Have you ever forgotten a loved ones birthday? Are you one of those guys or gals that can’t even remember to send flowers. Well fear not, there is a London startup called BelateMeNot that will make sure you never forget the flowers again.
As you can imagine from the descriptive introduction or from the company’s name, BelateMeNot is a flower scheduled delivery service. It’s designed for people in a committed relationship or maybe someone who sends flowers to their family on scheduled days, to order the flowers one time for eternity and forget about it.
Lawrence Suss, a serial entrepreneur since high school, founded BelateMeNot to help men and women everywhere, who forget to send flowers. He likes to think of his startup as “relationship insurance”. No worries either, your loved one won’t receive a card that says “sent from BelateMeNot the scheduled delivery service” they’ll just think you remembered the flowers this time, and you’ll score major points.
We got a chance to talk to Suss about BelateMeNot and London’s thriving startup scene. Check out the interview below:
What is Belatemenot?
BelateMeNot is a scheduled flower delivery service designed for men in committed relationships and also single workingmen who usually send flowers/gifts to their mothers. It offers men peace-of-mind by taking the time and stress away from purchasing flowers for their significant other.
A quick once off registration means that all the flower requirements for the year are setup and completely automated.
Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?
BelateMeNot was founded by Lawrence Suss, a young serial entrepreneur from London, UK. With a background in banking, Lawrence was never settled at working a normal 9-5 job. The entrepreneurial bug bit Lawrence while he was in High School, where he started by selling jewellery to his female classmates. This was followed by a string of other ventures that although were failures, helped Lawrence gained valuable experience. With no formal training in web-design, he knew that the online scene was the best route to take in this technological century. Lawrence literally stayed indoors for 3 months teaching himself HTML and CSS. This has helped him be able to conceptualise a business idea in the morning, then finish a website for the idea overnight.
Where are you based?
I am based in the most beautiful city of them all; London, UK. A vibrant and multicultural city that inspires creativity.
What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?
It’s no silicon valley, but it surely is at the verge of becoming one. Compared to other cities in the UK, in London things happen quicker; and when you are in the startup scene thats a good thing. Because of the ethnic diversity in the city, people are open to new things. There are many great entrepreneurs in the city, but my hope is that more young people would take the lead. In America it’s common to hear of under 30’s starting multi million dollar companies; here it’s not that common. But we’re getting there :)
How did you come up with the idea for Belatemenot?
Out of experience really. I am very forgetful when it comes to important dates, and my wife can testify to this. Trust me when you are married to a German Perfectionist, forgetting your wedding anniversary is seriously frowned upon. After a few years of marriage she has had to adapt to my ways, by actually reminding me the day before. So in coming up with the idea, it was approved instantly by the Mrs. Knowing that many of my friends have found themselves in similar situations, it confirmed more that this could work.
What problem does BelateMeNot solve?
Most men have found themselves in the position of running around last minute on Valentine’s day to find the last bunch of roses at a service station. The prices would usually go up on the day as demand increases; but with BelateMeNot men can sit back and watch the football, as everything was done in advance.
There are at least three days in the year where men would purchase flowers for their girlfriends/wives; Valentines day, her birthday and their anniversary. Being able to order all those flowers for the year in one go; saves time, money and helps men become less forgetful. BelateMeNot is a form of ‘Relationship Insurance’ that takes the Gifts and Reminder service to another level.
What’s your secret sauce?
2) Work hard now, play later attitude.
3) Willingness to try everything besides giving up.
What’s one dilemma you’ve encountered in the startup process?
Actually the flowers. I am a man, we do not know flowers. So it was the whole process of deciding which type of flowers to focus on. So the selection process was either gonna be guess work or thorough research. The latter option won the day.
What’s one challenge you’ve overcome in the startup process?
I initially thought it would be the part where I have to pitch my proposal to a nationwide floral company, to handle the flowers and distribution. But that challenge was surprisingly easier. The main challenge was actually the order page on the site. It involved PHP a form of coding I did not really know. I was determined to setup the order page to be really easy and intuitive for men to use. The complexities of the coding on that page delayed everything for me, but many headaches, forums and tutorials later; it was overcome.
What’s the first thing you would do for Belatemenot with a one million dollar investment?
Convert it to pounds and lose the joy of it being a million :) My main lessons learnt from starting up online businesses is the fact that setting up the site is relatively easy, but marketing is usually the hard part if you are a young entrepreneur working from his iMac at home. So the first thing I would do is use the funds to market to a degree of making BelateMeNot a household name quicker. And also focus on quick European and international expansion.
What’s next for Belatemenot?
For now it’s really focusing on the bread and butter of the site; that is building up the subscriber list. Achieving this quicker helps us to reduce the annual subscription for all subscribers. The US and the rest of Europe is also on the table. Our ultimate aim is to disrupt the floral industry, and be a market leader in not just the male sector but eventually the cyclical gift buying sector of both men and women.