb and his team is so close they can almost smell it my name is caleb shayla rock i'm from sudbury ontario and my company is called the green tea compost solutions with my vision i don't have my focus i don't have like the center essentially i do i only see for my peripherals definitely the biggest barrier to running a business when you have a visual disability is definitely not being able to drive we're actually uh five uh classmates at laurentian university all studying business and uh we started the company green tea and it's a composting solution where it removes and replaces the smell in your compost bin i actually started in the class at laurentian called venture initiation where you ascend you build a business from the ground up not actually putting into practice but we didn't understand we weren't actually supposed to supposed to put in practice and we actually ended up taking the company to market we took our product to market in march 2021 so it's almost been a year so green tea is actually a tea pouch that's filled with our mixture of ingredients that you hang on the side of your compost bin and with while you're composting there are some bad smells that come out of that so our solution absorbs and replaces the bad smells and it's completely natural so you can just take it and drop it in your compost bin and take it out with it we first started looking for trends that are growing in the industry in the market and obviously environmental sustainability has been growing for years and we wanted to solve a problem that our everyday individuals could have so this could be a pro this could be a product used by everyone and smells in your kitchen coming from your compost bin is one of the bigger barriers to starting composting at home and that's how we got the idea of creating a compostable air freshener essentially we actually have three different ingredients inside the product we have our custom-made tea bags and then our package and we offer two different products starter pack or refill pack our starter pack comes with four green teas which is what we call the pouches as well as an instruction card and a suction cup that you can hang on the side of any compost bin this is 100 made at at my house actually in the that's what our business is based i was based out of well we're manufacturing our product right now so everyone's putting in a different ingredient and then we have kyle at the end who's just packaging them up they don't teach you this in any business school no i'm kyle i am chief marketing officer here at green tea basically i just oversee the general direction of the marketing team and i am i'm rogan burroughs i am the creative director and chief brand officer of green team we're responsible for creating all our content writing it out on all our social media platforms and just getting our products out there we try and create a good sense within the community obviously we're a local sudbury business and at least for starters now we're just trying to grow the business here within sudbury right now we're kind of we're bootstrapping it really whereas we're we're a startup we're doing things um you know we're learning on the job as we go i'm officially a chief logistics officer i take care of shipping and handling as well as a manufacturing process if my role is fairly general where i can help everyone and we're a good team so if the marketing team needs a little bit of help uh for some shoot i go out and help homer the finance officer when taxiing comes around i can help with that as well we shoot all of our own content in-house i run a video production company on the side so that makes it really easy to produce everything that we need to market our product efficiently so today we're shooting some content for green tea we are shooting an explaining video with kyle here so that people know how to use the product hi everybody my name is kyle from green tea composting solutions and today i'm going to show you how to green tea the first step in getting rid of your smelly compost is to go to getgreent.com and order your starter pack generally the feedback from our post is is really positive um you know we get a lot of people viewing and it's generally within our target demographic that we set up on on our social media platforms we'd like to take this company across canada our product is being shipped across canada as we speak in all the provinces and territories uh the shipping cost is a little bit expensive but as our as we get this cr scale our business we can lower those costs and this is a company that's built on sustainability and environmental trends in mind so we do think we can capitalize on that uh going forward well we started selling at the farmers market uh around june of 2021 and we were we essentially just bought a booth and we were selling our product in person just to put a face on the company and get our product awareness up in sudbury and that was extremely successful we could see our website sales were up as well as our sales in person we're doing very well since we have stopped going to the farm market our sales have decreased a little bit but we have changed our product offering um completely it's the same essentially inside is the same product but our packaging and our product offering is is different this year it's a bit slow at the moment but we we think that's due to the season obviously being a compost solution business during the winter months your compost isn't really that smelly so we're hoping that during the summer months as it gets warmer our sales will start to pick up we're in talks with the city and the waste management department we're trying to come to some sort of a deal with them in which we can provide our samples inside of the green bins that the city provides for free to anybody who wants to start composting so it would be really good for them and it would be really good for us to get some exposure and get people using our products right now we're in three stores here in sudbury but yeah we are always looking to to get our product into more stores obviously eventually the plan will be to get our product into the big change like canadian tire costco uh home depot that sort of thing at least what i've noticed is that our conversion rate from people visiting our website to actually physically buying our product is really low so from a marketing perspective i would really want you know the mentor to be able to give us some guidance on how we can improve that the issue that we're facing is our high shipping cost and this is preventing us from increasing our sales if we had more sales this would allow us to decrease our shipping cost and that's maybe something that the mentor could help us with i feel like that's most companies problem this is mind your own business welcome back i'm your host kevin shaw and with me is my co-host with the most resident business strategist pradeep where does caleb go from here well i'm super excited about green tea because i know he's solving a problem for households out there i walk into my kitchen at least a couple of times a week and ask my wife what steaks and it's typically the compost so i'm excited to place some mortars myself but caleb talks about shipping being a challenge for his business i don't actually think it's shipping i think there's something deeper with his business model and i'm excited to see what the other mentors have to think as well there's a certain aspect of knowing your customer and knowing which market you're going after right yeah absolutely i think the market that he may be going after may not be the one that actually brings him success at the end of the day well we'll bring in our mentors so we can talk to them about how we can help caleb and green tea i'm karen wong i'm a ceo and entrepreneur who has built self-funded businesses from scratch as a mentor i help people learn from my wins and mistakes i'm henny yesterday award-winning founder investor and marketing specialist my first job newspaper boy at age 11. i'm jasmine gainey hobbs and throughout the course of my career i've helped thousands of entrepreneurs to succeed and we've got our mentors with us hi mentors hi and on the line with us via video conference we have caleb larocque from laurentian university hi caleb welcome to mind your own business hey thank you for having me hi caleb hi kevin caleb you've got a really cool product we just heard about it in the last segment where are you having some challenges right now where we're mostly having our challenges is um our conversion from our marketing to our actual sales on the product and are getting returning customers we think some of that challenge comes from our shipping costs which are fairly high um and actually higher than the actual cost of the product itself we'll start with jasmine this time i know you've got some questions for caleb for sure so in thinking about your costs obviously if you increase sales your costs will go down because you're generating more volume so when i looked at your interview and and did a review of it i i saw that you were having some cyclicality in the business because this is um compost sales compost is smellier in the summer sales have gone down in the winter so what i immediately thought about was well you need a solution to take away the cyclicality of the revenue cycle and to generate more revenue and how do you do that and henny and i were just having a conversation what about cat poop what about baby diapers what about using this all throughout your home as a chemical-free scent-free solution a green solution for your entire home and so perhaps that goes into changing your branding more applicable uses will generate more revenue streams and so immediately um i thought hey that's that would be a phenomenal way to to brand it as both a sustainable solution a green solution a year-round solution uh for lots of uses it's really interesting that you say that because we haven't heard from like one like a few of our clients that they have used it for other other reasons other uses and one of them was uh for the cat the the calculator right well everybody's concerned about the chemicals in their homes and i don't want to be breathing in lots of chemicals so this is a great way to take the chemical out of a scent free home and it's a wonderful green solution anything you want to follow up yeah for sure i just had a question for you caleb what you know you said that you were struggling with a little bit with the marketing aspect so take us you know through what you and your team have been doing with that marketing strategy we are currently uh doing marketing ads through facebook and gmail as well or google as well like google adsense that has been working good we are getting a good amount of views on the website we are not getting any sales from there i believe our conversion ratio is around like two percent or something like that so it's not horrible but it's not great um we've also been looking into some more uh unorthodox ways of marketing one of the one of those that we're currently looking into we're in talks with with the city to get our to get some sample green keys in the actual green bins that are being sent out and again that's kind of building into the the composting solution that we have been marketing for but looking into other uh other ways of marketing in the product and branding the product is also very interesting and for sure and i you know i went through your e-commerce website and yes i think uh a re-brand a bit of a change where you know you're focused on the consumer from the landing page all the way to you know how you have the checkout process definitely needs to change because i think right now there's a bit of a lag there and that's why your conversion rate is a little low and so i really recommend that uh you know we optimize that website so that the conversion and the whole process is smooth from the person that lands all the way to them checking out i think that really needs to be optimized and i can guarantee that your ads will be a lot more effective and you're able to convert much higher karen yeah i wanted to address the shipping concern you have because that's obviously a big problem when you're shipping costs more than your product to send out right the fact is we are a big beautiful country so in canada regardless of wherever you are it will cost a lot to ship things out the other thing i mean basically we talked about it as a group we think your pack sizes actually could change uh you may have tried it before in the past and i think you did mention that but most of the products that well at least what you're selling right now is targeted to people who are using them for compost or for litter or things like that people buy those things in bulk i mean we stock the pantry with those things and so to tie into sustainability i mean even myself i'm not sure how comfortable necessarily uh i might be if i'm buying something that comes with multiple packs or a lot of packaging i would much prefer to see them in a bulk pack and also it would be easier to store i wouldn't take up as much space right so if you tie it into your sustainability and actually reduce your your shipping at the same time you could still have a nicer outer bat outer box right where you could have perhaps enough for six months or three months even if you didn't want to make that price that high but you wouldn't price it the same anyways because you don't need to do as much or you could even break it down further right have bulk options where people are filling it themselves people do that with tea and tea bags all the time right so there's different ways to think about it where you could reduce your labor costs and reduce your actual shipping costs without necessarily changing the branding i mean the branding is still there it's just that right now the way you've packaged it it's almost like a premium t brand that's very interesting we could something we could look into into doing would be just offering like a another variant of the product where it's we just put more in it like a like sort of like a bulk packaging yeah because i don't think you have a shipping problem i think it's more of your business model i think if you're trying to go to business directly to consumer i think most people end up going to places big box stores to get their garbage bags their compost lining so i think you're better off trying to go for the bigger retailers and the wholesalers rather than trying to go to the consumers because you'll get a lot more traction that way but i can tell you your product is definitely needed because my wife and i have arguments about this probably on a weekly basis in terms of yeah the compost stinks so definitely a focus on that because there's a lot of people that need that solution mentors in in a phrase or two uh what does caleb need to focus on in the next 30 days i'll start off with go for the big box stores care i'd say make it bulk yeah and i would say optimize your ecommerce platform and my advice is think cat poop and smelly diapers great thank you no it is do you think that's achievable in the next 30 days caleb i think most most of those are achievable we can at least get get some good work started on on all of those all those targets um definitely the harder one is going to be getting to the big box stores within the next 30 days but i think we can at least get something started there get the conversation going or at least develop a plan well mentors i want to thank you for uh hanging out with with us and caleb thank you so much for being on mind your own business thanks caleb thanks caleb take care thank you that was caleb larocque from green tea the letter t legal will be in touch with jasmine about using the word cat poop and we'll be right back on mind your own business this is mind your own business before the break we met caleb an enterprising student launching a natural air freshener brand with some fellow classmates he met with the mentors who offered him some good advice to move their business forward pradeep visited caleb 30 days later in sudbury ontario to see what progress had been made [Music] hey caleb how's it going good good come on in so caleb it's been a while since we chatted last time so how are things going with the business things are good we started implementing a lot of what we talked about i've been in touch with some of the mentors um we haven't been able to apply a lot of the changes yet that have been discussed but they're all in the pro they're all in progress of of being applied um one of the big ones is going to be a new package our three or six month package that we're going to be offering yeah because that was one of the suggestions was actually having bigger packages more in bulk right the idea was floated around that people don't go to the store to buy a one-month package of washer pods or of tide pods for example so we are we're going to be offering the huge bulk package that people can buy and it's going to help lower our shipping cost per unit quite a bit and they'll be able to buy for the longer term periods and how about some of the other suggestions i know one of the mentors was talking about upping your ecommerce site to make sure that people that are landing on the website are actually buying i think there was also the the idea of going into the big bulk stores rather than trying to do it yourself yeah big bollock store is still part of our plans it's not our immediate concern what about expanding your your product suite because the whole order thing one of the mentors was talking about expanding that to possibly pets and other areas within the household as well for our website we have started to redevelop our website and try to market the product not as being specifically a compost solution and more of like a bad order solution so we have started revamping the website it's almost done yeah we have like all new branding and we are also revamping our current packages which we are not going to purchase right away since we have a good amount of stock of the older packages but as the older packages are used we will purchase the new ones so our new packages will also not have composting solution it will have something along the lines of like odor solution that's great i actually i love your packaging this is great i'm excited to take this home and give it to my wife yeah that's great so those those packages were just implemented recently and uh we're going to be keeping the exact same style it's just going to have the essentially one or two lines of different on there yeah and that's part of our our future marketing plan we just got funding uh we've been working a lot on funding for the past four months because to to do some good marketing and and run some ads you need it is quite costly so we've been working on a lot of funding and we received a four thousand dollar grant oh wow and we'll be able to apply that to our we have a eight month marketing program that we're gonna about to start to implement and that's gonna include three posts a week on our social media and those are gonna be um advertised on facebook and and as well on a few other platforms but mostly facebook where is our target market and um also on a bunch of banners and other promotional promotional products that we can use for uh the farmer's market here in sudbury okay and how do you feel about your business going forward good i think i think the biggest part again it's still it's still an ongoing concern or ongoing challenge i should say is to ramp up the business but i think with these changes and as they're being applied and as the marketing campaign is rolled out we'll be able to start seeing an actual shift and and increase sales which will then allow us to uh lower our shipping cost per unit because our shipping costs right now are still very high because we're shipping a little product well i think the need is there definitely i know the odor that comes out of the waste bins uh bugs a lot of people as i mentioned before my wife is always on my case about that so i think your product is awesome you just got to get it out to more people we've been marketing the product in person for different uses like we have some friends and family that are using it for their cat litter and for um their their cabinets that just don't smell very good and we've just never implemented that that thinking onto our actual online online ads in our onto our packaging so going like like you just mentioned the compost is was our main target earlier at first when we first created the the business but there's so much more usage to this product so it's gonna be interesting to see to see the growth on that side of things well i'm super excited for you because it seems like there's a lot of opportunity so i wish you the best of luck thank you very much thank you guys for your help well if you'd like to find out more information about what caleb and the guys at green tea are up to visit www.getgreentea justthelettert.com well we wish caleb and all the guys the best of luck at the green tea olfactory well that's our show we'll be back next time with more stories of entrepreneurs who know a great opportunity when they smell one until then be sure to support the entrepreneurs in your life mind your own business and remember success comes in a can failure comes and it cannot director nick appleton producers nick appleton tyler cameron kevin kincaid editor rod christie audio post colin caddy's directors of photography kevin long nick up camera operator michael gaines myron kachira sound recorders mike meredith host animation devin allistown got for quinn martin hair and makeup michelle kalea casting charlie gronovsky set design brian garvey art director kavina super integrated described video specialist simone cupid content development specialist karen mcgee coordinating producer jennifer johnson director production karen i directed programming brian perdue dp content development programming john melville president and ceo david arrington apple orchard productions copyright 2022 ami accessible media inc

2022-08-10 01:47

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