Nick is true Kiwi who over the last 7 years has crafted his business from a small two man band in the city of Hong Kong to a team of +20 people and growing at a rapid pace year on year.
Nick has not wasted any time and since graduating with a double degree from New Zealand in 2008 having worked across; logistics, e-commerce, marketing, supply chain and retail covering Asia pacific to US and UK. Nick who founded CBIP in 2015 and saw a unique opportunity in the market for approaching logistics services differently and with a unique model that would provide customers with more options, intimate service levels and a relationship that was focused on value first..
Nick strives to continuously innovate and challenge the way traditional business is done by leveraging his relentless focus, self-starting nature and knack for building value based connections. Nick enjoys helping companies of all sizes grow and break into existing & new markets, and has successfully built his from who today are now around stationed around the world and that excel at multi cultured management across a range of challenging and emerging markets to solving logistics problems.
Where did the idea for CBIP Logistics come from?
A couple of years back, I invested in a logistics technology company that was later acquired. During that time, I saw huge demand for their services from a new type of customer that hadn’t traditionally stepped into the realm of logistics: brands and e-commerce sellers.
Until now, logistics has been a very traditional, highly-fragmented industry — one that was hard to navigate for newcomers and generally performed via proxy. When these new online businesses began managing their logistics, they ended up paying premium prices for all-inclusive services like FedEx and DHL. These services are relatively cheap but inflexible when servicing customers beyond just a parcel delivery.
I noticed many of these businesses got better value when they had some control over their logistics. But these networks are hard to set up. We saw a way to help them manage logistics by creating an experience that is less transactional and more customer-focused.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake early, around 5:30 AM, and exercise most mornings from 6-7 AM. This is the one time in my day when I can focus on myself and clear my mind for the day ahead.
From here, I wake up my son and we have breakfast and some quality time before work. Around 8:00 AM I leave for the office and that’s when my day really starts.
I am in the office from about 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM and my calendar is generally full every day. To manage everything, I break the day into three sections so I can be most productive: One section is for meetings, one is for work, and one is for thinking. These activities are not always split evenly, but I try to ensure that I have some time for each.
I always leave the office around 5 PM to get home and spend time with my son before he goes to bed. I eat dinner around 7:30 PM and then my workday usually continues until around 10 PM. During these hours I catch up, cover different time zones, and prepare for the day ahead.
While my days are full, I take breaks regularly and ensure that there are fun and social activities included in my calendar each week. After all, I have to enjoy my life too.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I sketch out a concept, do my research, check feasibility, plan, execute, review, and adapt. That’s my process for everything and it works well.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I’m excited about the role that e-commerce will play across all consumer goods categories. Traditional segments like automobiles will need to build an online presence and this will radically change the retail experience.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have a relentless focus on winning. I don’t care how often we get rejected. For me, no means not yet.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t measure your progress against others. Nothing happens at the same pace for everyone. It’s about creating opportunities that shape your future and being confident in your decisions.
I was 27 when I left New Zealand and moved to Hong Kong. Eight years later, I have left a steady corporate life and built a business. Was this my master plan? No, but as I tried new things, it opened doors to new opportunities.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
You don’t have to be the smartest or the most talented person in the world to succeed you just need to believe.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Simply do not give up. We get knocked down more often than I can count, but when the wins come, they’re even sweeter.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We didn’t want to build something we hoped people might want. Instead, we built CBIP based on what our customers needed and grew our offerings along with what they asked us to do.
Because we’ve built slowly alongside our clients, we haven’t needed to take a cent of outside capital. We’ve created a lean but efficient team focused on offering a truly unique and streamlined experience for clients.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
We once had a multimillion-dollar client fire us two days into a contract we’d spent six months preparing for because we hadn’t thoroughly vetted one of our partners. It made us take a hard look at ourselves to see where it all went wrong. We brutally reviewed our process, identified the areas where we could make improvements, and applied them to every contract since.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think any product with a niche focus on the post-pandemic world will work well. For example, in China, everyone has a mobile wallet and can send money to friends or local produce sellers with a scan and a touch of a button. I don’t see anything quite like that in the West yet. Anyone that can successfully integrate social media with payment systems (like they have in China) will be rich.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
It was probably Disneyland with my two-year-old son. Seeing his face with Mickey was priceless.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We use Pipedrive for our CRM and it’s made it much easier for us to track progress. We capture all our sales opportunities there.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The book I always recommend is Only Two Seats Left. It’s the story of Kiwi entrepreneur, John Anderson, and the famous European tour empire he built, lost, and built again.
What is your favorite quote?
“Play by the rules, but be ferocious.” – Phil Knight
- No means not yet. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, no one else will.
- Make a schedule that works for you to be as productive as possible and stick to it. Don’t forget to schedule important things like time with family and fun.
- Don’t let self-doubt drive you into poor decisions. Your gut is your best guide.
- Success is not about status or money, it’s about how you feel.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.