Interview with young entrepreneur Seth Hill from Lose your List
At the beginning of March, Seth Hill started a small business with his +15 years friend Michael Rumpke. Started as a grocery delivery service, there are a few twists that can make this type of business new. For me it’s a very good example of stepping outside the regular 9-to-5 jobs for which the society prepares us in school, and start a business not necessarily with an unique and never seen before idea but by doing better something that has been done before. The business is called Lose your list and provides Groceries delivery directly from the Farms around Lexington, Kentucky.
CRISTIAN: Who is your typical customer?
SETH: It’s funny you ask that because our typical customer is everybody. Everybody has to eat, you know? Though lower income families don’t reach out to us as often because we are somewhat of a luxury service, we have delivered to some who are just unable to make it on their own to the store.
CRISTIAN: What makes it different from other home delivery services?
SETH: We’re different because of what we offer directly from local growers and producers. We have partnerships with a organic CSA farm, a grassfed cattle farm, a honey/cosmetic producer, a mushroom farm, beer cheese producer and a local grocery store. Our partners are growing daily and the way we see it…. If you can’t get it locally from our partners, you can get your food from our local grocer.
CRISTIAN: How did you come up with the idea?
SETH: Michael Rumpke(co-owner) and I just did a lot of brainstorming really. It started simply as a grocery delivery service. Overtime, we did our research and contacted local growers/producers and it developed from there(still is developing). We understood what other companies similar to us were doing and after that, Michael and I put our own little spin on the business.
CRISTIAN: How did you find out there is a need for your services in the area?
SETH: Our business type is successful in many markets in the U.S. and there is nothing like it here in Lexington, KY. Before opening up any business in any market, I believe one has to understand the city. You have to feel the heartbeat of the city. I have lived in Lexington my whole life so I believe I understand the city.
CRISTIAN: Your using Twitter and Facebook to market and keep in touch with your customers. How does this work for a small business like yours?
SETH: Well its nice just to be able to advertise without expending large amount of capital. Facebook (especially) has aided in our local connection to our customers.
CRISTIAN: Any business plans before starting the new business?
SETH: Of course. However, I will admit most of the planning was done vocally between Michael and I. We are currently seeking start up capital and we’re currently formulating something more concrete and physical as far as a business plan goes.
CRISTIAN: And what about outside help. Your family, outside counseling?
SETH: First and foremost I credit all of my entrepreneurial knowledge to my parents. As a child, I watched my parents develop a fabric/interior design business grow from our basement into a annual $1 million + business.
CRISTIAN: So how did the first 2-3 weeks went? I know it might be too soon to speak but any sign of success?
SETH: I’d say one of our proudest moments came within our first 2-3 weeks of operations. Both Michael and I were driving around town delivering groceries and literally 5 – 10 people shouted out our names and voiced their support. It was pretty surreal!
CRISTIAN: What are the benefits of cooking at home versus ordering or eating out?
SETH: Just overall health. We also try to help people save money.
CRISTIAN: You partnered with your friend Michael Rumpke to start the business. How important is to have a partner?
SETH: Honestly, it can be very trying at times. Michael and I have known each other for over 15+ years. We competed in over 1,000 baseball games together so our relationship is very natural. Michael and I are able to push each others very hard without any damage to our actual relationship as friends/business partners. This is a blessing because the stresses of starting your own business can be very overwhelming at times. Michael is an ideal partners(at least for me), so his importance is very vital to OUR success as a business. With all that being said, I have been involved in two ventures that failed ultimately due to poor partnership relations. My advice to anyone considering a partner to start a business, make sure it is the right fit. Partnerships can make or break a business.
CRISTIAN: Any plans of expanding the business in other areas?
SETH: Yes. From the moment we began forming our business process our intentions to franchise were always present. Therefore, our processes must be very sophisticated, yet simple enough to transfer into different markets.
CRISTIAN: Any advice for young entrepreneurs like you willing to start a business now?
SETH: Just don’t be scared. So many people our age have this idea molded in their minds that you must go to school, get a degree and find a safe job. The problem lies within supply and demand. If everyone has a degree and are competing for the same jobs, something has to give. The only option is to create more jobs to compensate for the increasing supply of college graduates in need of jobs. Other than that, just be yourself and believe in what you offer to the world.