Sam Jarvis, co-founder of HubBox, talks about the convenience of matching online shopping and a network of collect points.

HubBox Click & Collect matches the convenience of online shopping with its nationwide network of Collect Points so shoppers can collect their deliveries hassle-free. Sam Jarvis, co-foundere, tells us more.

I came up with the idea... In short, someone on the underground looked at me carrying a large parcel on a packed tube and called me a … well, something unrepeatable. I couldn’t believe that there was no solution that allowed me to collect online orders on the way home instead of sending everything to the office. So I set out to create a solution that worked with any online retailer and allowed me to collect everything on the way home.

The biggest challenge is... The fact that we’re actually building two businesses that need to work perfectly in sync. First, we operate and manage our network of Collect Points that is now well over 1000 locations. Second, we’ve built and run the technology to allow retailers to directly offer HubBox Click & Collect at their checkout. This requires a lot of different skill sets and a lot of mechanics to keep the solution as simple as possible for customers.

The average day is spent... I can honestly say that there is no average day at HubBox!

At the moment, however, we’re working alongside some big brands to deliver our Click & Collect solution in time for the busiest retail season of the year.
The team consists of... We have three co-founders at HubBox: Greg Beszant (COO), Jon Pawley (CTO), and me. We then run three sub-teams who look after our technology platforms, Collect Points and customers, and retailer clients respectively. We’re supported by a very strong advisory board, including ex-retailer Alan Halsall and Rob Fraser, ex-CTO of Boots and Sainsburys.

My favourite quote... ‘Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.’

I am where I am today because of... Luck, to a large degree. I’m very fortunate to have had supportive parents and a great education. I’m the sort of person who tries everything, whether it’s sport, music, or education, and I’ve had a fair amount of different roles job-wise. I think that’s been really helpful to my personal development and gave me a good background and skill set to start a company.

I am who I am because of... My early years, I think. I was a cathedral chorister from the age of seven, and I’m not sure I’ve ever worked as hard as I did in those years. We did fifteen hour days without a break from rehearsals, six days per week. Ever since then, I’ve always been pretty driven.

The best advice I've been given... Take your time to hire good people. We focused hard on only bringing on people who understood what we wanted to achieve and were committed to our journey. In return, we’ve been rewarded with people with the right skills who understand what HubBox is today and what it can be in the future. At this point of growth, we’re fortunate to have autonomous self-starters who have a vested interest in the company.

In five years I'd like to be... Still running this business. We’re lucky in that there’s almost no cap on our growth. That’s not to say we think we’re going to be a huge company in the years to come, but there is a huge opportunity that is untapped. It’s hard to find a market like online retail that has compounding growth of nearly 20% per year. So every day we have a bigger opportunity than the day before, which is exciting. I hope in five years we can still be growing and I’ll be able to look back and see how it panned out.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business... How long everything takes! Sometimes it feels like you’re running as fast as you can, but you are still standing in the same spot! This can be frustrating sometimes.

The most rewarding experience we've had to date... Sitting in front of one of the largest online retailers in Europe while they told us they really understood the benefits of our solution and wanted to work with us. This meant that after two hard years of work, we were on the right track and were in a position to achieve the goals we set ourselves.

November 2016