From Ecoegg to online retailer Must Have Ideas

In just 10 years, he turned an strategy into a multi-million promoting results story. And now he is accomplishing it all above once more.

Rob Knight launched Ecoegg in 2009. The product, created to clean your clothes though conserving on detergent and becoming variety to delicate pores and skin, proved a massive hit.

Rob Knight and his Ecoegg - he sold his share in the firm in 2018
Rob Knight and his Ecoegg – he marketed his share in the business in 2018

By the time he marketed the business in 2018, it used 50 personnel, had bought three million units and was on sale about the entire world with a turnover of some £5 million. When it was sold on buying channel QVC it bought a staggering 23,000 units in one day.

But after obtaining an present for the firm – which was hit by disaster in 2016 when its Maidstone HQ burned down – and keen for a fresh challenge, he left 4 yrs ago.

On the vacation he took to the States to relax right after “the months and months of anxiety top up to the sale” he hatched upon his most recent business idea.

Though out browsing, he spotted the Cleanliness Hero – “an advancement on a kitchen area sponge” – and while proving a hit in the US was unknown in the British isles.

By the time he’d obtained back again to his Maidstone home, he’d ordered a consignment from the brands and commenced promoting them on the net.

The Must Have Ideas team
The Will have to Have Strategies workforce

It would be the initially solution line for his following – and existing – business enterprise, Will have to Have Ideas.

Now it sells a lot more than 100 various goods all created about the premise of remaining “ground breaking challenge-solving remedies” for difficulties about the property.

Want the “last bathroom brush you may ever require” or the “eco-pleasant different to the kitchen area roll”? Then Should Have Concepts may well now be bookmarked on your browser.

Now, dependent on the Arc Logistics Park in Snodland, it employs a lot more than 80 staff members and is on keep track of this yr for turnover of £30m.

Owned and operate by Rob, his wife Amy (they finally tied the knot six weeks ahead of we speak following the pandemic forced the ceremony to be cancelled five moments) and his greatest-mate Chris Finch, it is proving a massive strike.

The Must Have Ideas warehouse
The Should Have Thoughts warehouse

“Our sweet spot are items you’ve not observed in advance of for frequent family complications,” he points out.

“So no matter if which is close to cleansing, storage, utensils and extras, we journey the earth wanting for really fascinating products that might be commonplace in other countries but we have not found in the United kingdom.

“Then we supply them and bring them to a British isles audience.

“In many ways we are very identical to JML. It concentrates on promoting on Television set and in-retail store – we are purely on the net.

“So there is some solution cross-more than that we both equally promote.

Amy and Rob Knight and fellow owner Chris Finch
Amy and Rob Knight and fellow owner Chris Finch

“At Ecoegg we furnished vendors like Lakeland and men and women like that, and it was genuinely challenging do the job. Even just factors like payment conditions. If they agree to pay out in 120 times, then handling funds move is a actual problem.

“One particular of the matters we ended up definitely keen to do with Must Have Strategies was to go direct to the shopper. We can give seriously excellent pricing as you will find no middle person margin on prime.”

Not poor for a man who started off his professional career striving to crack into the hugely competitive world of radio.

Having grown up in Orpington, he remaining the College of Kent and started doing work for Funds Radio in London ahead of switching to stations around the state, largely as a programme director, and presenting reveals which included stints at each Invicta FM and kmfm.

But then fate intervened.

After previously being based on the Medway City Estate, Must Have Ideas is now in Snodland
Just after previously currently being based mostly on the Medway City Estate, Will have to Have Strategies is now in Snodland

He explains: “My girlfriend at the time experienced definitely sensitive pores and skin and couldn’t discover a laundry detergent that worked for her. So we looked into all the options.

“We discovered various varieties of wash balls and started off testing them. But none of them worked – they didn’t irritate her skin but they failed to clean the dresses both.

“We believed would not it be excellent if there was a alternative.

“So we labored with some chemists who formulated just one, and that is how the Ecoegg started off.”

What started out as an procedure run from their Maidstone property, promptly escalated.

The Ecoegg proved a huge global hit
The Ecoegg proved a substantial world hit

“I definitely savored performing that,” states Rob. “But soon after 10 years, I felt I would taken it as much as I could with my skill-established and we experienced an supply so we bought in the summer months of 2018.

“I was travelling with my now spouse in the US. We would just done the deal and went on holiday break soon after all the stressful weeks and months foremost up to the sale.

“We discovered this merchandise in the States – an improvement on the normal kitchen sponge – appeared at it and imagined it would market genuinely nicely.

“So we considered we’d provide it back again and see if there was any desire.

“1 thing led to yet another and in this article we are.”

“We spend Mark Zuckerberg a whole lot of funds just about every day.”

The moment yet again, sales started at his property (“at one particular phase our spare space was packed with Cleanliness Heroes”), in advance of its achievements prompted a rethink.

As it added traces to its featuring, it took out premises on the Medway Town Estate ahead of, previous July, using on a sizeable freshly-designed device in Snodland.

Today it is a purely on the web operation, with all its marketing channelled via social media.

“We pay back Mark Zuckerberg [co-founder and boss of Facebook] a ton of income each working day,” he admits, to have his adverts served up in people’s feeds.

While the firm is now flourishing, it has not been with no its hard instances.

Behind the scenes of video production to promote its goods
Driving the scenes of video clip generation to market its items

He clarifies: “We’ve had our struggles like all people else in excess of the final couple of yrs thanks to the pandemic.

“Initially it was actually excellent for us as we were an online business, we didn’t have to halt investing. We experienced some history sales in the course of the 1st lockdown but then the entire supply chain difficulties strike and that’s been truly tricky to navigate – staying in a position to get stock on time and the cost of importing.

“Container prices went from having to pay $4,000 a person day to $24,000. It was crazy. They have appear down a ton given that then, but they’ve not come down to what they the moment were being.

“We are on keep track of to do £30m in profits this year. That’s good, but there is certainly greater prices still left, correct and centre – inflationary expenditures – which are hitting the base line.

“We are going to have to see how profitability turns out this 12 months, but unquestionably gross sales are pretty solid. We’re also fortunate ample to have a lot of repeat custom made. Additional than 50% of our sales are from those who have acquired from us just before.”

The Must Have Ideas packing team at its HQ in Snodland
The Should Have Ideas packing crew at its HQ in Snodland

And his ambition for enlargement stays robust.

“Our major route to advancement is locating more products and solutions people today want,” he clarifies.

“We have served about two million clients now.

“We have also deemed increasing abroad, which is likely a task for early 2023. We’re perhaps looking at France and Germany as large European marketplaces.

“We are shortly going to launch on Amazon – we experienced seen it as our nemesis – but you cannot get absent from the fact it can supply definitely important product sales volume.”

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