The Toilet Paper Society
Yes, the Toilet Paper Society exists. And we have to tell you, it's pretty awesome. Great product, witty branding, and the opportunity to give back while you are doing your... uh, "business." America, meet TPS.
1. What is TPS?
Toilet Paper Society is a ‘members only’ subscription service, delivering toilet paper directly to subscribers’ homes. The business consists of a warehouse and distribution center in Mississippi as well as the sales/marketing/tech/everything-else office here at the Village.
2. Why did you start this startup?
Toilet Paper Society was born out of an existing relationship we had with a client. They had the toilet paper and distribution network; we had the skill to create an awesome web presence and attract customers. But why toilet paper? Today’s world of commerce is deeply rooted in the desire for convenience, so we started kicking around products that everyone uses. The one product that we came up with that everyone uses (and often) is toilet paper. So we wanted to take the hassle out of running to the store to buy big bulky packages while ensuring that no one has to deal with the major inconvenience of running out at the moment you need it most.
3. Who is your ideal customer?
For starters, everyone uses toilet paper, so we know that our service is right for anyone who sees the value. And anyone who has ever run out knows how horrifying it can be... But as we begin, we’ve taken aim at the post-grad, 20-somethings in cities like New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington DC and Atlanta. Customers in these cities often don’t have the convenience of a car and a big box store nearby, and tend to lack the storage space for the bulky 16-roll packages. Additionally, younger customers are going to have an affinity for a “set-it-and-forget-it” service, and maybe haven’t developed the maturity in their routine to buy toilet paper before they run out.
4. What traction do you have?
As we iron out our fulfillment, operations and marketing plan, we’ve had great traction with a quiet roll-out (pun intended) to friends and family. Only 2% of customers who have signed up to this point have cancelled in our first quarter of operations, which is highly encouraging.
5. Why did you choose to “give back" as part of your business plan in TPS?
Along with just being kind-hearted people, we felt that aligning ourselves with a reputable cause would be a strong marketing tactic to help get the word out. Feeding America has pledged their effort in helping us get in front of more potential customers and we are hoping that we can strike a chord with our target market by offering a sincere plan to give back to those in need. We want everyone to have a full roll of TP when they go to do their business, and that doesn’t stop short of the less fortunate.
6. What do you love most about being in the Village?
There is lots to love about the Village! A great, affordable location for a small business with free snacks, coffee, games and internet? Sign us up. But most of all, being around like-minded people who have great insights, enthusiasm and understanding for each others’ work makes it a really welcoming, fun and productive environment.
7. Any words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs?
No matter how “simple” your concept is, never underestimate the hard work and time that it takes to be successful. Dedication to your business is the first and most important step to success. It becomes even more important to believe in this when you are the company. Days off are time and money lost.
8. Anything else you would like us to know?
We’re accepting new members! Head on over to toiletpapersociety.com to sign up for 4, 8 or 16 rolls per month. Happy Wiping :)