Whilst?Schanschieff heads up an impact minded company that’sees revenue grow by 85% year-on-year, he’s not your typical entrepreneur with an A-type persona to match, let him explain why…
Real Business, (RB): Can you describe what Bambino Mio offers customers in one sentence
Guy Schanschieff, (GS): Mio provides parents all over the world with stylish, affordable and environmentally friendly product alternatives for babies, including reusable nappies, swim nappies, potty training pants, change bags and accessories.
RB: What makes your product stand out in the marketplace
GS: What makes our Brand stand out is the quality of our products, our fun, and trend-led designs, and the fact that we ve created a business that provides parents around the world with access to our eco-friendly products.
RB: Where did the inspiration for the idea come from?
GS: It all began in 1991, when me and Jo, my wife, were travelling through India and met an American at the Taj Mahal and got talking about a reusable nappy laundry service, that was it, the seed of an idea was sown.
RB: What has been the toughest moment in your business journey so far?
GS: The recession of 2010-11 was a tough time. In the space of one month, our two biggest international distributors stopped ordering from us, so we effectively lost a third of turnover in the space of about four weeks.
The biggest change that helped to drive the business forward was developing a modern digital marketing strategy which to this day is still at the heart of our business. Although the recession was a difficult time, we learned a lot, improved the business and if anything, it made us even more passionate to succeed.
RB: What did the nappy market look like when you decided to start Bambino Mio?
In the early 1990s, only 2% of parents were using reusable nappies, now over 30% of parents try a reusable product and I would like to believe that Bambino Mio has played a vital role in this positive product shift.
The demand for eco-friendly baby products is rapidly increasing as more consumers, and therefore retailers, are specifically opting for single-use product alternatives in the change-time category.
Overall revenue saw incredible growth, international sales increased six-fold and e-commerce sales doubled YOY. Growth for the Brand and product category as a whole shows no signs of slowing down as the popularity of reusable products continues to grow all over the world.
RB: What’s tougher, starting a business from scratch or growing a small company to the next stage of growth?
GS: Both are tough but in different ways. When starting a business from scratch you’re entering new territory. You?re taking on something that is completely unknown and the biggest challenge is finding out if people are actually going to buy your products, so it’s tough because you’re relying on demand.
Growing a small company to the next stage is focussed around strategy and understanding how the business works, using insights and developing different skills to allow growth. Both have their challenges.
RB: How is your business going to navigate the challenges of Brexit?
GS: As an SME we deal with challenges all of the time. No one really knows how Brexit will affect their business at this stage so we re focusing on the present. We re not panicking, it’s just business as usual until we are faced with firm facts of Brexit implications. We are one of the most accessible reusable nappy brands in the world, so our priority is to ensure that our products remain widely available so that more parents have access to high-quality product alternatives to single-use plastics. Currently, we do not see Brexit as a major cause of concern for our business and 2019 is set to be a record-breaking year for Bambino Mio.
RB: What’s the thing you’re most excited to achieve withBambino Mio during the next few years?
GS: We ve set ourselves some ambitious targets for 2019 and have already hit the ground running by securing new retailers, launching new product innovations, entering new markets and expanding our team.
Continual international expansion is an ultimate goal and now, more than ever before, is our Brands time to truly shine as the demand for eco-friendly baby products is rapidly increasing as more consumers and retailers across the globe are specifically opting for single-use product alternatives in the change-time category.
So, it’s an extremely exciting time for our business and we re looking forward to embracing the growth opportunities that lay ahead for Bambino Mio.