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Name: Jeff Golfman
Company: The Raw Office
What are you building, and who benefits most from it?
We are disrupting the market for strategic supplies for large corporations and small businesses. With its 100% carbon-neutral supply chain and artificial intelligence-powered B2B ordering platform, Raw Office helps businesses save money, control costs, and be more eco-friendly.
What is one of your startup’s most impressive accomplishments?
We have processed more than 30,000 orders and $30 million through our proprietary software, helping businesses save 10%-20% versus traditional suppliers such as Staples and Amazon.
What has been the biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
As a startup, access to the best talent to build and grow the business is always a challenge. We have been able to attract great talent by offering an employee stock option plan so the team will be able to share in our valuation and cash-flow wins on exit.
What tool or app could you not live without and why?
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We run our business 100% remotely, and I travel a lot for client, supplier, and investor meetings. We have set up our technology and operations to be cloud-based so that we can run the business with a phone and a computer from anywhere and thrive.
What marketing strategies have worked for you?
There is nothing more powerful and effective than a face-to-face meeting. Yes, digital strategies are important, yet they have a very low conversion rate compared to human interactions. In today’s environment, most of us look for human connection and community, and we want to work with companies and people we trust. This is best accomplished in person.
What has been your biggest business failure to date? What did you learn from it?
I am a big believer in people and I trust unconditionally. I believe these are good qualities to have, but sometimes, this trust and belief in others pose difficulties and challenges as many people fail to honor their promises. We now scrutinize our partnerships more carefully, have lots of insurance coverage, and get everything in writing.
What’s the best specific piece of advice you have for other entrepreneurs?
Don’t give up! There is always another move you can make to lengthen the runway. Also, control what you can so you can beat the competition and work harder, longer, faster, and smarter.
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