Joshua Oates: The Startup Community Here (London) Is […] Very Strong and Very Open To Helping

September 18, 2022

Joshua Oates of Tooth.Eco.

Tell us about yourself?

Industrial designer and product architect that loves solving sustainability issues through design and material development.

What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?

Rome was not built in a day and neither is a startup. Be ready to adapt at a moments notice and pivot to something that the market is demanding. Raising capital is long and an intensive process, dont be disheartened.

If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Take it slowly and dont rush to bring out all your features, and products at once. Build, adapt, learn, launch.

A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?

It’s and incredibly hard thing to do. How we managed was adapt our personal lives to fit around the business. Creating a new network of friends inside the startup world that you can have personal experiences while discussing business is key.

When you start a business be prepared to work 24/7 until you exit.

Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?

Sustainability and the single use plastics issue has been once of the biggest influences in getting the business off the ground and the need for a real world solution. Greenwashing needs to be stomped out that that will come from companies finding truly sustainable solutions.

What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?

Our award winning product design along with our strong sustainable credentials allow us to set ourselves apart from the competition. Less is more within our sustainable design philosophy. Along with this is our team, who work day in and day out to deliver a clean and well rehersed experience.

How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?

Sales will; like everything take time to grow. What you need to do religiously is look at the data from the sales, your online sales funnels, channels and learn and adapt the design, product and messaging to make sure you are converting as high as you possibly can.

Also the oral care market is extremely crowded, but the market its-self is huge, so don’t be turned off that it’s busy. Just make sure you are making the right noise through the crowd to be seen and heard.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?

Covid-19 has been the biggest challenge thus far. We had an 18month delay on delivering all products due to global supply chain issues.

We overcame this through transparency with our customers and community on the delay and what we were facing and keeping them as updates as we were. This helped manage expectations for when customers could expect their products.

What do you find are the advantages of operating your business in London?

Having government support though troubling times is a real benefit that we cant stress more. The startup community here is also very strong and very open to helping.

Are there any issues with having a London based business? Have you experienced these?

The overheads when sales are slow can eat away capital pretty quick, but you best just get on and sell more products.

How has the higher than UK average cost of living impacted your ability to work and live in London and how has this also impacted your ability as an employer?

It can be tough at times but you have to budget, meal prep and be prepared to work from home to reduce those weekly travel costs sometimes. The home days make it harder to cultivate a ‘company culture’ but it’s not impossible.

If you had to relocate your business to another city in the UK, which one would it be and why?

Bristol, Fulfilment is cheaper and there is an abundance of students that you could get on the sustainable living lifestyle.

How has BREXIT impacted your business (if at all)?

It has indeed, the simple fact that goods import into the EU is that much harder has really made some issues for us regarding customer retention within the EU. We are working our hardest to solve this.

What is your vision for your company in the next 5 years?

We are looking to be the oral care leaders with our technology, products and material development. We would like to start selling our technologies to other companies that would like to hit sustainability goals within their product lines.

And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?

Sure thing, you can go over to www.tooth.eco  and go check us out to look at the full range of products we have to offer. You can slo check us out on instagram and facebook.

Follow Tooth.Eco on Twitter or Linkedin.

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