Litterbox storage startup makes changes ahead of second year


Source: Peter Dorward

From left to right: Litterbox CFO Yash Agrawal, CEO Peter Dorward and COO Andy Grossman. The three collaborated on changes to their distribution and marketing moving into the company’s second year.

Megan Munce, Reporter

Student-run startup Litterbox is back for its second year of operation to serve the Northwestern community as an NU-specific storage solution.

McCormick sophomore Peter Dorward, the CEO and co-founder of Litterbox, said the company exceeded expectations last year with 78 customers served, a 98 percent on-time delivery rate and a 4.9 satisfaction rating out of 5. This year, he said the company has made numerous changes to improve upon its success.

“We identified a lot of our weaknesses last summer, and we’ve been able to spend all winter just optimizing our process,” said Weinberg sophomore Yash Agrawal, co-founder and the chief financial officer of the company.

Many of these changes involve what customers will receive. According to Dorward, Litterbox will now provide packing tape as well as a packing guide to each of its customers. He said the company also switched to a different box manufacturer to provide stronger boxes that are double-walled.

“This year, you could stand on our boxes,” Dorward said.

Some of the other changes deal with how students sign up for Litterbox. According to Dorward, Litterbox responded to student feedback that the order form was too long by simplifying their sign up process and business model. In the new model, customers can reserve their spot on the website for a $25 fee to receive packing supplies. Once they have an idea of how many boxes they’ll need to store, they can fill out the order form.

Dorward also said the team spent “hours and hours and hours” on their back-end scheduling systems to handle the amount of customers Litterbox expects to sign up.

“It definitely took a lot of effort, but it was totally worth it,” Andy Grossman, a SESP freshman and chief operating officer of the company, said. “We’re able to make tweaks to it whenever we need to to see what went well, what went wrong and what we need to improve.”

Grossman got involved with the company this year after hearing their pitch during a matchmaking event at The Garage. As a freshman, he said he was previously unaware of the need for summer storage solutions in college.

Marketing-wise, Agrawal said Litterbox is focused on emphasizing the unique advantages of using a student-run storage company.

Dorward said part of this goal is becoming more affordable by offering a standard package versus a premium package. The standard package offers drop-off and pick-up locations, while the premium package includes door-to-door service.

Litterbox also expanded their marketing by holding a Chick-fil-A promotional deal earlier in the year, offering every new customer free Chick-fil-A. Dorward said they also plan to roll out promotional codes to attract new customers.

“Because we’re student run, we were willing to go the extra mile… which is a big competitive advantage that we’ve found that we have over our competitors that may not be student-run or Northwestern-based,” Agrawal said.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @meganmuncie

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