AN on-demand van and driver hire business that uplifts and delivers unwanted furniture to those in need, has successfully launched after receiving a package of start-up support from Business Gateway.
Launched in reaction to the pandemic, WhiteVanPlusMan is made up of father-and-son team Kenny and Cameron Maclean who identified a trend in the logistics market over the last 17 months: with everyone at home, more and more people are looking to dispose of their single item furniture.
With sustainability at the heart of their business, WhiteVanPlusMan encourage those looking to move unwanted furniture to use its services and give single item furniture a new life beyond a landfill site. This stems from research from organisations such as Wrap, which shows that 1.6 million tonnes of bulky waste – 42% of which is furniture and 19% textile, is disposed by households in the UK annually and sent to landfill*.
The business also ensures that those who could put the unwanted furniture to good use are able to do so through the creation of a Facebook group: ‘Don’t dump it…donate it!’, a peer-to-peer page where the people of Glasgow can post items of furniture that they don’t want and offer them to those who do.
Although WhiteVanPlusMan owner Kenny had experience launching and running a business, Business Gateway worked with the team to provide them with the advice that would take this new venture from concept to cash.
Kenny turned to Business Gateway for help to promote his new business and received dedicated 1:1 advice on marketing and strategy, as well as intellectual property and general support on local marketing campaigns and financial forecasting.
This support and guidance helped develop the marketing campaign for WhiteVanPlusMan when the business launched. This used a cardboard cut-out of Kenny, donning a cape and glasses and posing as the local area’s newest superhero around areas of Glasgow. Uplifts of unwanted furniture increased by 100% following this activity.
Since then, WhiteVanPlusMan has built on its growth and developed an app which allows customers to quickly identify when a van and driver are available, allowing users to easily select the vehicle that best suits their needs.
Kenny Maclean, Owner of WhiteVanPlusMan, said: “Our business is there to do our bit to save the planet, reduce landfill, but more importantly help those less fortunate. Business Gateway immediately understood my vision, helping me develop a unique marketing campaign to get peoples’ attention and ensure we were on their radar.”
Bill Cameron, Business Gateway Adviser, said: “People are increasingly looking for ways to behave in a way that is eco-conscious and sustainable, and Kenny has done a fantastic job identifying this gap in the market.
“Business Gateway was able to support him as he set about getting the attention of the people of Glasgow, and it’s fantastic to see how he has been able to leverage this brand awareness into further growth with the launch of his app. We will continue to support the team and I am excited to see what WhiteVanPlusMan does next on its mission to help Glaswegians on their sustainability journey.”