Don’t rush. Think, talk a lot, draw on the whiteboard and analyse

GoOpti is a long distance transport company enabling passengers to travel from small cities to major airports hubs

Please introduce yourself and GoOpti to our readers!
I love travelling and creating new things that change the world for the better. This is why as soon as I finished my studies in business and tourism, I immediately went on to create my first company with business partner Tomaž Lorenzetti. We founded our first startup – a platform for dynamic packaging of tailor made experiences. We failed but that helped us to be more successful in following ventures.
GoOpti is a long distance transport company enabling passengers to travel from small cities to major airports hubs – who historically have depended on personal cars and expensive taxis or trains. Our target group have limited options, while GoOpti provides a safer, professional, cheaper and stress free alternative to reach their destination. We pride ourselves in being “Better Than Your Personal Car” and our customers heartily agree.

How did you get the idea to GoOpti?
Our second company became largest business travel center in Slovenia in just 3 years. We discovered we were really good at lowering costs of business travel. One of travel options we identified was to fly from airports that are further away. But getting there was a hassle so we realised there is a great need to connect smaller cities with other airports in the region. This way people can save money and time, as flying direct is more economical than expensive connecting flights from smaller, local airports.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
In the beginning no transport company wanted to work with us, as they thought there wasn’t enough demand to make it successful. So we needed to buy our own vehicles at first and go through all the hassle of getting the licences and drivers. Tomaž and Sašo Sušnik, who joined the company to set up operations and supply sometimes had to drive passengers themselves!
As we’ve become bigger we’ve started to experience similar problems to Uber. Although our main competitor is the personal car, we have still been criticised by taxi and bus drivers. Some have even gone as far as to damage our vehicles, threaten our drivers, even lobbying politically to shut us down. All of this was really hard.

Who is your target audience?
Passengers who live in small cities and due to lack of local flight options travel to major airport hubs to get cheaper flights and better destinations.
We have a healthy mix of business travelers, leisure clients, students, expats and people visiting friends and family.

What is the USP of your startup?
We are the only long distance airport provider that pools people on same route – this makes us cheaper than personal cars. We pick passengers up from home and at the time they want, unlike public transport. Our drivers are trained in customer service and this is reflected in the strong ethos of professionalism we commit to provide. We are safe, reliable and mean people don’t have to rely on lifts from family & friends.
To top it off, we are so confident we will get you to your flight on time that we also sell a add-on service called “worry free package” that guarantees the passenger a new flight ticket even if we are unable to reach the airport for any reason.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
Wake up at 6AM, check emails, KPIs and our task management tool. I then take the children to kindergarten, get to the office, have meetings with key team members, product meetings, calls, hopefully some time for strategy and chatting with employees. By 6PM I try lo go home, play a bit with children and do some work after they fell asleep. The day is finished with introspection and planning for next day.

Where do you see yourself and your startup in five years?
In five years we should have expanded further into Europe and further afield. I think I’ll be much more organised and relaxed. Hopefully I’ll have time again to do some sports like swimming, cycling and jogging!

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
1. Get the best people you can around you. Best doesn’t just mean the smartest, or most efficient and innovative but also those with the most integrity, positive energy and open mindedness.
2. Don’t rush. Think, talk a lot, draw on the whiteboard and analyse.
3. Don’t be afraid to make hard decisions and to do things differently. Focus: entrepreneurs have too many ideas and if you jump around too much, you will fail sooner or later.

Picture : Marko Guček @Blaz Samec/Delo

More information you will find here

Thank you Marko Guček for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer ist 39 Jahre jung, Gründerin und leitende Redakteurin der StartupValleyNews. Ihre Karriere startete sie in verschiedenen internationalen Direktvertriebsunternehmen. Seit 2007 ist sie hauptberuflich als Journalistin tätig. Während dieser Zeit lernte sie die Startup-Szene kennen und schätzen, was Sie dazu bewogen hat mit StartupValleyNews ein internationales Startup Magazin aufzubauen!

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