Karl Roos - Suntribe
Karl Roos - Suntribe #1
Describe yourself and your project. How did you get the idea?
I’m searching for ways to do business in a way which I find enjoyable and that makes sense both for nature and the society around me. My background is in psychology and entrepreneurship. I got the idea for Suntribe when I was working as a surf teacher in Portugal. It seems like a perfect combination of my passions for the ocean, the environment and sports like surfing where you need lots of good sunscreen.
Who are you? Previous education/jobs/ experiences etc.
I’m a swede who has lived a large part of my adult life in Australia. After Swedish school I spent 5 years in Australia and completed my bachelors in Psychology there. I’ve tried working with several different things, like photography, farming, baristaing, etc. Recently I spent two years with an entrepreneurial project developing indoor agriculture technology, experiencing venture capital and the rollercoaster which is entrepreneurship. Most recently I’ve completed my masters in Entrepreneurship in Lund.
What will you do during these three months? How will you spend the time?
The plan is to further develop Suntribe’s infrastructure and prepare our outsourcing operation, which is a process we expect will last up to September. This includes automating aspects of our website, CRM, production and logistics. We will also produce new sales and marketing material, experiment with our B-C portal and commit 2-3 weeks of our time to a sales trip in France and Spain.
What do you expect to achieve during Leapfrogs?
We expect to have completed the majority of our outsourcing operations, and in a rigorous way have evaluated the different alternatives. Further we expect to have achieved a very good understanding of our sales process and what the important aspects for our future sales strategy will be. The possibility to be able to spend time doing face-face sales with both distributors and end-customers will contribute a lot to our understanding.
Karl Roos - Suntribe #2
Tell us what you have done on your project so far during the Leapfrogs time.
Firstly we’ve prepared for our sales trip in the South of France. We produced posters, stickers, sales sheets and other marketing/information material. Secondly we drove down to the South of France to promote the product and company. Now we’ve spent about 3 weeks on the road covering most of the South of France (Atlantic coast). Together with Julia we have developed our sales game and perfected the art of recruiting new business customers by reducing the barriers for them to try the product out in their store.
Has everything gone according to the plan? Has anything unexpected occurred? Has something been easier/harder than expected?
I’d say that most things have gone roughly according to our plan and expectations. I think that the actual selling has gone easier then what we could have imagined. The unexpected things are thousands, as we’re doing new things everyday, but what has struck us most is how many promising customers do not have European tax numbers. This has been a hard obstacle to navigate, as the beurocracy of selling within Europe requires tax numbers for certain transactions.
What will you focus on during the remaining time? Will you follow your original plan or has anything changed along the way?
For the remaining time we will spend about 2 more weeks down in South of Europe. After that we will return to Sweden and continue working with the up scaling of our production. If anything the sales trip has given us more confidence in our original plan, and also increased the need for it. Now that we have more business customers and a higher demand for the product, it feels even more motivated to spend time in being able to meet that demand in an effective way
Karl Roos - Suntribe #3
How did you experience the three months?
All in all I had a very positive experience working with my project these three months. The work was both varied and exciting. We had the opportunity to try a lot of things we had been considering earlier during the year, and we ended up learning a lot. It was especially rewarding to have the opportunity to go abroad and experience the sales process first hand.
What has been hardest/most enjoyable?
The most enjoyable process was by far the sales trip. It involved all the aspects which I consider enjoyable, and presented us with an opportunity to merge entrepreneurship with our favoured lifestyle. We met a lot of interesting people and quickly learned how to promote our product in the most efficient way. The hardest part has been managing the legalities around fast expansion, and reading up on all regulations for individual countries.
Did it go as expected? Will you continue working on your project in the future?
Yes, we feel like it went as expected, and perhaps even better. We are very committed to continuing our work with the project, this is just the beginning of this project and after the experiences we’ve had this summer we are now convinced that the project will last for many, many years onward.
What would you say is the most important lesson learnt while working on your project?
The most important lesson I learned while working on the project was that you can never take things for a given. For example, in theoretical lessons about business and entrepreneurship it seems like the world is very structured and that a certain decision is likely to lead to a certain outcome, rational rather than emotional. However in reality, it turns out that people making decisions for businesses are very much emotional, and that the key for reaching them is seldom revealed in textbooks. Teaching us the lesson of adaptation, and that every individual you do business with requires an angle tailored to them.
Do you have any tips to other ”new” entrepreneurs?
Try and do something you can make sense of early on in the project. If your still struggling to make sense of for example your business model, chances are you’ll spend a lot of time without progressing in a reasonable way. Make it simple. Start of by making sales very early, and be clear of what you want your project to lead to. Dreaming is good, but frustrating if you don’t see results.