Green Go Box, founded by Brian Sutherlin, was one of five finalists in Ford's Five Pitches in Five Blocks competition, where entrepreneurs have five city streets to tell how their company would benefit from a 2019 Ford Transit Connect. In the contest, each founder had the opportunity to put their story-telling skills to the test to talk about their business.
Green Go Box is an Atlanta-based company that rents plastic boxes to be used during a move. They deliver the boxes to you at your current address, and then pick them up from you at your new home once you have unpacked. They are currently using large cube trucks for delivery to their city-based customers, and will benefit greatly from the smaller, more nimble Transit Connect that can still fit numerous boxes.
How did you get your business in motion?
After moving multiple times and utilizing a ridiculous number of cardboard boxes during those moves, I just knew there had to be another way. I saw the statistic of 29 million tons of corrugated cardboard being generated annually. That's the equivalent of 493 million trees, or 1.5 trees per person, per year.
I knew I had to take action.
After a few month of research and contacting domestic and overseas manufacturers, I found a company in Florida that was able to accommodate the quantity of the plastic totes I thought we'd need to get started. I made the decision that I had to take a chance on myself so I cashed out my 401K and raised a small round of money from my friends and family to get things started. Once I knew that the totes were secured and on the way, I hired a developer and a graphic designer to get started on the website and company branding.
After getting the website up and running, I hopped on Craigslist and bought a used box truck as our first delivery vehicle, I got a few shirts printed at a local T-shirt shop, and we were ready for business.
What are your biggest roadblocks to success?
We service both residential and commercial customers and hold both in the highest regard. That said, scaling the commercial side of the business faster than we are capable of right now is a little bit of a roadblock and something that we're really doubling down on. Our commercial clients spend three times the amount that our residential clients do, so it's imperative that we capture more and more of those types of accounts.
How important is mobility to your business?
In this day and age, consumers are not making buying decisions based on price anymore, they're looking at products and services that bring some sort of value into their lives. As an on-demand service, we drive to each and every customer that books with us, so being mobile is at the core of our business. I can't describe how appreciative our customers are when we come back to pick up an order and they tell us how convenient the entire process was. It's awesome to see and hear.
What does the "road to success" look like for you?
The road to success for me has Green Go Box franchises as a nationally recognized brand in the moving and storage industry. Additionally, it is our vision to be able to provide jobs to servicemen and convicted felons with the promise of helping them start their own small businesses in the local service industries.
What drives you?
I was raised in a family where my father who lead very successful service companies, was able to provide in a way where I never really wanted for anything and my college was paid for.
So building a successful tech-enabled local service business in a non-sexy industry (while everyone else chases the carrot by trying to be the next Mark Zuckerburg) is very important to me. It's showing that someone who may look like me can be a real success. Most importantly, making my family proud and leaving a legacy for my future children is something that really keeps me going during the hard times.