It’s no secret that in today’s day and age, we want to get what we want, and we want to get it now. Daily Delivery, this week’s Vancouver Entrepreneur feature is aiming to help you get your stuff faster, while creating job opportunities for locals.
Who are you? Tell us about your business and what inspired you to create it.
My name is Salar Rismani (most colleagues call me Sal), and I co-founded Daily Delivery with the help of my brother Fez. We’re advocates of the Sharing Economy movement, with a passion for building interconnected local communities. We are thirsty to learn, and eager to share.
Our business initially started as a consumer facing service, enabling busy individuals to connect with nearby Delivery Specialists, and request on-demand deliveries from any store or restaurant in their vicinity that does not typically deliver. Soon after, we started getting more requests from the stores and pivoted to become a B2B outsourced delivery solution provider. So far, we have generated part time delivery gigs for more than 250 local individuals, and have enabled over 300 stores and brands to offer their customers the convenience of online ordering and on-demand deliveries.
What has been the most challenging part about running this business and how have you addressed it?
Validating our assumptions, planning and designing an “efficient” system was one of the early challenges my brother and I faced. For instance, a great deal of what we do is related to driver recruitment and proper staffing to optimally match the demand side for the deliveries. Given the unpredictable nature our on-demand delivery volume, we were having some challenges to avoid having one too many drivers on the road, or falling short of drivers for a specific timeslot. A simple rainy day would sometime bring 2-3 times the expected volume. Therefore we decided to partner up with the Computing Science department at Simon Fraser University to develop a set of proprietary predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms that incorporate our historical data with some other elements (i.e. road and weather conditions, driver availability, relevant events in the city ) to figure if we’re conditioned optimally for a specific date/time in the future.
How has Vancouver’s rising startup community played a role in the development of Daily Delivery?
Vancouver’s startup community is quite supportive and with tons of great minds in town, there’s never a shortage of help. We’ve had the honour of meeting many great mentors and entrepreneurs who’ve humbly shared their wisdom and lent their experiences throughout our journey over and over again. Most often, hearing about entrepreneurial success stories can be quite inspirational, if not contagious. I believe the support from the tech community is mutual between all startups and quite effective in many ways.
What core problem is your company specifically solving and/or what’s the main value you provide?
We take customer experience quite seriously. Our delivery specialists are all dressed in their white oxfords and snappy red bowties. However, representing a brand properly is not the only problem our business clients are facing. Daily has been focused on solving two core problems.
1. We make it simple for businesses to set up shop online and,
2. offer on-demand deliveries to their customers in under an hour.
Nowadays, it is as crucial for any brick and mortar store that seeks a strong presence in their market to have a strong online presence as well. First problem is that most store owners or managers don’t have the time, capital or the necessary expertise for setting up a seamless online ordering system for their business.Our innovative white labeled onlineordering technology empowers stores to set up shop online and showcase their products in a matter of hours on their own websites!
The second problem is not necessarily unique to the brick and mortar stores. Setting up a reliable, scalable & quality delivery system for both Ecommerce websites or brick and mortar stores has always been challenging. The unpredictability of the order volume at a given time can be costly when the order volume is not sufficient enough to keep the drivers busy throughout their shift, or in case of overflow situations where there’s too many orders at once and not enough drivers to deliver the goods in a timely manner. As advocates of sharing economy, by crowdsourcing our fleet of delivery specialists, we have managed to share our pool of drivers between many stores and in turn provide them with an affordable on-demand delivery or backup services when needed most.
How did you end up becoming an entrepreneur and what challenges did you personally overcome to succeed?
In many ways, it was inevitable for my brother and I to become entrepreneurs. We grew up in an entrepreneurial environment. My dad had started his first business at the age of 13 and that story was seeded in my mind as the drive and passion in becoming an entrepreneur. Our father’s achievements, and his attitude toward his failures were quite inspirational and helpful in shaping who we are today. I remember my father patiently teaching us the basic business principles and practices at nights when he would get home from work.
I guess, having bootstrapped the first two years of the business, we learnt a lot about running a lean business and becoming more efficient and disciplined with our available capital. Both my brother and I had to work two jobs in order to save enough money to sustain ourselves, while self-funding the business in the early days.
What entrepreneur has inspired you the most for running your business and what makes them so special?
I have followed Mark Cuban for many years now and his philosophy for running a good business is inspirational. In his perspective, a good business should create value for several major constituencies, and not just the shareholders. Creating a value chain for customers, employees, and shareholders are fundamental to any successful business. We’ve tried to build a business around that line of thought, and the positive results have been quite evident.
What Vancouver celebrity/influencer would you most be excited to have as a member of the team and why?
Vancouver has no shortage of great influencers, but if I had to pick one, I would pick Roger Hardy, in a heartbeat. Like most great minds, he sees the future and how the world is shifting, then helps shape it. Given his vast experience in the Ecommerce space and the approach Daily is taking towards the online ordering and the on-demand delivery space, having him involved and getting mentored by him would be quite valuable for us.
What are some accessible resources used and winning habits you have developed to learn and grow as an entrepreneur?
Aside from the many great founders and mentors we’ve met and surrounded ourselves with, BCTIA has been one of the most helpful associations that has provided us a tremendous amount of help and support since the conception of Daily. Reading books and recent findings on the subject of “personal growth” and “self-awareness” has by far helped me the most in forming other healthy habits. Reading blogs or articles about the industry you’re in can go a long way. Need a good book to keep by your bed side? Read the “7 habits of highly effective people” by Stephen Covey. It’s a classic and it will do wonders for you!
If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
Get out in nature as much as you can. As we grow up, many voices will tell us who to be, how to act and what to follow, just so we could fit within the norms…Therefore to learn more about one’s true self, could get quite tricky in this noisy world. I think, I would have been further ahead if I had invested more time in self improvement and personal growth. Valuing what this observable reality has to offer is something that most people miss out on.
What’s your advice for current or future entrepreneurs?
Take that leap of faith and start believing in your own capabilities. Adopt the “Learn to fail, Fail to learn” mantra by heart. Plan your day ahead. Literally write it on a piece of paper and prioritize your tasks and mark them as you go. Reach out and connect with as many people as you can, and do not hesitate to ask them for help. Vancouver’s startup community has a lot to offer, its up to you to make the most out it.
Vancouver Entrepreneurs is a weekly feature on the city’s most notable entrepreneurs and startups that are making a local and even a global impact. If you think your venture deserves to be on the series, send an email to casey(at)vancitybuzz(dot)com to explain why you’re a fit.